Updates on our service learning project

My co-worker, Laura, and I had this idea to introduce service learning to our students.  We’ve started small with a coat drive for the holiday season.  I’m using the blog as a way to keep track of what we’ve done, and the success we’ve had, so here’s a little update:

We began by getting my writing students to put together an announcement for the university-wide announcements emailed out each day.  Laura’s grammar students corrected the grammar, and the announcement has been posted.  This was a fun assignment that I made into a competition among groups of students in my class.  Each group drafted an announcement, and we voted on the best one.

We met with an administrator on campus who organizes volunteer and community service activities.  She’s been a great help, and we’re going to be promoting our coat drive at the ODU Illumination, an annual tree lighting service that is well attended.

Today, my speaking/listening students walked around our student union, asking offices if we could post fliers for the coat drive in their windows and on their bulletin boards.  It was great speaking practice for my students, and the offices were all more than happy to help.

We’ve gotten a few donations so far, and I’m sure we’ll have even more at the Illumination.  It’s been wonderful to see how eager the students are to help.  We have many Muslim students, who assured us that helping others is an important part of their religion, so they believe strongly in getting involved.

Now, we need to start looking to a bigger project for next semester.  This has been a great project, but it would be wonderful to have the students regularly volunteering as a significant component of their class.

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