Children in foster care helped by Roane State student service project

Roane State students pictured (left to right): (Back row) Hailey Hyde, Audree Kerley, Morgan Pedigo, Cassie Johnson, Victoria Jones, Abby Howell; (Front row) Caitlin King, Alexia Milliken.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY – More than 50 children in foster care, who are often moved from one home to another, now have special bags filled with necessities and treats to take with them, thanks to Roane State students.

Those students with Roane State’s Student Tennessee Education Association (STEA) chapter took on the task during their latest service project, which they dubbed “The Duffel Drive.”

Members of Roane State’s chapter of the Student Tennessee Education Association are shown assembling cinch bags for distribution to foster children in Cumberland County. Pictured clockwise from left are: Audree Kerley, Abby Howell, Victoria Jones, Morgan Pedigo, Caitlin King, and Cassie Johnson.

STEA members are college students interested in becoming teachers, and STEA is under the auspices of the National Education Association.

Members brainstormed the idea and created flyers seeking donations for the “cinch bags.” They then filled the bags with contributions from students and faculty at several Roane State campuses. Donations included snacks, books, headphones and toiletries.

The cinch bags were given to the Department of Children’s Services in Cumberland County for distribution to foster children in the county’s K-12 school system.

Associate professors Stacie Bradshaw and Cody Miller sponsor the STEA chapter. They said they’re passionate about engaging STEA members in service projects focused around K-12 education.

“We hope to pass that passion on to the STEA students in the process,” Bradshaw said. “In fact, we have noticed that the students who join the STEA chapter really seem to enjoy not only working on the projects, but also seeing the benefit that they are having for the communities in our service area.”

“I am extremely proud of the work they do to make these service projects a success,” Bradshaw said. She called the effort “a true testament to not only our STEA chapter and the work that they put into these projects to make them a success, but also to the generosity of our Roane State family.”

STEA members come up with a service project each semester that benefits children in one of the counties served by Roane State. Chapter members meet three times each semester.

For more information, contact Stacie Bradshaw at or Cody Miller at

STEA member Hailey Hyde is pictured with some of the items that were collected for donation to foster children in Cumberland County.

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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