I really enjoyed the program. I didn’t some with many expectations given the time restrictions but the
knowledge I obtained and the relationships that were built far exceeded my imagination
and really made this experience. I am thankful to the staff and team for their personality and diversity.
The team was really well chosen. Thank you for this opportunity!!
During Reading Week (February 19-23, 2007), University of Guelph students had the opportunity to volunteer and travel to Mississippi, Moose Factory (Aboriginal site), Nawash (Aboriginal site) and Calgary or volunteer and host a student from another Canadian university here in Guelph.
Each February, during the winter semester Reading Week, PROJECT SERVE CANADA enables students from the University of Guelph to connect with students from other universities and communities. Together, these students serve in collaboratively designed four or five day volunteer placements.
Integrated within these immersion service experiences are a variety of learning opportunities. Education and reflection components are implemented to raise awareness in the students on critical social issues and to encourage the development of a lifelong sense of responsible national citizenship in these young adults.
Guelph (16 University of Guelph Students, 1 professional staff)
The University of Guelph and the University of Calgary partnered to explore issues of HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with the AIDS Committee of Guelph-Wellington. The students were trained in HIV prevention, then developed and facilitated their own workshops at local high schools. There was also an excursion to see the services available to people living with HIV/AIDS in the city of Toronto.
Moose Factory (5 University of Guelph Students, 1 professional staff)
In partnership with the Mennonite Central Committee, students from Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo and University of Guelph students worked with resource people in Timmins, Moosonee and Moose Factory to learn about the history, culture and issues facing northern First Nations communities. The theme of the program was “Learning through Service. Doing through Listening.” Some of the locations where they furthered their learning were attending Tribal Council meetings, in a Teaching Tepee, and in a Friendship Centre.
Nawash/Cape Croker (13 University of Guelph Students, 3 professional staff)
In partnership with Cape Croker First Nation/Chippewas of Nawash, 13 students from the University of Guelph did volunteer placements within the community. Students learned about the variety of economic development challenges and opportunities, and the social service provision in the community including schools, the daycare, senior centre, fisheries, band office and women's shelter.
Mississippi (41 University of Guelph Students, 2 professional staff)
This year’s program in Mississippi followed up on partnership that began in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in September 2005. The University of Guelph has partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi's Office of Community Service Learning to offer this joint initiative for Reading Weeks 2006 and 2007. Together, students from both universities assisted with Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding efforts in the region and explored the theme of the Civil Rights movement in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Some of the students had the opportunity to work with the Department of Oral History to interview locals in an effort to document their post-Katrina stories.
Calgary (11 University of Guelph Students, 2 professional staff)
The University of Guelph and University of Calgary partnered to explore issues of urban poverty and homelessness. The community partner in Calgary was the McMan Youth, Family and Children’s Services which supports the needs of at-risk youth, especially those who are homeless. They operate a shelter, a drop in and various outreach programs. Guelph and University of Calgary students toured facilities, received orientation and training, in preparation for a Tuesday night "walk" into the streets of Calgary to bring food to homeless youth and to talk to them about their needs and which resources they're currently accessing. On Wednesday night, the project focused on a recreation activity with the teenagers who currently live in the McMan shelters, or use their resources.
For more information on these projects please contact Emily Reed