april outreach in brevard county

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service learnign project

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Outreach in Brevard County:

Outreach in Brevard County April Anderson Kirstyn Little [email protected] [email protected] September 2012 EEX 4070

Introduction to Outreach:

Introduction to Outreach This organization focuses on reaching out to the exceptional community. We worked with students with disabilities and with low socioeconomic students in Brevard County. It’s located in Crest View Villas in Cocoa. It started in 2010 when we created an after school program for students in order to give them an opportunity to stay successful even after school hours. The programs that were offered are cooking classes, tutoring all subjects, helping with homework, home economics, etc. We had to find a lot of sponsors to help pay for the building, the food and the supplies. The Cocoa police department and many kind volunteers helped make this program possible. Most weeks consisted of around 20-30 students varying in their ethnicity and their disabilities. The disabilities ranged from learning to physical. There were about 8 volunteers who were involved in this program. (Permission for pictures was not granted)

Engagement Activities:

Engagement Activities The community need was to help students with all backgrounds to give them something positive to do after school. It was identified by having resources to offer students help after school hours. Once a week we would cook dinner with the students, tutor them with their homework and teach them home economics. We fulfilled our 15 hours of service by going once every week for a couple of hours.

How we made it happen:

How we made it happen We noticed a weak area in our community and we decided this would be a perfect opportunity to help out. We met with the Cocoa Police department and the families of the Crest View Villas and after a couple of meetings and a lot of planning we were able to create this program. We had volunteers from our church and friends from school who were interested in helping. It’s grown so much that Outreach is still ongoing.

Participant Demographics:

Participant Demographics We had a variety of ethnicities amongst our volunteers: A sians, C aucasians, A frican Americans, and Hispanics. They were ranging from 19 years old to 55 years old. We had a variety of ethnicities amongst our students: Asians, Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics. They were ranging from 2 years old to 18 years old. These individuals struggled with emotional disturbance, autism, hearing impairments, and specific learning disabilities. http://nichcy.org/disability/categories#asd (Permission was not granted for pictures) On average there were about 15 students with disabilities

Service in Action:

Service in Action Permission was not granted from parents or guardians to take photos 

Perceptions of Differences:

Perceptions of Differences When we started this program it was challenging trying to find ways that worked for everyone whom we were involving. We were a little nervous because we still weren’t very comfortable working with students with disabilities. Our thoughts now are that we are more confident working with students with disabilities but still a little nervous and unsure about what to do in particular situations. It’s most rewarding to see the excitement from the students because they are actually involved in cooking dinner. They love the help from volunteers with homework. It allows them to feel like they belong to a structured family.

Connections to Your Course:

Connections to Your Course We are completing our teachers in action project for the class EEX 4070. Teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students: pg 92, We learned that diversity is more than just skin color. Teaching exceptional students helped us expand our idea of diversity. Teaching students with emotional and behavioral disorders: pg 200, We learned management skills through trial and error. We were always able to act on our toes based on the certain situations that arose. Promoting social acceptance and managing student behavior: pg 120, The whole point of this program is to offer students a place to feel accepted while they are practicing important life skills. Students were able to work together as a community in order to have something positive to do after school We better understand how to work with students who have disabilities. We know how to react in certain situations and how to help the students them when it’s needed. These experiences will inform our future professional work by gaining experience and by learning from this program we will have a better understanding of how to help students with disabilities in our own classroom.

Civic Engagement:

Civic Engagement Civic engagement is about volunteering your time to better the lives of people in our community. It offers them an alternative positive place to go after school rather than being on the streets with negative influences. The purpose is to help those in need no matter what that need may be. It’s important to have volunteerism and to serve each other. Not only are the students learning but the volunteers learn as well. Students are learning life lessons and the volunteers are learning the importance of serving. This experience has definitely motivated us for our future. We are still active in this program even after it started in 2010. We have big plans for the future. We would encourage teacher sand students to embrace service-learning in the future. It’s a great learning experience on both ends.

Final Thoughts:

Final Thoughts We had a great experience being involved in the program this semester. We reached out to more students than ever and it feels good to watch them grow as individuals. For the future we have festivals, concerts, and activities planned for our students to have fun in a positive way with a positive community! 

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