SoTL in 10 minutes
The City of
Jacksonville recently named Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette their new Education
Commissioner and she immediately has started working towards focusing on
children and their educational needs in our community.
Kent-Willette has been working on an important campaign called the “Mayor’s
Mentors”, a group of volunteers that mentor children throughout the Duval
County School district.
The goal is
to provide 750 mentors to sixth grade students in 10 schools identified as United
Way’s Achievers for Life. In targeting these schools they are
focusing on those particular students who have the most need.
recognized that sixth grade is critical time-reading on grade level vital to
future academic success and students that fail to promote on time in 7th
grade have 85% chance of dropping out high school
Mentors” can make a difference!!
student in this group has a mentor:
School absences decrease by 13%
Student GPA’s improve by 12%
time promotion rate for mentored students in these schools is 97%.
How can we
at JU help?
Mentors” are asking for only one hour a week during the school day. Two schools
are within a few miles of JU…Arlington Middle and Ft. Caroline Middle
Schools. Please forward this to your students who you think would benefit
– along with the targeted 6th graders.
In May 2013
service-learning students were surveyed and the answers were indicative that
service-learning can impact the participants as well as the recipients.
90% of students surveyed felt more connected
with members of the community.
100% felt their service-learning course made a
positive impact upon the community.
98% of students felt that the class as a group
made a positive impact upon the non-profit organization.
90% of students felt the service-learning
component had strengthened their academic learning in the course.
90% of students improved in their ability to
interact with others in a professional manner due to the service-learning
43% of students felt that the greatest lesson
learned from service-learning was that small actions make a big difference.
can be used in many classes as well as Service-Learning classes and helps to
give students a chance to think about the process and the outcomes.
JU Spanish professor agreed and elaborated,
“Reflection or Journaling as we know it
in our Service Learning courses is a way of expressing the way we are affected
on the inside by what we see, observe or work with in the outside.
Journaling gives us an opportunity to
understand better what is really happening when we do Service Learning. The
students have the opportunity to reflect and realize that there is always a
learning factor for them when they are providing a service to others.
With the service itself they are
providing a need for those they are serving but with the journaling, this is
when they make a conscientious effort to understand what they are really
learning as an individual by providing a service to others. In many
occasions, through the reflection time by journaling, the receiving becomes
bigger than the giving itself."
some great questions to pose to students after their service-learning event:
*Describe what you have learned about
yourself as a result of your service.
*What have you learned about your
*What values, opinions, beliefs have
*What learning occurred for you in this
experience? How can you apply this learning?
*If you could do the project again,
what would you do differently?
*What have you learned about yourself?
*Talk about any disappointments or
successes of your project. What did you learn from it?
*Complete this sentence: Because of my
service learning, I am....
Service-Learning… BIOL 204C- Botany with Dr. Goldberg
Goldberg has been teaching the Botany course as a Service-Learning component
for years and has been very successful in getting students involved in serving
the community. She has been working with the Arlington Community Garden that is
associated with Tree Hill Nature Center and is managed by the Unitarian
Universalist Church of Jacksonville.
students are growing heirloom varieties of lettuce, broccoli, tomato, and
peppers from seed. Later, the produce will be harvested by members of the Seed
and Feed Program and distributed to local food pantries. This year, over 500
pounds of produce have been harvested, including what was contributed through
the botany service-learning classes.
students are developing educational kits on bees and soil health. These kits
will be used to educate young visitors of the community garden.
learn how to grow plants, how to work together to keep their plants healthy and
growing, the importance of heirloom vs. genetically-modified varieties,
difficulties of economically-challenged parents to provide fresh and nutritious
foods to their children.
info about the garden:
Course Approval- Fall 2014
January/February 2014 Service-Learning is hosting workshops for faculty who
want to create new SL courses for the following Fall 2014 semester. Keep your
eyes open for forthcoming workshop announcements!
which define a service-learning experience are:
component, including your objectives for student learning.
related to the course topic, which meets a community need.
of learning outcomes-academic and other learning outcomes such as citizenship
based on Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning-concrete experiences, reflective
observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. Reflection
is the key element that links the service and the learning together.
and supervised- information including your community partner, location of
service, training involved.
University has a great resource of community partners’ right here in Arlington
that is willing to team up with faculty in their service-learning courses
worked with the Education/Humanities faculty in the past and have had many JU
students volunteer at their organization.
Nature Center- http://www.treehill.org/
has been working with faculty from the Biology/Sciences classes for many years.
Harbor House- http://www.larchejacksonville.org/
organization has worked with Anne Acker and her classes for many years.
for Girls- http://www.pacecenter.org/centers/jacksonville
has had many functions at JU as well as support from JU alumni and faculty.
Arboretum has been helped extensively by JU faculty with database work, phone
apps and updating plants’ listings.