Mercer Educators planning to build a playground

Amber Coleman / Cluster Staff
Amber Coleman / Cluster Staff

Mercer Educators in Action (MEIA) is an organization for students on Mercer University’s campus who are pursuing education degrees in the Tift College of Education. The group is actively involved in the Macon community and strives to raise funds for local schools. During last semester, the group raised about $200 to provide school supplies to Ingram-Pye Elementary School and Matilda Hartley Elementary School.

MEIA was started in the early 2000s and is a relatively small group. Amelia Neiger, MEIA president, said this year’s officers and advisor have been great in the advancement of the group’s work. This year’s officers include president Amelia Neiger; vice president Jessica Wright; secretary Ashleigh Hightower; treasurer Min Oh; historians Emily Allardice, Kayla Kittrell and Nikki Rogers; and advisor Dr. Sybil Keebury.

MEIA participated in working the football concession stands multiple times last semester for fundraising. The group members raised $1,000 from their work there. The organization has also held a few bake sales, but the members would like to do more. One of their goals is to bring a playground to the children of Ingram-Pye. Neiger said, “It is important for the kids to have time outside.” It may take a few years for this is to happen, but MEIA is determined to make it a reality for the students.

The members of MEIA range from education majors to minors. They also range in their focuses; they are either studying holistic child (early childhood/special education), middle grades, secondary grades or P-12 music education. The members of the group want to make the organization bigger and broaden their scope.

At their recent meeting on Jan. 30, the members of MEIA had a discussion about the pros and cons of homework with students. They discussed it as a “controversial topic,” headed by Kayla Kittrell, a junior at Mercer. The group also talked about working with local businesses like Margarita’s and The Rookery. Their goal is to have fundraiser nights at these restaurants with the hope to fundraise even more for local schools.

Mercer Educators is also looking to do more philanthropy work. The members are planning to visit The Children’s Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia to read and draw with the children. The members also discussed an option to participate in the Global Campaign for Education-United States Chapter Youth Advocacy Training to lobby for education.

MEIA will have a dessert social with the education professors early next month, and the members also plan to do more tutoring at Alexander II Elementary School. The group is also participating in the Box Tops for Education program by collecting and turning in box tops. The organization plans to meet again on Feb. 13 and welcomes all education majors and minors to join them in their work. For more information, contact Amelia Neiger at [email protected]