Civic Engagement News

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					                                                                                                                            January 2010

                                                                   Fulfilling the civic promise of higher education.

                                                         Looking Back and Moving ahead
                                                               January (named for the         their work in the community           Service projects brought to
                                                         two-faced god of Pagan               with partner projects and             life Dr. King’s inspiration for
                                                         Rome) looks back – and               organizations. The insights           children (and for the Maine
                                                         ahead! It’s a good time to           and energy generated will             Red Claws – really!) in writing
                                                         look back over the year just         guide and fuel more and bet-          workshops and books pre-
                                                         past with appreciation for           ter civically engaged work            senting their collected works.

                                 Civic Engagement News
                                                         our accomplishments; but             ahead!                                       In Spring 2010, we’ll
                                                         also to look forward to new                 Engagement in the              highlight our most active and
                                                         endeavors. You’ll read about         new Core Curriculum also              promising community part-
                                                         some of each in this issue.          presages well for our mis-            nerships with a Spotlight
                                                               Preliminary data for           sion. First year (“Entry Year         Series featuring opportuni-
                                                         Fall 2009 shows steady               Experience”) and upper level          ties for student engagement
                                                         growth in student participa-         (“Ethical Inquiry, Social Re-         through volunteer commu-
                                                         tion in civic engagement,            sponsibility, Citizenship”)           nity service or service learn-
                                                         with nearly 2,000 of reported        courses will offer every USM          ing. Our deepening partner-
                                                         student community service            student experiential learning         ships represent the best kind
                                                         and over 3,000 hours of aca-         opportunities in the campus           of mutual relationship, pro-
                                                         demic service learning!              or wider community, fulfill-          viding active, engaged learn-
                                                               Fall 2009 saw our first        ing our promise of engaged            ing while addressing genuine
                                                         annual Civic Matters sym-            learning that transforms loves and    community need, making
                                                         posium of student civically          communities.                          possible work that neither of
                                                                                                                                    us could do alone.

                                                         engaged work, with over 70                  In December and Janu-
                                                         students making oral and             ary, two grant-supported              ANDREA THOMPSON McCALL
                                                         poster presentations about           Martin Luther King Day of                                 DIRECTOR

                                                         National Mentoring Month
                                                                   USM’s Husky Men-           Husky Mentors are now                our Spotlight Series in the
                                                         tors program was launched at         serving at Lincoln Middle            Woodbury Campus Center
                                                         the start of the Fall 09 semes-
                                                         ter. It was offered as a service
                                                         learning activity for students
                                                         enrolled in the Teachers for
                                                         Elementary and Middle
                                                         Schools (TEAMS) program.
                                                         Husky Mentors has now
                                                         expanded as an opportunity
                                                         for the entire student body.
                                                         The OCE aims to grow it
                                                         into a sustainable mentoring         School, Hall Elementary, and         dining area. There will also
                                                         program.                             Nathan Clifford Elementary.          be a recognition luncheon.
                                                                   January is National             During the week of              We are giving mentoring
                                                         Mentoring Month, and USM             January 19th through the 22nd,       another "big push" this se-
                                                         will recognize and celebrate         the OCE will feature the             mester we hope to recruit
                                                         our current mentors. There is        Husky Mentors and other              new students and to have a
                                                         a need for guidance and sup-         mentoring opportunities in           great outcome!
                                                         port in Portland’s schools.          Greater Portland as part of          LAUREN McELWAIN
                                                                                                                                   MENTORING COORDINATOR
Page 2                                                                                                          CIVIC ENGAGEMENT NEWS

                            MLK Day of Service at Learning Works
                                    January 18th marks the        rooms at the two sites. Volun-        have a long term partnership.
                            third Monday of 2010 which is         teers were matched with a Learn-      The success of this partnership
                            Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At        ing Works student and as a team       motivated two VISTA staff
                            its inception this national holiday   they completed the writing            members at the OCE to submit
                            was created to celebrate the          workshop. The workshop com-           a proposal to the Maine Com-
                            memory of Dr. King, years later       menced with listening to the Dr.      mission of Community Service’s
                            it’s transformed into a day of        King’s “I Have A Dream”               MLK Day of Service Grant.
                            action and service. USM Stu-          speech, then six words from this      Our project was selected as a
                            dents have embraced this trans-       speech are selected to compose        winner and awarded $450. The
                            formation by participating in         the youth participant’s personal      funds will be used to print a
                            service projects. Last year, stu-     memoir. Also, these volunteers        book of photos of the youth and
                            dents joined youth at the Port-       in particular were posed to in-       their memoirs. The book will be
                            land Housing Authority to re-         spire youth to imagine them-          distributed to the youth partici-
                            flect on the life and legacy of Dr.   selves in college. This is one of     pants at both sites. The Maine
                            King through film, small group        the pivotal moments in the pro-       Commission for Community
                            discussion and the creation of        ject, as youth at these schools are   Service, local media and the fed-
                            murals. This year over 60 Resi-       mostly refugee and low-income         eral government have all taken
                            dent Assistant’s participated in      students who need extra support       deep interest in this project and
                            the implementation of a writing       to aspire to their full potential.    celebrate the accomplishments
                            workshop for youth from Learn-        Having these college students         of our volunteers and the youth.
                            ing Works after school programs       discuss the youths’ personal sto-     This was truly a memorable Mar-
                            at East End and Reiche Elemen-        ries and goals makes this project     tin Luther King Jr. Day of Ser-
                            tary Schools.                         memorable and unique for the          vice for everyone who was in-
                                                                  youth.                                volved.
                            USM Volunteers served in third,
                            fourth and fifth grade class-         Our office and Learning Works         DAVID CIMATO

                            MLK Writing Workshops
                                   In August 2009 our direc-      because the council was con-          munity youth and volunteers
“The result of the          tor, Andrea McCall, secured a         nected, through its members, to       were listening to, and interacting
workshops is a collection
                            grant from the Campus Compact         all partners of the grant: many       with the words of Dr. King. The
                            of North Carolina for activities      lived in Kennedy Park or River-       workshops involved listening to a
of prose written by
                            around Martin Luther King Day.        ton, some were members of             speech, having discussions about
young members of the        Andrea foresaw collaboration          MEIYA, some had participated          key words from the text, and
Portland community,         between the National Associa-         in Telling Room projects before       developing imagery to go along
facilitated through         tion for the Advancement of           and of course, they are all poten-    with the words. The culmination
                            Colored People (NAACP), the           tial future college students. As      was then the production of two
                            Portland Housing Authority,           such the Youth Council repre-         or three memoirs per youth, and
collaborations, inspired    United Way, the Maine Interfaith      sented exactly the type of young      a picture in which they held one
by the words of Martin      Youth Alliance (MEIYA), and           community leaders that this pro-      of their memoirs. The result of
Luther King Jr.”            local the Telling Room. .             ject was designed to empower.         the workshops is a collection of
                                   The partners agreed upon a            With their approval and a      prose written by young members
                            program that would place USM          request that they be included as      of the Portland community, fa-
                            students and other volunteers         facilitators, the Telling Room        cilitated through intergenera-
                            into the Study Centers of the         designed a curriculum for the         tional collaborations, inspired by
                            PHA housing centers of Saga-          workshops. They created a pro-        the words of Martin Luther King
                            more, Kennedy Park and River-         gram around the six word mem-         Jr. On Monday the 18th of Janu-
                            ton, and at the Parkside              oir concept, through which stu-       ary the work was presented as
                            Neighborhood Center, for a se-        dents would explore the rele-         part of the annual NAACP Mar-
                            ries of writing workshops. Before     vance of Martin Luther King Jr.       tin Luther King Breakfast and
                            the project got a final green         The Telling Room trained a mot-       will be published in a short chap-
                            light , we pitched it to the          ley crew of volunteers from           book in February.
                            NAACP Youth Council. This             USM, UNE, NAACP and the               DAVID BROWN
                            step was an important because it      VISTA community to facilitate         COMMUNITY SERVCIE &
                            presented an opportunity to em-       the workshops.                        MULTICULTURAL OUT-
                            power the Youth Council and                  On three occasions com-        REACH COORDINATOR
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2                                                                                                                   Page 3

                    Fall Service Learning Report
                               During the fall semester    former volunteers of the Center                  work practice at the organiza-
                    students enrolled in service           for Grieving Children (CGC)                      tional and community level
“One student        learning courses engaged in            regarding their motivations to             For instance students who served
                    various activities ranging from:       volunteer, experiences, and                at Ina Demers Conversational
expressed her       mentoring in the Gorham                reasons for leaving. The CGC               English Class interacted with
                    Schools; hosting Reiki clinics;        provides loving support to                 refugees from Sudan, Somalia,
gratitude for       tutoring English Language              grieving children, teens, families         Iraq, the Dominican Republic
                    Learners; winterizing homes;           and communities through peer               and Rwanda. These students
engaging with       leading elementary school stu-         support, outreach and education.           entered into dialogues about
                    dents in recreation activities;        Each student wrote a research              cultural differences including
this project        planning, implementing and             paper based on an analysis of the          religion, gender norms and
                    evaluating various fund-raising        interviews. At the end of the              stereotypes of American youth.
because it          activities to help build a play-       semester Dr. Baugher’s students            Non-white USM students dis-
                    ground for Haitian children;           submitted a report to the Center           pelled Demers’ students’ miscon-
                    provided orthopedic care to            on their findings. This research
better              citizens of the Dominic Republic       will improve the quality of the
                                                                                                      ception that American citizens
                                                                                                      are exclusively white and engaged
                    and more! Service learning is a        CGC’s volunteer program.
prepared her        teaching method which com-
                                                                                                      in further discussion about what
                                                                  In Professor Ray Belicose’s         it means to be American. They
                    bines community service with
for her work        academic instruction as it focuses
                                                           course Social Work Methods II:             then explored Demers’ students’
                                                           Organziational and Community               hopes to apply for citizenship
                    on critical, reflective thinking and
with clients        civic responsibility. Over 4,300
                                                           Change the service learning pro-           and shared their own stories
                                                           jects addressed the following              about becoming citizens. Other
                    hundred hours of service learn-        learning objectives:                       students learned about the
from the            ing activity was reported to the                                                  Rwandan genocide for the first
                    OCE completed at 26 organiza-              Identify and evaluate generalist
immigrant                                                                                             time and their understanding
                    tions by 197 students enrolled in          social work change methods which
                                                                                                      about the conflict in Iraq was
                    14 courses.                                help disadvantaged individuals
                                                                                                      deepened. One student ex-
and refugee                One of the highlights
                                                               and groups to achieve increased
                                                                                                      pressed her gratitude for engag-
                                                               empowerment and greater social
                    includes Professor John                                                           ing in this project because it
community”          Baugher’s course Qualitative
                                                               and economic justice;
                                                                                                      better prepared her to work with
                    Methodology in Sociology. Professor         demonstrate an awareness of           clients from the immigrant and
                    Baugher’s students put into                race, class, gender age, disability,   refugee community.
                    practice the sociological method-          sexual orientation, cultural           ALICIA SAMPSON
                    ology learned in this course to            factors and biases, and their          SERVICE LEARNING
                    conduct interviews with 13                 implications for generalist social

                    Fall Community Service Report
                          Imagine on the first day of      ter volunteering and that is the           King Day project. Students per-
                    the semester, students started         picture we are beginning to                formed and reported to us over
                    volunteering…and didn’t stop.          form. Not possible? Well, actu-            2,700 hours of community ser-
                    They did everything; coastal           ally, it is possible because over          vice this past semester which
                    clean-ups, blood drives, mentor-       280 students made it happen this           roughly equals 113 days of com-
                    ing, tutoring, fall clean-ups, art     semester at the University of              munity service. With the first
                    therapy, home weatherization,          Southern Maine.                            day of classes for the 2009 fall
                    serving meals at soup kitchens,                                                   semester commencing on Mon-
                    gift-wrapping, helping at                     USM students started on             day August 31 and the last day
                    neighborhood centers, helping at       the first weekend of school at             falling on December 18th; 110
                    Maine Medical Center and hun-          Rippling Waters Organic Farms              days passed. Not quite enough
                    dreds of other opportunities.          digging out weeds and clearing             time to match the dedication of
                    Now we are not talking about an        fields to plant greens destined            University of Southern Maine
                    eight hour day, but rather 24          for our local food pantries and            students.
                    hours a day, 7 days a week, every      farmers markets, it progressed to
                    day of the month, with no holi-        the countless clean-ups at our             DAVID CIMATO
                    days until the end of the semes-       beaches, parks and brooks and
                    ter. That’s right, imagine they        ended with facilitating writing            VOLUNTEER AND LEADERSHIP
                                                           workshops for a Martin Luther              COORDINATOR
                    spent every minute of the semes-
 Office of Community Engagement
 University of Southern Maine
 23 Brighton Ave
 P.O. Box 9300
 Portland, ME 04104-9300

 Phone: (207) 228-8091
 Fax:: (207) 228-8403

                                              Civic Engagement Close Up

   Service Highlights: from fall semester
Danae Kesel, Aaron Mitchell, Alfine Nathali, Tyler Ruthamel, Kaleb Titherington,
Bijou Umuhoza and Jamison Wiggins facilitated a writing workshop for a Martin Luther
King Project! Jennifer Cragen is a Husky Mentor at one of our local Portland Schools!
Alison Parker has performed over 30 hours of community service at Wayside Soup
Kitchen and completed home weatherization projects! Jessica Barilone, Brittany Carter,
Josh Keogh, Matthew McDermott and Amanda Roy have spent over a hundred hours
cleaning up Capisic Brook and Acadia National Park! Kaysar Hirad has volunteered 22
hours to the College Transition Assistance Program! Amanda Roderick has volunteered at
Parkside Neighborhood Center, Wayside Soup Kitchen and with American Red Cross!
Brandon Guzman has volunteered over 240 hours to the Baha'i Campus Association!
Charlie Nickell, Rebecca McElrath, Monique Lefebvre, Brook Hayne, Ashley
Oliver, Rachel Putnam and Muhammad Dini have all volunteered their time to create
amazing volunteer opportunities! All told, over 280 students reported service this past
semester! You should next!
                                                                                                           q: hey. where’s my service?
                                              a: if you want it on the list next time, send a sentence to