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University, students honored for community service work
A CSU Stanislaus student helps an Osborn Elementary School fourth grader arrange home made play dough into molecule models in July 2009. - photo by Journal file photo
California State University Stanislaus students are making a positive impact on the Turlock community while they work towards a higher education degree. Through the CSU Stanislaus Office of Service learning, over 2,000 students contribute volunteer hours each semester. Students were recognized for this effort and CSU Stanislaus was awarded the national President’s Higher Education Community Service Award for the fourth straight year.
“We are very excited to have received recognition, again, for the work of our faculty, staff and students,” said Julie Fox, director for the Office of Service Learning at CSU Stanislaus.
The award is co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the USA Freedom Corps and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The recognition is presented in cooperation with Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 college and university presidents, and supported by all the major national higher education associations.
CSU Stanislaus was one of only seven California State University campuses to win the award for community service.
Every semester more than 50 classes include a service learning element in their lesson plan. Students volunteer their time for projects that relate to the class subject or their education goals.
One of the programs recognized by the awarding committee was Chemistry in the Classroom. During this program, university students visit Osborn Elementary School to show 4th and 5th graders how to follow a recipe to make their own play dough from common kitchen ingredients. Recent experiments included using household products to demonstrate the difference between acids and bases.
Susan Fisher, assistant principal at Osborn, said in a July interview that the school welcomes student teachers because they are positive role models for the younger students. They also provide educational activities that the students might not have in their regular curriculum.
“I’d like to see more of it,” Fisher said.
Service Learning classes don’t just work with children. This semester, students in Run Jin’s Child Development in Cultural Context class are volunteering their time to help senior citizens at the Salvation Army make a book of life memories. Students will learn how their senior partner’s life experiences shaped the person they are today. Students will write their final paper about the experience and what they learned.
“Those engaged in these projects work both with their minds and with their hearts. We are very proud of them,” said Fox.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.