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2013.07.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

UNO Hosts Service Learning Seminar for Educators

Omaha - As Nebraska's higher education leader in community engagement, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is providing guidance for over 50 area educators looking implement service learning in the classroom through our 2013 Service Learning Seminar, which begins next week.

From Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19, educators from K-12 schools, after school programs and colleges in the Omaha metro area will be at UNO to get hands-on training on how to build a service learning curriculum from UNO’s Service Learning Academy (SLA).

Service learning is the infusion of engagement through service to the community with specific educational goals and curriculums.

UNO is the only institution in the state to a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll seven years in a row and counting, as well as the only Nebraska institution to have been a “finalist” for the Higher Education Community Service President’s Award (2010).

“Service learning is a great way for students and educators of all ages to not only give back to their communities, but to see the real-world implications of issues that they may have discussed but not dealt with personally,” says Paul Sather, director of the UNO SLA.

As part of next week’s seminar, educators will learn from SLA staff and P-16 instructors who have worked on service learning projects, including the award-winning “Food for Thought” program, a P-16 Initiative project that pairs students from Blackburn Alternative High School with the Adams Park Community Center and UNO’s Department of Gerontology.

As part of UNO’s Service Learning Academy, the P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between three key groups:

- UNO students and their teachers
- Pre school-through-high school students and their teachers
- Community organizations and their members

Educators will meet representatives from nearly 30 nonprofits and community organizations on Tuesday, July 16, during a nonprofit fair running from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

In addition to meeting local nonprofits, the participating educators will also visit the organizations and engage in service as a way to explore curricular connections. Participants will help weed and harvest at City Sprouts; mulch and create lesson plans for Heron Haven; and help sort toys and make pantry boxes for the Open Door Mission.

“These experiences help teachers to plan student service learning projects by going through the process themselves,” says Sather. “It just opens up so many options for teachers when trying to communicate the importance of service to their students.”

Educators will also hear from service learning project participants who will share their experience and the lessons they have learned by combining classroom lessons with community service. By the end of the seminar, each of the participating educators will have a proposed service learning project that can be implemented within their classroom or organization within the next 18 months.

Media are encouraged to attend any and all of the day’s events and learn more about the service learning process.

For questions or requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at unonews@unomaha.edu.


Olympian Billy Mills speaks with students from Omaha South High School
as part of a P-16 Service Learning Project in November 2012.

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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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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu