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November 7, 2008
Volume 1, Issue 7
Volunteers Pioneer a Movement: A Pilot Program Opens Doors for the Future by Elias Pappas and Kate Diedrick “As an SAT math teacher, at the beginning of class, I lecture about two new concepts for about thirty minutes, then I give students four problems to solve individually, to apply the concepts they just learned, and later we look over these problems as a class to find solutions. After that I assess them with a quiz to check their progress.” While this quote might sound like it is coming from an experienced teacher, it is in fact from 19 year old Takanori Tokoshima, a Northeastern first year student at ACT, who is volunteering under the tutelage of Georgia Proestopoulos and Eva Kanellis in the Anatolia College Counseling Office. Tokoshima is just one of the 50 Northeastern students volunteering at Anatolia and in Thessaloniki, with a new program coordinated and implemented by ACT and Northeastern. Upon their arrival in September the 50 Northeastern University first year students signed up for various volunteer programs. These programs are open to all students, but NUin has a built in volunteer component complementing their coursework. Programs include: as previously mentioned an “SAT Preparation Program;” a “Big Brother/Big Sister” program where students socialize and design activities for the dormitory students; students in the “Elementary School Program” are involved in tutoring and assisting at the Anatolia elementary school; the “Clean Up” crew takes teams to Mt. Olympus, Chalkidiki and Thessaloniki neighborhoods to help beautify these great places. All of the opportunities are not on campus however; “SXEDIA” is an artistic non-governmental program whose mission is to sensitize the community and particularly children and their parents on social issues through the arts and through cooperation, exchanges of ideas and new ways of expression. Finally, “ARSIS”, another off-campus program, provides opportunities for young people who suffer from social marginalization, empowering them to defend their rights and build their own micro-community in solidarity. Melody Rabe, an “ARSIS” volunteer with whom I had the opportunity to speak, told me that she and her friend Alison Kearney teach “arts and crafts” to girls from 8-14 years old once a week at the “ARSIS” building in Foinikas. These children are refugees whose parents are working and need somewhere to be and something productive to do. “ARSIS” gives them this chance, and much more by bringing inspiring, motivated and excited young people like Melody and Alison into the lives of these children. The volunteers move beyond the language barrier in order to really connect through the teaching and learning of the arts. In addition, Dana Goldsmith, another “ARSIS” volunteer, shared with me some of her very interesting experiences in the program. Goldsmith told me “Trust me, some days can be very stressful...the language barrier tends to be an issue and I'm not quite accustomed to some of the gender roles here (ie: the girls won't take class with the boys because they feel it is inappropriate)...but somehow we've been able to find common ground beyond the language barrier and we've separated the class into a boy's and a girl's class…As corny as it may/does sound, just seeing them smile or seeing them accomplish something for the first time gives me the greatest pleasure and is truly the most rewarding part of this project.” Bobby Lawrence, a part of the “Community Development and Clean Ups” program, voiced his excitement about completing the Mt. Olympus trial clean-up project. Lawrence, however, was not satisfied with the long and arduous mountain climbing which goes with cleaning the path at Olympus, and so has also committed to participating in the “SAT Preparation Program.” What is most impressive about Bobby’s volunteering through the Anatolia College Counseling Office is the task which he enthusiastically accepted and now looks forward to. He was asked to visit regularly with a very bright and successful student, who happens to be blind, and who wants to study in the US, in order to help him with his English and any other assistance he may need for this purpose.
Attention Students: Teaching English as a Foreign Language, a 30hour Certificate Program, will run from Nov 20-30. For more information, contact Eleni Godi at 398/ 229, email@example.com or visit the act website.
New ACT Counselling Office You may come and seek guidance by scheduling an appointment with the counselling psychologist. Office hours are on Tuesdays from 1-2 PM. For more information, visit the office (No 9, New Building)or contact Dr. Tatiana Tairi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gym re-opening After reconstruction, the gym will be re-opening on November 19. The opening ceremony will begin at 18:20 in the gym building on Anatolia’s campus.
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“Kristin’s and Haris’ Hangouts” One of our favorite places for a quick bite is Healthy Advice. Healthy Advice is located on Svolou 54, right off of Aggelaki. Healthy Advice is not just another sandwich shop. The store is owned by a Greek-Canadian who offers a various selection of sandwiches. Instead of your standard white bread that most toast shops offer, there is a wide selection of bread choices. Healthy Advice even offers sauces that other shops do not have, for example, barbeque sauce. It is the shop’s variety of food and customer friendliness that keeps bringing students back.
Send your submissions to email@example.com
November 7, 2008
Volume 1, Issue 7
Volunteering is widely done in the United States and volunteerism is deeply valued. At Worldwide Wonder of the Week ACT, the idea is that volunteering is something American study abroad students can offer Thessaloniki—a way for them to give back to their host country and bring an American value http://regional.searchbeat.com/greece.htm here. Due to its success, ACT and the program leaders wish to expand it, offering this opportunities to all students and therefore connecting them to one another and the community. ÆThe website online Greek However, there are difficulties inherent in setting up American students—with preconceived notions of volunteering—in a country such as Greece. Volunteerism is not Resources. institutionalized in Greece in the same way that it is in the United States. To establish such practices here, there has to be an organized push for it. Volunteering, which was restricted traditionally to something retired ladies did, first became a conscious service for young people during the Athens Olympic Games of 2004 when a massive organization of volunteers was built up. Consequently, it is clear that Greek citizens are ready to adopt voluntarism as an aspect of their lives if they find the right motivation. The appropriate incentive was the Olympic Games Recipe of the Week because Greeks believe that the Olympic Spirit is a Greek spirit from ancient times, and this fed into their sense of pride. Today, with no Olympic Games in sight, what can give Greeks and the Greek homemade bean soup people of Thessaloniki incentive is the right example. (fasolada) And this is something the study abroad volunteer program can offer. Through the effort of the NUin students and their pilot program, they not only give back to the community from which they learn so much, live and experience a new culture, they also offer to the local Ingredients: community—inspiration and leadership. Thus, by example, particularly amongst young people, • 1 lb navy bean (or any other a step towards developing voluntarism in Greece is made. Tokoshima, Rabe, Kearney, small dried white bean) Lawrence, Goldsmith and their peers are not simply volunteers—they are the pioneers of a • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced movement—one on the small scale that offers friends, peers, teachers and tutors across • 1 onion, peeled and chopped boundaries, borders and barriers but that also, on a larger scale, sets the foundation for much more and connects people of the world with a shared interest in helping one another. • 3 stalks celery,
• • • •
chopped (leaves included) 1 cup tomato sauce 1 cup olive oil salt pepper Directions:
(From left: Sean McGhan, Melody Rabe, Shane Lloyd (assistant director of NUin Greece), Takanori Tokoshima, Nick Beek)
"Crash the Film Festival" November 14 marks the start of Thessaloniki's most exciting week in the arts which is dedicated to film, its creative pioneers, and its enthusiasts. The International Thessaloniki Film Festival, the premier film festival in the Balkans, highlights groundbreaking films and renowned directors from all over the globe. Films, master classes, seminars, release parties, and more jam-pack this week-long celebration. If you are interested in learning about different festival opportunities, please join "Crash the Film Festival" group by contacting Stephanie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Arian Kotsi, International Programs Office, room 104. Group members will receive messages regarding films, master classes and related events. We will contact you as films, events, etc. become available during the week-long extravaganza; please be sure to check your email regularly so that won't miss these opportunities.
Soak the beans in water over night.
Strain the water and place the beans in a pot with new water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat; strain water. Replace the beans, add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover all the ingredients and simmer covered for an hour.
ACT Newsletter 1.7