Psychology students were offered a versatile opportunity defined by two distinct approaches in the 2016 service learning project.
Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs. Service-learning involves students in service projects to apply classroom learning for local agencies that exist to effect positive change in the community.
PSY 105: Applying Theories of Child Development to Aid Children
In this project students selected one of two types of service learning projects:
One project was working directly with children. This direct work often included volunteering to serve as tutors or as babysitter for a young child in need. Other direct services included: assisting with coaching a sports team for children, or volunteering with a group like Special Olympics. Students worked directly with children under the age of 12 for a minimum of three hours. However, I have found most students spend much more time than three hours with their children.
The other type of project required the student to identify a problem facing pregnant women, infants, or children under the age of 12, and take some sort of action to make a change. This option required the students to reach out to two or more people in a position of power and ask them to make a targeted improvement. Projects of this type included: Writing to local school boards, aimed at improving the life situation of children and those who care for them.
Impact At A Glance
"For my service learning project I volunteered to babysit [a family in need]. While
I volunteered I decided I wanted to help the child with her language skills and try
different techniques to see how her mind is [developing]. I read her two books one
in English and one and Spanish. This was an awesome time to work with her ... I can
see how at the beginning first stages of child development how language is key and
how in a way easier for [very young children] to pick up languages."
-Ruben Garcia, Student
To Our Students
- Each semester 150 students are spending hundreds of hours directly helping students
- Dozens of students are reaching out to key decision makers to help them to focus on issues relating to children
- Report gaining a better understanding of child development and seeing themselves as being able to make a difference in the lives of children with only a targeted goal and a small amount of effort
To Our School
- Initiate and/or continue positive relationship between the university and local business entities
- Provide student organizations with a volunteer opportunity
- Promote homecoming events to the broader public
To Our Community
- We received notes from the beneficiaries of this time thanking students for easing a burden for them
- Politicians have mentioned talking with and meeting ESU students who are concerned about issues relating to children