Thoughts on Service-Learning

Written by Abbey Churchill, WLLC 2015-2016

While reading all of the documents concerning service learning, many ideas about potential project ideas started flowing through my mind. One concept that I really liked in the service-learning pedagogy was aiming to establish a

“reciprocal collaboration among students, faculty, community members, and institution that fulfills shared objectives.”

It is most definitely a crucial task that my group members and I discuss what our main goals are as well as listen to what the teachers and students at Fisher Early Center want to come out of our time of service there. Currently, we are working directly with a teacher at Fisher who is providing us with an understanding of how the preschool works, what the kids are like, and what the current needs are of the facility. Forming this close relationship right off the bat with our community partner allowed us to feel comfortable discussing potential project ideas that will benefit both the preschool and us students.

What interests me the most is that volunteer/service work doesn’t have to be as altruistic as people say it should be. This is an opportunity to establish relationships with community partners, set goals, and put in the effort to accomplish a task that is both mutually beneficial and sustainable. Performing service work for another person or organization/business allows us students to gain the connections we need before being sent off into the workplace. As the project-based service learning definition states, “student create a close relationship with a community partner” through this type of service.

My group and I are currently working on what kinds of skills and ideas we can bring to Fisher Early Learning Center through our implementation of some type of gardening activities for the children. There is a lot of research we need to get caught up on before diving into this project, however, we have a pretty good outline on how we want to create a gardening program that is sustainable for both the children and staff at Fisher.

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