UMass CESL promotes learning for life-long, engaged citizenship, partnering with communities on and off campus to work collectively for a more just society.
Service-Learning at Amherst Cinema
by Kayla Hoff Comm 338: Children, Teens & Media (Fall 2012)
Over the Fall semester, I had the opportunity through my Communication 338 course to volunteer my time at Amherst Cinema with the See, Hear, Feel, Film program. See, Hear, Feel, Film is a five unit educational program that works with third grade students to help them develop skills to critically think about moving images. This program transports local third grade classrooms from the Pioneer Valley to Amherst Cinema for two workshops throughout the year. The workshop includes the viewing of two short films and a conversation following that discusses the visual messages that were portrayed. Then the classes are broken up into smaller groups led by volunteers, who help the students to create their own film outline. Students each create a part of their story and use visualization tools and corroboration to create what their story would look like in a finished film.
See, Hear, Feel, Filmgives children the opportunity to use their imagination, put mental images to paper, and present their finished product in front of an audience. It is amazing to see how demographically different these third graders are from one another. My favorite day thus far was when I worked with a combined group of typical academic level third graders and special education third grade students. These children had never worked together before but still encouraged each other to incorporate ideas to make their storyboard come to life. During the presentation, the more advanced students helped the struggling students read their part. One teacher told the volunteers that she had never seen her students get so excited to work with each other. Working with the See, Hear, Feel, Film program has given me amazing hands-on experience that I can use in my future classroom as an educator. Although I know I am giving these students tools that they can use for years to come, I feel as though their impact on me is even greater.
Student Bridges Learning Through Community Engagement
Service-Learning in Springfield, Mass
by Chandler Kaplan SRVCLRNG 293 (Fall 2012)
"Is it really worth getting out of bed just to attend a large lecture class when in reality, no one will really care if I am missing?” This has been my motto—until this semester. Thank you to the founders of Student Bridges, because you have finally provided me with a feeling of purpose on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Being a part of Student Bridges has granted me an amazing opportunity to learn, discuss, and implement change. On every Monday and Wednesday this past semester, five other UMass students and I traveled to work with the South End Community Center in Springfield in collaboration with the 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program. We are a college-positive group that works with middle school students after school to help them complete their daily homework assignments and complete a science related experiment.
I think all the tutors and I would agree that it has turned into so much more. Through hard work, understanding and patience, we have built strong connections that are hard to come around. It started out as an enrollment acceptance on SPIRE, and has turned into experiences I will carry with me forever.
But don’t get me wrong- it wasn’t an easy task. At the beginning of the semester, we spent a great deal of time talking about what it means to be a “successful tutor/mentor.” However, in typical fashion, I spent the night before our first session stressing over how I could reach perfection. In my own Utopian mind, I wanted to be the “perfect tutor/mentor.” But how could I apply this wish to reality? Should I know every homework answer without any hesitation? Should I come to site with an excessively positive attitude and smile at whatever came my way? Well… it turns out I am no robot. Every tutor/mentor, every teacher, and even the President of the United States have imperfections. But the truth is, success sometimes involves being clueless. It involves having to come up with a new plan because all your prior thoughts didn’t work. Through this program I have learned to adapt. I have learned to never give up, even if it’s all I want to do.
At site and in our Student Bridges CSL seminar on Tuesday nights, we have developed a very accepting environment. We hold one of our rules “Don’t be judgmental” in a very high level of importance. On the first day of tutoring, we went around with all of the kids and tutors and made a list of rules we wanted to implement in order to set up a comfortable, respectful environment. The first things that came out of the kids’ mouths were rules involving respect between the directors, tutors and their peers. Students were eager to write “don’t interrupt”, “don’t push”, “don’t take”, “accept everyone” and “have patience.” We all discussed how we could apply these rules to reality, and made sure to tell them the consequences if that did not happen.
I think our site does a very good job at providing a comfortable, respectful environment and if it ever feels like it’s not, I will not be hesitant to step in (and this was not true from the start! I have always been known as too passive). The same holds true during our class. I have never before walked into a class and felt myself in a friendly and open environment (and I mean never—I usually walk into lecture and sit in my own section and don’t talk to many people). In this class I feel as though people care, like what I say really matters. It’s a great feeling!
Holding a comfortable, safe environment took patience and persistence. Respect was essential. The rule holds true, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” It was never fun to be the bad guy, but on occasion we had to step out of our comfort zone and punish what was deserved. We had to find a balance between being our mentees’ friends and being tutor/mentors with authority. It was hard telling them we had other plans every weekend when they would ask us to hang out outside of tutoring, but we had to be brave and do what was right. The students would sometimes try to trick us to get out of doing their homework, but with persistence we were able to get most of them on track.
I believe that every child has the potential for excellence, some just need a little more assistance getting there than others. Whether it was struggling through a multiplication problem or spelling out a historical term, I tried to encourage each student to always try his or her best. The tutors and I wanted to teach them academic skills they could bring outside the program and apply to their every day life.
Well, the story doesn’t end there. We are all so grateful we get to return to our site in January. I can’t wait to see the students smiling faces as they run up to us and we are waiting to greet them with big smiles. We have the chance to take everything we have done and expand on it for another semester. These children have taught me so much as a tutor/mentor, but also as a person—and for that, I will always be grateful.
Learning About the World and My Place in It
by Jennie Abdallah, Campus- Community Liaison April 2013
As a senior, I have been dealing with the realization that my undergrad career is coming to an end and as any depressed senior would, I have been looking back on my time here at UMass Amherst and wondering what I have learned and how I have grown as a person.
When I look back, I see some interesting classes and some gen eds I definitely could have done without. But the best times I have had in regards to academics have been the moments I have spent at my service sites. In hopes of not sounding cliché, taking the course Multicultural Education 377 was one of the best decisions I have made here. This class opened the doors to service-learning for me because as a sophomore I had no idea what service learning even was. I was sent to the Kelly Middle School Connections program in Holyoke, MA for my service and I have been going there every semester since.
Getting outside of campus boundaries has allowed me to remember that I am not just a student here to learn from books and teachers but that I am here in college to broaden my understanding of the world and my place in it. Service-learning to me is a way of connecting with others and learning from them. My advice to any future service learners would be to open yourselves up to the learning aspect of such courses because it is not just about helping other people. My moments spent at a service site have been energy boosters for me as a person, encouraging me to work harder and brightening my day when I am stressed out.
Last week, I found out the future job I thought I had may not be in the cards anymore so I arrived in Holyoke not too pleased just wanting to get back to check my emails. Instead, I ended up being challenged to a basketball game by a few middle school boys. They kicked my butt but at the end I thanked them for getting my mind off things and they told me “Miss, sometimes you got to stop and play some basketball, but you should probably practice.” Small moments like that have brought me back down to earth when I’m getting stuck in my own head.
Then, there are times when these sites provide insight to some of the negative things going on in our communities as well and injustice happening daily all around us. It makes me angry but also motivates me to look past my bubble that is UMass and want to do something. Overall, service-learning hasn’t always been a feel good experience. There is some tough stuff going on out there that if you never leave campus you’ll never experience. But those experiences, and the moments of pure fun I have had at Connections have definitely shaped my college education into a much more worthwhile endeavor and will come along with me to where ever I end up in the future.
I advise all underclassman or upperclassman, anyone, to take a course in service-learning or just get out there and get involved. I will be representing Multicultural Education 377 at the Spring Open House & Celebration on Wednesday April 10th at 6:00 pm in the Student Union Cape Cod Room. Many other organizations will be there as well and it is the perfect place to start. See you there!
Jessica Gibbon - Communication 426
This year I became involved with the See Hear Feel Film Program at Amherst Cinema and it has proven to be a more positive experience than I ever imagined possible. Each week upon arrival I sit in the theater with a group of volunteers including both UMass students and volunteers from the town of Amherst. Jake leads the group by introducing short films for the day as well as the themes that he hopes the children take from the lesson. The way that Jake is able to engage the young students never ceases to amaze me. He approaches each third grade class without preconceived notions of their abilities and always seems as energized as the first visit. Jake easily rolls with the punches of each day and inspires the ever-expanding group of volunteers to proceed with an equally enthusiastic attitude.
When we break up into smaller groups, I can see that each volunteer tries to emulate Jake’s methods of working with the kids and teaching them about film, storytelling, and creative expression. Guiding the eager kids through the creation of their very own storyboard sparks a sense of accomplishment in everyone involved. The students leave the cinema having written and performed a sequel to a film that they first viewed only a few months prior in that very same theater. The other volunteers and I take away a feeling of satisfaction after a day full of both teaching and learning from kids in the third grade. Everyone is continuously educating one another while simultaneously having a great time. From the short films and popcorn to the writing, creating and performing, the See-Hear-Feel-Film program is a complete success.
Students Create Ableism PSA
Courtney Dunham, describes her group’s video project:
When we began our project, we had decided to create a PSA aimed at emphasizing person-first language because while we had seen a number of movements aimed at ending the "R" word, we still heard a lot of language which unintentionally dehumanized people with disabilities by introducing their disability first. When we began our unit on ableism we were shocked to learn how recent the major movements in ableism activism were. The Americans with Disabilities Act, a piece of legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans with disabilities, wasn't passed until 1990 and that was only the beginning of improvements, as you can see just walking around campus that we still don't live in a society that is completely accessible for people with disabilities. It's incredible that this is still a fairly new topic of discussion, though people with disabilities have always existed. We were very happy with the final product of our video and hope that we can spread the message that people are much more than their disabilities.
You can view the 1 minute PSA at:
Instructor, Maru Gonzale shares about the course:
Social Diversity in Education, more commonly referred to as Education 210, focuses on issues of social identity, social and cultural diversity, and societal manifestations of oppression. Established around the premise of a learning community, students are encouraged to teach and learn from one another, engage in collaborative social justice action, and extend their learning beyond the classroom. The following video and blog post illustrate the "action" taken by one group of students to create awareness about ableism in educational settings.
Media Literacy for Third Graders!
by Stephanie Flynn
Amherst Cinema SHFF Program & Its Impact on our Community’s Children
This semester for community engagement purposes within my Children, Teens and Media communications class (Communication 388) I was given the opportunity to participate in an incredibly rewarding program called See Hear Feel Film. The site for this media literacy engagement with third graders from all over the Pioneer Valley takes place at Amherst Cinema. Volunteers/educational facilitators work directly with these bright children who have come from all different walks of life to understand their reactions of short films made for and by children. The real fascinating interactions come about when volunteers are able to work with smaller groups of the third graders in the cinema to make interesting and creative storyboards of their own. The children are handed a title and are asked to depict a beginning, middle and end that relates to the main idea they were given. The inspiration the students feel after watching movies made by young people is so profound, it is what propels them to feel powerful, creative, and able to construct a story of their own that never existed in the world before their field trip. By observing these children’s reactions it makes the texts that I have read in class come to life in terms of the way children are so heavily impacted by mass media. Whether it is by the movies they watch during the program or when the children release details to me regarding the way media has affected them in their personal lives, it is definite that these children are highly entertained by media entertainment.
While working with these children, I notice that while they may not have all of the “correct” answers when it comes to creating their stories, what they do have is a close knit community within their classroom. The SHFF program shows that these classrooms are built of a network of students willing to help one another with problems each other may face while using creativity to make a part of their group’s story. Obstacles these children have overcome include language barriers and difficulties with story tracking. When these kids leave Amherst Cinema I know that they have left with a sense of empowerment, the ability to pinpoint details within a story, and have a better understanding of how to construct a beginning, middle and end of a story. These children are transforming from being innocent media viewers, to being able to observe details and become inspired to create art of their own. The See Hear Feel Film program at Amherst Cinema continues to grow each year it is in session which means more and more volunteers are needed as time progresses. Choosing to volunteer during the program’s spring semester session is a great way to get involved with our community’s children and it provides the opportunity to work on the improvement of media literacy education. Visit http://amherstcinema.org/node/898to learn more about this essential program.
A Word from Francis-Protus Ambe - Student Bridges
My name is Francis-Protus Ambe and I am the Public Relations for Student Bridges! I also recently interned as an AmeriCorps Vista Summer Associate in collaboration with the Student Bridges summer staff. Student Bridges is an organization which partners with local schools and community organizations to provide advocacy college awareness and preparation activities in order to increase access to higher education for underrepresented students.
My involvement in this organization has been a life changing one. I have formed relationships with many bright and intelligent students and have learned a lot from them. Many of these students face daily struggles which their teachers and sometimes parents are able to relate to. Some of these students spend most of their time taking care of their younger siblings. Because of these obligations they are often late for school or do not have enough time to complete their homework. Others go days at a time without getting a full meal. I have also met students who internalize the idea that they are “weird” or “different” because their teachers constantly tell them they have a learning disability or that they are incapable of succeeding.
And because they do not have someone will to take the time out to talk to them or advocate for them, they find different ways to cope with these daily struggles by acting out in class, getting involved with the “wrong” group of kids, or secluding themselves from the rest of their classmates. Working side by side with these students has opened my eyes to the many injustices and hardships which hinder children across this country from pursuing higher education.
Other aspects such as space for afterschool programs, equipment for science and technology classes and parents not being aware of available resources and ways to support their student because of lack of education or language barriers, are all examples of inequalities these kids face which are often overlooked by our education and legal system. I, along with other staff members, volunteers and supporters of Student Bridges work towards organizing college prep workshops, college positive events, tours and mentor-mentee relationships in order to provide students with these resources and the support they need in order to further their education.
Last semester I had the privilege of mentoring a group of wonderful students at an after school program at Milton Bradley Elementary School located in Springfield, MA. This was in partnership with the 4H Youth Development Program. I formed strong relationships with a few of the students there and still try to find time to visit them. I watched them grow and step out of their comfort zones.
It is such a great feeling to get to see a student become a more confident individual and achieve goals which they would never have even set for themselves before. If I had not joined Student Bridges I don’t think I would have ever gotten such an opportunity. I am happy that I joined this great organization and hope that through work, we inspire others to do the same.
Amherst Cinema: See-Hear-Feel-Film
a Service-Learning Reflection by Kim DeMattia
I am currently participating in a Civic Engagement and Service Learning program at Amherst Cinema. As a part of my Children Teens, and Media class course with Professor Allison Butler I was offered the unique opportunity to participate in the “See –Hear-Feel Film” program which allows children to experience the art of film making in a new light. This is a program designed to give 3rd graders throughout the Pioneer Valley an opportunity to become film makers. The students work collectively to create their own movie storyboards, giving them the opportunity to become the next Steven Spielberg. What “See-Hear-Feel Film” didn’t promote was the incredible experiences the volunteers would obtain.
During my first workshop I had the opportunity to work with 3rd graders from Chicopee. Many of these children come from lower income households, and are faced with struggles that I could have never imagined at their age. On this day I was fortunate to have a boy named “Jeremy” in my group. In an attempt to spark discussion with my group, I asked if anyone had anything they would like to say about the films, Jeremy raised his hand and exclaimed “I never knew before today that kids could make movies, I want to be the next director.” The smile on his face was infectious, in his eyes were beaming with excitement. This instance brought me back to a world where anything was possible. As a child I believed that I could be anything I wanted, but through the process of growing up I lost my innocence, I lost my unwavering hope for a better tomorrow. I have become consumed in my everyday “troubles” but Jeremy did something incredible for me that day. He reminded of my own childhood innocence, and my own hopes and dreams for myself. He brought me back to a place I haven’t visited in years. These children ignited my own creativity.
As the group activity continued the children were immersed in the world of film. They created an incredible storyboard about the “their life in the enchanted forest” which included, animals, thousands of trees and cavemen. They worked together and created a wonderful, beautiful storyboard. Their excitement was pure desire to help each other was contagious. Working in part with the “See-Hear-Feel-Film” program has given me the opportunity to feel this pure unaltered joy once again each week on Wednesday. These precious moments are truly invaluable, despite the cliché; Amherst Cinema has given me the chance to be a role model to 3rd graders across the Pioneer Valley. I take this opportunity seriously, and hope that I am inspiring some of them to go to college and follow their dreams, yet at the same time the children are inspiring me. I have learned that it takes very little time to make a powerful impression on someone. As the first workshop at Amherst Cinema concluded Jeremy walked over to me, and gave me an enormous hug with a simple “thank you.” I had only spent 1 hour with him in our small groups. What Jeremy didn’t realize as he was thanking me that morning, was that I needed him to thank him too. Jeremy and his classmates reminded me what is really important in life, and that a little love really does go a long way. I have wondered since if Jeremy will remember me, and if I did make a lasting impression on him. The truth is I don’t know, but what I do know for certain is Jeremy definitely made a lasting impression on me.
UMass's Community Journalism course partners with Commerce High in Springfield
My name is Harmonie Charland and I am an AmeriCorps Student Leader in Service (SLIS) in Professor Nicholas McBride’s Community Journalism course. Community Journalism is course that partners students at The High School of Commerce in Springfield, Massachusetts and UMass journalism students. My classmates and I work to teach the high school students elements of journalism through a social justice lens. One of my key responsibilities in the course is providing mentorship to the high school students. By sharing my own personal educational experiences I am able to help guide students through their own academic challenges and choices.
One of the main goals of Community Journalism this semester is assisting the Commerce students in successfully developing a student run newspaper and website. Through writing and reporting the students have the opportunity to focus on issues that are important to them and have their voices heard. The journalism industry is vast with many ways for individuals to tell stories including video, audio, and photography. The community journalism course provides the commerce students access to the necessary equipment needed to tell their stories trough all platforms. Learning how to operate cameras and other multimedia programs provides the Commerce students valuable skills they can use when they enter the job market.
Many of the high school students in the course are seniors preparing to apply to colleges and take their SAT’s. I’ve been able to direct these students to the proper resources that could help them navigate this part of their life much easier. Many of the students I work with have decided to go to college because of the relationships the have built with the UMass students. Knowing that my dedication to service has helped these students realize their own potential and pursue a college education is truly an amazing feeling.
IMPACT! Freshman RAP - Off to Great Beginning
by Emily Belko, AmeriCorps Student Leader in Service with IMPACT!
IMPACT! is a service-learning and social justice RAP (Residential Academic Program) for first year students. We bring together a balance of service-learning, education about social justice theory and contemplative practices. Now at the halfway point of the semester, we are covering Classism concurrently with student group presentations and the incorporation of personal experiences at our service sites. The biweekly seminar, hosted along with the weekly Monday class, helps to bring a very real perspective to the theory driven course, with discussion of the Presidential debates, health care and immigration. This is a very integrative experience. The students work together in class and live together in the same community. The goal of the program is to allow each student to learn, grow, struggle and support one another through the very personal and sometimes difficult issues of social justice and emerge aware and empowered.
Busy Start for the Citizen Scholars Program
by Kyle Angstadt, AmeriCoprs Student Leader in Servcie with CSP
We are excited to introduce ourselves as the two Student Leaders in Service (SLIS) interns: Kyle Angstadt and Ian Whalen!
I (Kyle) am a senior management major and am part of cohort 13 in the CSP program. I do most of my service-learning at the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) and the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP). Chris is a sophomore psychology major and is part of cohort 14 in the CSP program. He also does service-learning at SLAP, but is additionally a member of the Student Action RSO.
The program has had a busy couple of weeks; we had our first evening gathering Wednesday the 10th, the 14’s have been learning about sustainable communities and went hiking on Thursday the 11th, and the 13’s started their public policy capstones and took a trip to the State House on Tuesday the 15th.
At the evening gathering, we chowed down on some burritos, and then we discussed the November 6th state-wide ballot questions. For those of you who don’t know, there will be three: one concerning the prescription of drugs to end life, one about legalizing medical marijuana, and one about the transparency of motor vehicle repair information. We broke into four working groups to address legalizing medical marijuana and prescribing drugs to end life. After much group discussion, we presented our thoughts to the rest of the group to further our understanding of these topics. The point wasn’t to debate a side, but to get a more holistic understanding of the issues. At the end, I think we all walked away with a greater appreciation for the depth of these issues.
The next day, the 14’s went hiking at Mt. Sugarloaf instead of class, which has become a bit of a CSP tradition. In our own adaptation of “Mountain Day”, a holiday held by some of the five colleges where the chancellor gets to cancel classes due to “nice weather”, the 14’s decided to use their class time to do something together outside the classroom. At the summit, they broke out hot apple cider and cider donuts from Atkins Farm while they enjoyed the view of the valley below.
In class, “the Good Society” the 14’s have been learning about different forms of utopias in order to get a better understanding of their own values. They are currently discussing forms of sustainable societies while reading “Gaviotas”, which is about a completely sustainable ecovillage in Colombia.
The 13’s visited the State House on Tuesday the 11th to visit Amherst’s State Representative Ellen Story and State Senator Stan Rosenberg. Rep. Story shared what daily life looked like in the State House and talked about current events and campaigns. Students asked questions about what it was like being a woman in the State House, which was primarily dominated by men and what Governor Romney was like as a person. Afterwards, the 13’s were given a tour and took pictures with Sen. Rosenberg, who then invited them to sit in on an awards ceremony for students in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and math). Before they left, they met back up with Rep. Story and a lobbyist to talk about how to bring public issues to the State House.
In class, the 13’s recently submitted the first draft of their public policy papers, which will end up supplementing their final capstone project. The focus of the papers is to address a public policy issue that needs to be mitigated and present evidence for why it is a problem. The next steps will be looking at dissenting opinions, offering alternative solutions and presenting the finished product.
As busy as things may seem, we don’t want to give the impression that we are overloaded with work. We know that our efforts are part of something larger than ourselves, and not just a means to an end. What we do is challenging, yes, but it is equally rewarding. The program really encourages us to build a community together, so we have a great support system when things get tough. Mostly, we just have a lot of fun.
Boltwood Project Update
by Stephanie Ozahowski, Boltwood Coordinator
The BOLTWOOD Project gathered on Saturday, October 13th, for the first of three seminars. Our 85 student-volunteers gathered for a day of discussion and learning around service and ableism. The day started out with guest speaker Katja Hahn D'Errico, faculty with UMass CESL's Citizen Scholar Program and Faculty Director of the freshmen IMPACT! Program. Katja spoke about her own personal experience with disability and asked students to consider and share with each other about their life experiences with ableism and what draws them to do this work. Next, Cassandra Martin, Recreation Therapist from the Farren, one of BOLTWOOD?s partner sites, spoke to students about client privacy and HIPPA regulations, as well as the impact BOLTWOOD students can have at programs such as the Farren. The day closed with a presentation and discussion about Belchertown State School and the deinstitutionalization movement. It was a day full of service-learning, and we cannot wait for our next seminar on November 17th!
Reflections on a Classroom – Nuestras Raices Fall Practicum
by Jared Schy, Undergrad Course Coordinator
The experience of facilitating a course as an undergrad has been singular. Just figuring out course registration for Five College students gives me tons of appreciation for even the nittiest, grittiest things our professors do, let alone develop curriculum, facilitate discussions, and build individual relationships with each student.
Our class is amazing! Since it is a 2-credit practicum class, we've attracted folks from all sorts of majors. In addition to the handful of folks from Food & Sustainable Agriculture, we have folks in UACT, Public Health, Psychology, Accounting, Political Science, to name a few in addition to a several Hampshire students with their own unique self-designed programs. This makes for rich discussion and a wide variety of perspectives. In addition, we have transfer students who have just arrived and others who have been here for a few years. Our students also run the gamut in terms of year and we have everything from first years to fourth years represented. Our multi-racial, mixed gender, multi-class, international, queer & straight classroom space makes for a fascinating conglomeration of identities and experiences represented.
Workdays have provided our class with important opportunities that traditional classes do not get: the time to make friends and build strong community with peers in the classroom. It's been amazing to see how even just after our first workday (6 hours on the farm at Nuestras) our class became visibly and energetically closer the next time we met; I felt closer to everyone too. I have often felt that professors too often discount the importance of building communities among their students and seeing how rich our community has become has driven this lesson home again. It makes me wonder how I can ever be in a classroom space where this kind of community isn't built.
Navigating the complexities of co-developing a course has been fraught with challenges and rewards. Until a few weeks ago, it felt like the class had an endless array of moving parts but as we've finally had more time and space to reflect on our praxis as teachers/facilitators and to workshop our ideas as co-facilitators together, our class has become smoother and smoother. And lest I leave out what perhaps has been most rewarding of all--developing a much stronger relationship with my comrade and co-facilitator Hannah! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to see her more brilliantly in her own light with her young but wise energy which shines through each exchange she creates in the classroom! Thank you Hannah!
I know both of us look forward to the opportunity to reflect back on our semester together and established what worked, what needs to be changed, and how we can improve this course for its next time around. We are endlessly grateful to the opportunity Carol Soules, Molly Totman, John Gerber and Nuestras's staff (Diego, Cynthia, Debra and Tom) have given us to collaborate together to create this incredible course. Thank you all!
Boltwood Project Launches Year 44
This fall finds the 43 year old Boltwood Project housed in UMass CESL as a Service-Learning practicum. After 43 years Merle Wilman, its founder, has completely retired and placed this program in the hands of Carol Soules, Associate Director of UMass CESL. Merle and Carol met during the Spring Semester and over the summer to see that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Once again this year, Boltwood’s student leadership is active and strong, with Stephanie Ozahowski and Julianna Sternberg serving as Program Coordinators. Along with 11 Site Supervisors, they will take on the leadership for 80+ students, serving at 11 sites and partnering with people with disabilities. The leaders are all enrolled in CESL’s Leadership in Service course, taught by Ellen Correa with TA and CESL AmeriCorpsVISTA, Michelle Medeiros. The Boltwood Project practicum course, for all 80+ students, will consist of three Saturday sessions over the fall semester in addition to their weekly service.
We look forward to hearing from the various teams about their work in the community and about their Saturday sessions.
Jonathan Kozol Visits Pioneer Valley
This week Jonathan Kozol visited 2 locations in the Pioneer Valley: Holyoke Community College and Amherst College, talking about equity in education and his new book.
Michelle Medeiros, AmeriCoprsVISTA with UMass CESL this year, was one of the many UMass people who attended. She shared with us-
Hearing Jonathon Kozol speak was truly a remarkable experience. He was funnier than I expected him to be and I also left more inspired than I originally had anticipated to be. Kozol talked about his new book "Fire in the Ashes" and he told a story of a young woman named Pineapple whom he had met when she was around eight or nine years old. Fortunately, Pineapple surpassed the statistics of her neighborhood and this Fall she entered her senior year of college. Kozol did however talk about the children he had met whom had passed away. Kozol spoke a lot about injustices that exist within our society, but the one thing he left me with was a statement that is very important..."Charity does not compensate justice."
Nuestras Raices Practicum Course Off to Great Start!
One of the new Service-Learning offerings at UMass this Fall is a Stockbridge School practicum - Nuestras Raices: Community Gardening and Food Security (STOCKSCH 297NR-01). The course was created by UMass CESL VISTA member Molly Totman, along with Professor John Gerber and Carol Soules, Associate Director of UMass CESL.
Last academic year, Molly's work was focused on building partnership capacity between UMass and Nuestras with the goal of creating pathways for more student engagement at Nuestras. As she and Carol were considering how best to connect a SL course with the goals and needs of Nuestras the idea of this somewhat unusual course came to mind. They explored the idea with John Gerber, who agreed to sponsor it through Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the course was born.
What makes this practicum course unusual, you ask? Several things: (1) the idea for the course originated in the community, with the community partner and a VISTA volunteer. (2) the seminar sessions meet once, every other week, in the evenings, allowing people from a variety of majors and with different schedules to join in. (3) the seminar sessions consist of speakers with expertise in areas related to the course and class discussions, planned and facilitated by 2 UMass students, Hannah Weinronk and Jared Schy and (4) the service hours at Nuestras are being completed during 4, several hours long, Saturday workdays, to best meet the needs and capacity of the community partner.
Over the summer Jared, Hannah, Molly spent a lot of time planning the syllabus and contacting speakers. Then, the Fall semester was here and the class became a reality. At the seminar session this week three speakers joined together to create an orientation for the class. Maria Cartegena, the Five Colleges Partnership Coordinator for Holyoke & Springfield provided an intro to and history of Holyoke. Carol Soules, Associate Director of CESL shared about Service-Learning pedagogy and approach to service, and Molly Totman came to talk about her work with Nuestras last year and the development of the course.
All reports are that the class is off to a great start! The first workday is this Saturday. We look forward to hearing updates form the class and maybe even having a few pictures to share!
Bus to Holoke After School Sites
Beginning Monday Sept 24 there will be a UMass bus headed to Holyoke 5 community partner sites. The bus will leave Haigis Mall at 2:25 and will run Monday through Thursday until Dec 6.
UMass & Five Colleges students - love technology?
UMass students - interested in education?
UMass students - interested in education? Like the idea of making a difference in the life of local youth? There's space available in Educ 377, Intro to Multicultural Education, which includes tutor /mentor service-learning with awesome community partners. Check it out. Spread the word.
Jonathan Kozol has a new book out, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among th...
Jonathan Kozol has a new book out, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America and his book tour will bring him to the Valley for 2 days in SeptemberJonathan Kozol to be here on book tour! | Office of Community Engagement and Service Learningcesl.umass.eduJonathan Kozol to be here on book tour! News from the Rethinking Schools editors and staff- Jonathan Kozol has a new book out, which we want to draw your attention to: Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (Crown Book...
"Like" Kelly School in Holyoke and they get school supplies...
"Like" Kelly School in Holyoke and they get school supplies...literally...every single "like" counts. Kelly School is a k-8 school and a partner of UMass CESL.
Dr Marcella R Kelly Elem Sch
This school can receive up to $10,000 in Target GiftCards® for any supplies it needs. You can help. Vote now!
Boltwood Project connects UMass students with local community organizations that...
Boltwood Project connects UMass students with local community organizations that work with people with disabilities. Interested? Recruitment nights are: Sept 10, 11, 12 68 in Campus Ctr...arrive early! More info here http://cesl.umass.edu/node/105How to enroll in The Boltwood Project | Office of Community Engagement and Service Learningcesl.umass.eduHow to enroll in The Boltwood Project Boltwood Project Info & Interview sessions are September 10,11 &12, 6-8 PM in the Campus Center Auditorium. This is the ONLY way to be enrolled in the Boltwood course. So, arrive early and come prepared to let the stu...
Great things going on with the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor!
Great things going on with the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor!New England's Sustainable Knowledge Corridorwww.sustainableknowledgecorridor.orgGet the facts and figures as we measure our progress on achieving regional sustainability goals. The CRCOG and PVPC team, in consultation with the Knowledge Corridor Consortium, have developed an interactive set of data indicators that will help you see how we're doing on a variety of measures of s...
The 2012 elections are fast approaching and the student vote is very important....
The 2012 elections are fast approaching and the student vote is very important. CEEP is a unique nonpartisan effort to help America's colleges and universities get as many of their students as possible to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves, and turn out at the polls.Campus Election Engagement Projectwww.campuselect.orgCEEP, a non-partisan project, that helps colleges & universities get their students to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves, & turn out at the polls.
Met with Mass. Campus Compact (MACC) today about the 2012-2013 AmeriCorps Stude...
Met with Mass. Campus Compact (MACC) today about the 2012-2013 AmeriCorps Student Leaders in Service education awards. UMass CESL will be providing these education awards to 10 UMass Service-Learning student leaders this year. Awesome!!
ATTN UMASS SENIORS - 2 full-year, community-based capstones, have openings! Chec...
ATTN UMASS SENIORS - 2 full-year, community-based capstones, have openings! Check Spire for details. Dialogue, Discourse, Identity and Community. COMM 499 CI 8 credits (4/semester), and Information Technology Capstone Honors 499C-03 2 semesters, 6 credits (3/semester),
Interested in a student-led Practicum course focused on community farming? Chec...
Mark your calendar for NSO Service Projects - Sept 3, Labor Day..Stuff the Bus.....
Mark your calendar for NSO Service Projects - Sept 3, Labor Day..Stuff the Bus..Permaculutre plus more....UMass Amherst: New Students Orientation - Fall Orientation Service Projectwww.umass.edu
14 more "likes" and we'll be at 200!
14 more "likes" and we'll be at 200! Help us spread the word about all the sweet things going on here!
Here's a new way to support Holyoke from wherever you are!
Great story about a mobile grocery store. This community project was recently la...
Super meeting today with Amherst Schools and UMass folks...a beginning conversat...
Super meeting today with Amherst Schools and UMass folks...a beginning conversation about the potential for dialogue work.
Great example of the dreams of a teenager becoming reality AND...proof, that yo...
Great example of the dreams of a teenager becoming reality AND...proof, that you don't have to be over 30 to change your world!Mayor of Holyoke tries to balance youthful enthusiam with leadership - The Boston Globewww.bostonglobe.comIt was one of the first instructions 23-year-old Mayor Alex Morse gave to his new secretary. Before arriving at events, he must always know which door to enter. The directive is part practicality — when he attends four, five, six events in one evening, dashing between them for 15-minute stints, he c...
Congrats to UMass permaculture!!
Congrats to UMass permaculture!!Permaculture is a Hit as UMass Amherst Dining Services Takes Grand Prize for Sustainability | Officewww.umass.edu
UMass students - Afterschool GenEd course partnership
UMass students - Are you interested in a GenEd Course that partners with awesome after school programs in Holyoke to do tutoring and mentoring? Educ 377- Multicultural Education - has openings!! Spread the word...
Great video clip of UMass football players with Holyoke Boys and Girls Club
UMass Football Players Help Area Youth
[storyvideo mediaid="3624130"] Several UMass Football players have spent the last six weeks helping out at the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club, mentoring a few dozen young kids, throughout the summer.
UMass "Athletes as Mentors" course is in the news!
UMass "Athletes as Mentors" course is in the news!
UMass CESL is joining UMass Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL) in the Backpack Project
Student Affairs and Campus Life Project Backpack
Happy summer colleagues! As the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL) works to build a co-curricular community service and civic engagement program for our students, it makes sense to appropriately role model this civic engagement. Your Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) has de...
Holyoke's electricity producing dam isn't the only thing that makes it green!
Holyoke's electricity producing dam isn't the only thing that makes it green! http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2012/07/western_massachusetts_strong_in_solar_po.html#incart_river_default
Holyoke second only to Boston in solar-energy capacity in Massachusetts, study says
The state has 64,000 clean-energy workers, a 6 percent increase from the year before, according to the study by Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center.
UMass CESL was awarded 10 AmeriCorps Student Leaders in Service Awards this year...
UMass CESL was awarded 10 AmeriCorps Student Leaders in Service Awards this year! SLIS provides an education award to undergraduates for 300 hours of service. SLIS recipients will be in leadership roles in academic Service-Learning programs across the campus, including: Boltwood Project, Community Journalism, Citizen Scholars Program, Impact! and TEAMS.
Awesome video made by the Western Mass MACC VISTAS
MACC VISTA Impact VIdeo Western Mass
Impact of MACC VISTAs in the western Mass region
UMass CESL will be participating in the collection of school supplies for low in...
UMass CESL will be participating in the collection of school supplies for low income youth served by our community partners. There's a box at the office where you can drop items off. If you would like to know what is needed, besides the obvious, give us a call or shoot us an email.
Hello CESL alumni! (and alums of other civic engagement service-learning offices...
Hello CESL alumni! (and alums of other civic engagement service-learning offices and programs at UMass Amherst), please join our new LinkedIn Alumni Page!http://www.linkedin.com/groups/UMass-Amherst-Civic-Engagement-ServiceLearning-4475800?home&gid=4475800&trk=anet_ug_hmUMass Amherst Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Alumni | LinkedInwww.linkedin.comThis group is for anyone who has connected with UMass Amherst Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (CESL) or previous service-learning offices/programs at UMass Amherst....
Just heard..the state (totally unexepectedly) cut Holyoke Adult Ed by 40% effect...
Just heard..the state (totally unexepectedly) cut Holyoke Adult Ed by 40% effective July 1 (next week). Stay tuned!