$100 solution aids communication class

Brittany Eldridge

WKU students are interacting with the community through a service learning program called the $100 solution.

The program uses course objectives and service learning to allow students to take a $100 bill and then develop a plan that will enable them to raise the quality of life for others.  

It is meant to teach students to look into the community to see what they can do to solve some existing social problems with a small amount of money or just thinking outside the box.

Jennifer Mize Smith, associate professor in the Department of Communication, currently uses the $100 solution in one of her classes. 

She said it makes students ask what they can do for others and challenges them to learn about organizations in the community. 

“I use the $100 solution in my class because it helps students to apply small group concepts,” Smith said. “But it also helps them to become better citizens. They operate on little time and little money.” 

A group of students in her class are currently completing a project for the Hope House, a local non-profit organization, which helps with crisis relief for people in the community.  

The group’s project consisted of staining lumber and using it to build a bookshelf, which would house class materials for the Hope House, as well as, painting two rooms. 

Brownsville senior Haley Miller, a student volunteer for Hope House, said that this will benefit them in the future because they are learning how to communicate with partners in the community and in small groups. 

“This project allows us to leave the classroom and lectures and lets us try out what we have been learning,” Miller said. “At the end you have actually accomplished something. Instead of scenarios explaining real life, you get to work in real life.”