In an effort to get Living Learning Communities students to bond outside of the classroom, the director of Grambling State University’s program, Clair Lewis, often plans programs or trips. To bring the group closer, the LLC students worshipped at Holland Grove Baptist Church of Arcadia. The students had expressed an interest in attending a worship service as a group, so Lewis accommodated them.
She said the mission of this program is to “enhance students learning and intellectual development during the first year of college. The development of the learning communities enhances student learning by bringing faculty and students together to promote greater interaction with one another.”
“We group our Living Learning Communities students in the same classes, and we house them together. Also, we plan activities outside of the classroom so that they can bond with each other and Living Learning faculty and staff,” Lewis said.
According to the responses Lewis achieved her goal.
Remy Smith-Lewis, a native of Oakland, Calif., said she enjoyed the service. “The sermon was very good. He (the pastor) got right to the point that (Barack) Obama cannot do it by himself,” said Smith-Lewis.
This freshman double majoring in economics and economics said the LLC program is helpful and gives extra insight that is needed to make it through the first year of college.
“The service was very inspiring and the congregation was very welcoming to us who were visiting for the fist time,” Eileen Schwartz said. She most enjoyed the sermon and how the pastor was able to relate the scripture to present day activities.
“I was able to learn that coming together and worshiping the Lord as a group would allow me to be more receptive to the pastor’s message,” said Schwartz. who joined the program last fall and now serves as a tutor for the LLC program.
International students such as Schwartz, who is from Gros-Islet, St. Lucia, find the program helpful. “LLC has allowed me to meet different types of people and has awarded me the privilege to interact and communicate with them. It has also developed my leadership skills through their seminars and workshops,” said the junior who is majoring in economics.
Calvin Wortham is the current pastor of Holland Grove Baptist Church. He has served as pastor for over 17 years.
Wortham said that he was very happy to have the students worshipping with them and encouraged them to visit Holland Grove again. After the service, the Holland Grove family provided lunch for the students, and Wortham had an opportunity to speak with them.
Lewis said that she will plan more out-of-class activities for the LLC students, faculty and staff. Also, Lewis said that the LLC program is beneficial to the university.
“The benefits of the Living Learning Communities Program are increased student academic involvement, improved student academics, improved intellectual performance, and increased student retention.