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newsletter |spring 2010 welcome to education in action “My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” –– poet/activist, Adrienne Rich It is difficult to sum up a year in the life of be able to see clearly in order to transform the Service-Learning Program at Dominican these realities. Service-learning provides all because our program is intertwined with of us the opportunity to see more clearly and inseparable from so many other lives. and then to learn from and act with those I am filled with awe at the learning in which who have the strength and commitment to I have participated with my students, other do this work day in and day out. For me, the faculty, our community partners, and that learning from service-learning comes in all collective and teeming forms, from being exposed life which emerges from to and immersed in a com“Service-Learning is about all the individual experi- compassion and love, but not as an munity different than our ences and the  “thinking own, to the lessons that are extrapolation based on your own together” that we do taught by those we never to reflect on and vulnerability and pain as it measures expected to be our teachbetter understand up to those around us. No. Service- ers: the four year olds with Learning is much more complex, these experiences. whom we water the garden, much more primal. It is something I am moved, as the fourth-graders we are Adrienne Rich that grows in the gut and takes flight doing art with, the clients expresses so through the windows of the heart.” at Marin AIDS Project, aptly, by those the high school students --Lauro Vazquez, Humanities ‘10 who continue, whom we are trying to day by day, to convince that algebra mat“reconstitute” the world and by ters when we aren’t sure ourselves. The list the expansion that occurs in each goes on and on as do the many connections, one of us who participates in this the ah-ha moments, and the subtle shifts in educational endeavor that chal- which change happens. The following pages lenges us to see difficult societal offer glimpses into our dynamic commuissues. Yes, at times, the suffering nity partnerships and the transformative and inequities certainly fill us with a learning and relationships that continue to sense of futility, yet certainly we have to emerge and flourish. Julia van der Ryn, Director of Service-Learning, visiting with a youth theatre group in Salvador, Brazil. 2009-2010: 13 Service-Learning Faculty 18 Service-Learning Designated Courses 25+Community Partners 285 Service-Learning Students 4,449 Service-Learning hours with community partners What is Service-Learning? Service-learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized and sustained service activity that meets identified community issues and interests and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of academic content, a broader appreciation of the public application of the discipline as well as the root causes and larger context of the service, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. --Adapted from Bringle and Hatcher, A Service-Learning Curriculum for Faculty 1

Dominican Univ Service-Learning Newsletter, Sp 2010

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