2010.11.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanksgiving Meal for Senior Citizens is Part of Service-Learning Project
Omaha -A service-learning course that brings together K-12 and University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students within their communities is also helping senior citizens.
At 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, Blackburn Alternative Program and UNO gerontology students will serve a Thanksgiving lunch to senior citizens at Blackburn High School, 2606 Hamilton St. UNO gerontology students will continue their oral history program during the luncheon.
The program was developed with culinary arts students and students in a literacy course at Blackburn High School and UNO's gerontology course, Programs and Services for the Elderly.
In partnership with the Adams Park Community Center, the group serves a weekly meal where Blackburn students apply their culinary arts curriculum to a real need – a meal opportunity for seniors at the Adams Park Community Center.
The UNO gerontology students visit with seniors during the lunch hour to gather oral histories that indicate the value of this experience to them, while Blackburn students visit with seniors to share stories about long lives and successful coping strategies.
The P-16 Initiative in the Service-Learning Academy provided training for the K-12 and UNO instructors on how to develop quality service learning curriculum. Many of the partners involved in the project were a part of that training.
“Service learning has the opportunity to connect K-12 and UNO students as they apply the information they are learning in their classrooms to a real community need,” said Julie Dierberger, P-16 coordinator in the Service-Learning Academy at UNO. “We know this has an affect on how engaged students are in their learning, as well as how an instructor teaches the course. With the great leadership from these instructors and school administration, the students have the opportunity each week to come together to make a difference in the community while giving life to their classroom concepts.”
The project is funded by Building Bright Futures through the Service-Learning Academy.
“Each week, we see the relationship strengthening between the senior citizens and our students,” said Cathy Nelson, Blackburn Alternative Program instructor. “They visit and celebrate together. One student recently remarked, ‘I look forward to this every week because it takes me outside of school, problems and worry, and I get to do something for somebody else that makes both of us feel good.’”
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.
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