Advocates for Children

Service-Learning Focus Group
Freshmen Colloquium, Spring, 2000

Once again, the Advocates for Children Program will be offering a choice of service-learning activities in which you may participate. This semester, Service-Learning will be one of three Focus Groups that you may select from. As in past semesters, you will fulfill 20 hours of service-learning by participating in this Focus Group. In addition, the service-learning focus group will meet for reflection sessions throughout the semester to discuss issues and concerns, and you will write a three page reflection paper due May 8, 2000. Our aim is to accomodate your interests and schedules by offering as many service-learning sites as possible. This semester, the following four service-learning opportunities will be offered. Once you have selected an activity, you are committed to staying with that program for the duration of the Fall semester.

1. Lakeland Stars Tutoring/Mentoring Program
When: Tuesday or Thursday afternoons from 3:13-5:30. (Thursday is definite. Tuesday will be added if enough students from different programs volunteer for this option.) First Orientations: Tuesday, February 15, or Thursday February 17.
Where: TBA
Who: Advocates and Paint Branch Elementary School's Lakeland Stars
What: 1 hour of tutoring, 1 hour of recreation
Contact Person: Elizabeth Brenden 301-314-5909, e-mail: elizb@wam.umd.edu
Description: Research shows that moderate to high-risk students who participate in college outreach programs increase their odds of enrolling in a four-year college nearly two-fold. The new and improved Lakeland Stars program will pair 20 Advocates with 20 second through sixth graders for a mentoring/tutoring program, with 5 Advocates working as student coordinators and activity planners. Advocates and Lakeland Stars pairs will spend the first hour on homework, and the second on fun and recreational activities.

2. St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home
When: as scheduled with Francina Turner
Where: St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home (transportation required)
Who: Advocates and St. Ann's Residents
What: at least 2 hours per week devoted to the care and attention of the St. Ann's Kids
(After last semester, I probably do not need to remind people of the difficulties and rewards associated with this option. My suggestion is that you do not choose this option unless you have a car, or know for sure that you can ride with a friend whose schedule is compatible with your own.)
Contact Person: Elizabeth Brenden 301-314-5909, e-mail: elizb@wam.umd.edu
Description: St. Ann's is a residential program for pregnant and new teen moms. There are day-care, preschool, and developmental services for children and counseling, parenting, certification, job skills, and GED classes for the parents. Students may work with infants and children in classrooms, nurseries, or living areas. There is also the possibility to tutor parents for their GED exams, 5-9 pm in the libraries or group lounges.

3. The Caring Project
When: Friday afternoons from 2:30-5:00
Where: Hope Lutheran Church and Student Center
Who: Student Volunteers and at-risk kids from the Langley Park area
What: Tutoring and fun activities
Contact Person: Rev. Beth Platz, 301-405-8448
Description: The Caring Project works with children in the nearby Langley Park community. Volunteers are needed for the Friday tutoring/mentoring sessions. These weekly visits are designed to increase children's self-esteem and encourage them to continue their education. There are many opportunities for bilingual Spanish-English volunteers to use their language skills. There are many children from this neighborhood who need support!

4. The Children's Developmental Clinic
When: Saturday Mornings from 8:30-12:30. Clinic Starts: Saturday, January 29th.
Where: Health and Human Performance Building
Who: CDC Clinicians and area children in need of developmental support
What: Clinicians are trained to work with children toward developing motor, speech, academic, social or other skills.
Contact Person: Dr. Paul Hahn, 301-405-2442, 301-322-0519
Description: This is a well seasoned, excellent opportunity for students to work one-on-one with children ages infant to 12 years old. Clinicians receive pre-clinic training. Pairs practice developmental skills including motor, academic, and creative skills. The clinic approach to working with children is in the area of motor development in a one-to-one individualized "fun with a friend" program.

Choosing Service-Learning as your Focus Group will mean spending at least 20 hours at any one of these locations, where you will be working directly with children in an educational or care-giving capacity. In addition, we will meet throughout the semester during colloquium time to reflect on and discuss the experiences you are having at your location. I appreciated all the work you did last semester, and particularly welcomed the ideas you shared about how to make these programs better. I hope you will continue to feel free to share any comments and criticisms about our service-learning activities with me as the semester progresses. You often are aware of things that I miss, so I really value your perspectives and opinions.

Questions or comments always welcome! Contact: Elizabeth Brenden.

First-year Syllabus

1125 Cumberland Hall University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-9331

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