The UNO Service Learning Academy (SLA) is working with UNO faculty, preschool through 12th grade (P-12) teachers, and community partners to creatively adapt service learning projects to remote learning. Service learning projects will be highlighted throughout the remote learning phase.
The annual Senior Prom service learning project is always a highly anticipated celebration. Hosted by students from UNO faculty member Lyn Holley’s GERO 2000: Intro to Gerontology course and Lewis and Clark Middle School students involved in the after-school G.I.V.E. program led by Site Director Tracy White of Civic Nebraska, seniors from AARP and the community eagerly attend each year to participate in fun activities, build relationships, and share a meal together.
This project’s service learning component allows UNO students to receive firsthand experience with social gerontology as they consider important elements of the lifespan such as physical and psychological aging, socialization, family interaction, and perceptions of older persons in contemporary society.
Previously this semester, the UNO and Lewis and Clark Middle School students involved already began making preparations to host the 2020 Senior Prom; however, social distancing restrictions put in place in March effectively canceled this year’s event.
While disappointing, this decision did not prohibit the students and instructors from moving forward. The Senior Prom service learning project successfully made unique modifications to still achieve the project’s ultimate objective—creating empathy and understanding between different generations.
Each UNO student will write two poems or short essays. The first entry will portray the experience of being a teenager in today's society especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, while the second entry will portray the experience of being an elder. The Lewis and Clark Middle School students are encouraged to exercise empathy as well by writing similar pieces.
Through adaptations to the project, they explored both empathy and the power of poetry to connect generations. Overall, the news updates and cancellations that fixated around the Senior Prom project this spring allowed the students a unique opportunity to truly walk in a senior’s shoes during a time of crisis.Project Partners:
- College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS)
- Department of Gerontology, CPACS
- Lewis and Clark Middle School
- Civic Nebraska
- UNO Service Learning Academy
Learn more about the UNO Service Learning Academy
The UNO Service Learning Academy (SLA) works to support UNO faculty members to develop service learning courses in collaboration with community organizations, governmental agencies, and preschool through 12th grade (P-12) teachers.
What is service learning? Service learning is a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful, community-identified service.
Learn more about how the Service Learning Academy is responding during UNO's online and remote learning mode by visiting the UNO SLA Resource website.