Ohio University’s Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education is hosting Service Learning Day on Thursday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Service Learning Day is a school-university-community collaboration to promote civic engagement. It involves teacher candidates from Ohio University, 160 Athens High School students and 12 different community partners.
“This initiative aims to engage both university and high school students and contribute to the community in meaningful ways through collective action with fellow members of the community,” said Dr. Michael Kopish, Teacher Education assistant professor.
OHIO teacher candidates worked with community partners to design service-learning projects and will lead small groups of Athens High School students (8-25) in projects to improve the community and advance the mission of the corresponding community organization.
Community partners include:
- Live Healthy Appalachia (students will work with elementary students on physical-activity games at The Plains Elementary)
- Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities (students will facilitate a spring carnival with stations for different activities at Beacon School)
- City of Athens (students will explore connections related to social media, policy, and local government at 8 East Washington Street)
- Southeast Ohio Food Bank (students will pack weekend packs for those in need)
- Arts West (students will paint a mural prepared for Athens Beautification Day at 132 W. State Street)
- Wayne National Forest (students will help clean up the forest)
- Rural Action (students will use devices for geo-tracking and to capture images for Bio Blitz at Big Bailey Run)
- Global Citizenship Education (students will participate in a series of workshops at OHIO’s McCracken Hall)
- Southeast Ohio Youth Mentoring (students will participate in a planning meeting for a community night)
- The Plains Garden Club (students will work to clean up The Plains Community Park and other sites)
- New-To-You Thrift Shoppe (students will assist with the cleaning and organization of new donations)
- Mental Health Education (students will participate in workshops focused on student mental health; this will be held at OHIO’s McCracken Hall)
“Our partnerships with community organizations are based on values of sharing and reciprocity, building collaborative relationships, and sustaining partnerships,” said Kopish. “Through engagement, we strengthen the networks within our community and work together to address issues, advance the mission of community partners, and honor the unique gifts, knowledge, and expertise we all bring to the collaborative efforts.”
This is the Patton College’s fourth Service Learning Day. Since 2015, 20 community partners, 73 OHIO students, and more than 700 high school students have participated.
This event will allow Athens High School students to expand their view of the community; foster a sense of belonging and sense of place; and develop civic knowledge, skills, and competencies, among other benefits. Teacher candidates will benefit as well.
“Patton College students are CALLED to Lead, but not all students are afforded meaningful and desirable opportunities to take action in the community,” said Kopish. “Far too many live in a ‘college bubble’ and know little about the region, the historical and cultural heritage of local communities, or the lived experiences of the students they teach. Community engagement through service learning promotes the civic mission of The Patton College and is an opportunity to develop teacher candidates for roles professionally and as citizens.”