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2012.11.01 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO, Blackburn Reteam to Provide Thanksgiving Meal for Senior Citizens

Omaha - Blackburn Alternative Program Culinary Arts students and University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Gerontology students will once again serve North Omaha seniors a celebratory Thanksgiving meal. The meal will be served at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7 in the Blackburn Library, 2606 Hamilton St.

As part of the UNO Service Learning Academy’s P-16 Initiative, the Food for Thought program has enabled UNO and Blackburn students to meet the needs of Near North Omaha seniors for the past three years by serving food and forming valuable relationships. To date, the students have provided over 1,300 hours of service and have served approximately 1,350 meals to seniors.

The project is also educational. Over the past three years, Blackburn students have had opportunity to apply their classroom learning to a real life situation as they practice culinary and food handling skills.

Collaboratively, seniors and students have explored models of successful aging, as well as positive and informative relationships. All students engage in intergenerational dialogue with the seniors and gather oral history of the seniors’ life experiences to understand resiliency, while gaining valuable "real life" experience in program evaluation skills and cultural competency.

The Service Learning Academy P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between the university and K-12 schools with the purpose of connecting UNO and P-16 curriculum to community needs through the development of academic service learning experiences.

The Service Learning Academy at UNO works in partnership with Building Bright Futures in an effort to improve academic performance; raise graduation rates; increase civic and community responsibility; and ensure all students are prepared for post-secondary education.

For more information, please contact Julie Dierberger, UNO Service Learning Academy, 402.554.3268 or jdierberger@unomaha.edu; Cathy Nelson, Blackburn Alternative Program, 402.344.3385 or cathy.nelson@ops.org; Prof. Lyn Holley, UNO Department of Gerontology, 402.554.4814 or lmholley@unomaha.edu; David Patton, Omaha Public Schools, 402.557.2070 or david.patton@ops.org.

Blackburn Culinary Students
Photo courtesy of Blackburn Alternative High School and OPS


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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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