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Literacy Changes Everything
Making Changes in Dunn County
Making Changes in Dunn County
Aarica Humke has made major changes for LCV Dunn County while looking to complete her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She first found out about LCV by going to a nonprofit and government fair hosted by the University of Wisconsin - Stout to look into and understand more about what she wanted to pursue within her field.
Growing up in Greenwood, Wisconsin Aarica found her love of community involvement by being encouraged by her family to volunteer and get out into her community. She has a passion for people that shows in everything she does and says, while conducting the interview to gain this information from her you wouldn’t be able to help but notice her excitement to be talking about this passion of hers, the smile on her face and her engaged posture allowed it to be seen that this is the field she is most passionate about. She also has other passions such as chocolate, this chocolate enthusiast has been to a chocolate plantation in Costa Rica while traveling and was able to see firsthand what goes into the process of making chocolate, her favorite though is Dove chocolate. At age 21, she will be going into the Peace Corps and becoming an English co-teacher and leaving to complete this dream of hers in Northern Macedonia for 27 months come September.
During her time with LCV she has not only taken it upon herself to teach classes at the Dunn County Jail, but she also created the class called Parenting from the Inside which is centered around the jail system. She created this class during her last semester at Stout before she officially began her internship with LCV. This class consists of six lessons that have a packet to follow, activities, and reflection to allow for those who go through the class to have specifics to look for and complete before being presented with a certificate which can then be placed on their resume once they exit the jail system. As a contingency plan, she also put these lessons into a webinar which can be done without a facilitator with all six lessons being less than 30 minutes and also including the packet to follow, activities, and reflection to be completed before the student can earn the certificate. While teaching classes in person she had evaluations ready for those who went through it to give their honest opinions so that she would then be able to take their feedback and tailor the next lesson to what they want to learn. While this course was her main focus for the internship she was also tasked with helping out in other areas.
Aarica was given the task to compile questions for each chapter in The Ex-offenders’ Reentry Success Guide, this is a text that is available within the jail system for those incarcerated to go through and earn a certificate which can also be included on their resume. This activity allows them to have a structured view when going into reading and have information that they should pay attention to. Along with this she also helped out with collecting a list of businesses in the Menomonie area to be used for Scrablebee. She also assisted in extending the coverage of the Commercial Drivers License packet which had previously only been covering four chapters and now covers all twenty. There was also a calendar that she created where she went out searching for the different special days such as pizza day and donut day along with many others, this allowed for a fun activity to be created based around each of those days.
Coming away from this experience she expresses that the learning moment that mattered to her most was being able to connect with a more diverse demographic that she previously had not been associated with. This allowed her to expand her views and learn more about the people within her community that she previously had not experienced. Previous to this experience she had never thought she would work in a jail environment with inmates and now she has learned that she strives in different environments that provide a challenge to her and where she needs to think differently while still applying the knowledge she has gained through her schooling. This opportunity also allowed her to feel as if she truly has become a professional in her field of study rather than just a student as she was enabled to apply the knowledge and lessons she had been taught to a real-life situation.
She hopes that through sharing her experience within this organization that others will be inspired to become involved with Literacy Chippewa Valley. Her participation in this organization has allowed for a lot to happen that will not only benefit our students but those working within the organization.
We extend our sincerest thanks to Aarica and look forward to what she may do in the future.