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Alternative Spring Break at USM

University of Southern Maine

Promising Approaches

  • (4) Encourage and support activities and student and community organizations that provide opportunities for students to be engaged in their campuses and communities.
  • (7) Encourage and support interactions across cultural differences.

Overview

Opportunity for students to travel to Florida during Spring Break and work with Habitat for Humanity affiliate in construction of housing for low-income families. Daily work at the construction site is enriched with reflection and discussion on the meaning of the work. The entire experience is substance-free, and students work during the months prior to prepare for the experience and to raise funds for their transportation to and from Florida.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and understand personal values and beliefs
  • Learn to act ethically, reason morally, show integrity and respect
  • Show compassion and empathy towards others while listening to differing beliefs and values with an open mind
  • Identity community societal issues and create possible solutions
  • Develop a sense of civic duty, leadership and responsibility leading to service in the community
  • Understand political processes and power issues that may lead to oppression
  • Identify and develop life goals, personal interests, abilities
  • Identify opportunities obtained from experiential education for transition from school to work
  • Learn to maintain physical and psychological well-being
  • Practice sound principles of self care, identifying high risk behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse, and learn to use healthy alternatives

Special Features

Civic Learning Goals

  • Civic Knowledge:.characteristics of effective, participating citizens; identity and description of the community served; identity, definition, description of local problems and their connection to state and national issues; ways an individual can help solve societal problems; community affairs, political issues, processes by which citizens effect change
  • Civic Skills:.process information for objectivity; apply information to efforts to solve social problems; assess context for personal action; work cooperatively and develop teambuilding; examine structural causes of social problems and seek solutions
  • Civic Attitudes/Dispositions:.understand diverse perspectives; respect what we have in common as Americans and as people; sense of personal efficacy; social trust; concern for the greater good; concerned for the rights and welfare of others; social responsibility

Contact Information

Tina Aldrich at USM

www.usm.maine.edu

www.habitat.org/ccyp/col_chall/default.aspx

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy