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College project dovetails with student's volunteer role in community

March 16, 2014

Trunk Butte Christian School board members, from left, Ron Grant, Lyndsey Pieper, Cassandra Sager, Jennifer Monroe and Bill Hawthorne. Trunk Butte Christian School board members, from left, Ron Grant, Lyndsey Pieper, Cassandra Sager, Jennifer Monroe and Bill Hawthorne.

When Chadron State College senior Jennifer Monroe enrolled in “Introduction to Public Relations” she didn’t realize how well an assignment for the course would align with her role as a volunteer member of a private school board. 

The course, taught last semester by Shaunda French included Monroe’s team of fellow students Christiane Roth, Danielle Toberman, Kayt Sullivan, Mouhamed Diop, and Brittany Provence. 

French said, “I firmly believe in high impact learning and therefore I had students choose an event or organization that they strongly support and believe in." 

Monroe quickly pitched the idea of developing a press kit for Trunk Butte Christian School and her classmates agreed. Monroe is the Public Relations Director on the five-member TBCS Board of Education. 

The students set out to develop a press kit and brochure for potential donors and families of potential students so that everyone interested could learn more about the school. Included in the press kit was a cover letter, a fact sheet, recent news and upcoming school events, sponsor information and parent testimonials. 

Monroe said she is “hopeful that the press kit and brochure will help in continuing to raise awareness about the new school and educate people in the community that TBCS has a unique multi-grade learning program that is a rare find these days.”

At a February fundraiser "Mystery on Main Street," the brochures developed by the CSC class were displayed and given to guests in attendance.

One of the group members also surveyed parents of current TBCS students, with about nine returning the survey. 

The school building had previously been used as a part of the Dawes County school system until 2011 when several rural schools were closed. The building sat empty for the 2011-2012 school year and then re-opened in the fall of 2012 with 16 students enrolled at the newly-founded Christian school. 

Currently 27 students are enrolled in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grades. 

French said, "I think it’s great that Trunk Butte Christian School has benefited from the CSC students creation of a press kit for TBCS.”   

Bill Hawthorne, school board president and owner of the school building said that help from the CSC wrestling team making playground improvements during The Big Event in April 2013 was appreciated and the press kit is additional help. 

Hawthorne said, “We have seen that our small, multi-grade environment is producing excellent academic achievements in our students…. We believe that our students will be well-equipped to go into the world and be successful at whatever they choose to do. Chadron State College has been a great help to us as we have undertaken this endeavor.”

He said the college has been a great resource and those associated with the school look forward to a continued partnership with the college by providing unique opportunity for student teachers in a multi-grade classroom and ultimately sending excellent students back to the college for higher education.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator

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