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MCC student clown troupe formed

Dr. Brian Ivory doesn't mind when students in his class clown around sometimes. It's a course requirement.

Ivory, coordinator of the MCC Honors Program, oversees the Mott Campus Clowns, a newly formed clown troupe comprised of 10 MCC honor students enrolled in the honors course he teaches, Social Diversity and Civic Engagement.

The troupe has already introduced itself by spreading cheer at various events and venues in and around Flint and the Detroit area. The Mott Campus Clowns are scheduled to appear at the Special Olympics event at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Lansing Eastern High School, 220 N. Pennsylvania Ave. The group is also scheduled to appear at other venues in the Lansing area Saturday.

As a course requirement, students enrolled in the course must develop various clown skills (juggling, puppetry, pocket magic, making balloon animals and face painting) and complete weekends of community service appearances — all part of MCC's service learning component.

Service learning, defined as a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, focuses on critical thinking as well as personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs often involve students in activities that address local needs while developing their academic skills and commitment to the communities they serve.

Service learning has had a positive impact on student learning outcomes, civic engagement and college retention rates, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, which has been promoting the value of service learning to the 1,200 degree-granting institutions in the U.S. since 1994. MCC is among nearly 60 percent of the community colleges in the nation offering service learning in their curricular programs.

All of the appearances of the Mott Campus Clowns are supervised by Ivory, (a.k.a. Bubby the Clown). Ivory is a 1987 graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. In 2011, he "unretired" from clowning to train the Mott campus clowns for goodwill appearances at nonprofit agencies, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and community events.

Ivory knows that clowning is not just about entertainment. The silly antics, weird clothes, wild hair and painted smiles on faces can warm the hearts of all who see them. The MCC group's motto is "our hearts are bigger than our shoes."

Sponsorship of the Mott Campus Clowns is provided by MCC and the Michigan Campus Compact, a Lansing-based coalition of higher education presidents committed to community service and service learning. The Honors Program at MCC rewards academic achievement with a partial-tuition scholarship and special recognition such as the Honors Program diploma and Honors medallion at graduation. Honors Program students are also offered opportunities for academic, social and cultural enrichment.

Call (810) 762-0360 for more information.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

 

 

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