The John W. Alford Center for Service-Learning At Denison Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
Date of Event: March 19, 2008
Posted: March 12, 2007 / Last Updated: March 14, 2008
Consider these numbers: 18,000. 500. 100. What do they mean? More than 18,000 hours of community service were performed by Denison students last year through the Denison Community Association (DCA). Each year, about 500 DCA volunteers (almost a quarter of Denison’s student body) participate in some form of service. More than 100 curricular service-learning courses have been taught at Denison. And this year, the John W. Alford Center for Service-Learning, which houses the DCA, the America Reads program and the service-learning curricular office at Denison, celebrates its 10th anniversary. The community is invited to join in the festivities at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, at the Alford Center for Service-Learning in Higley Hall (100 Ridge Road).
Established at Denison in 1997, the John W. Alford Center for Service-Learning plays an integral role in the college's educational mission, instilling a sense of social responsibility through student participation in community service. Denison students care about the world around them and want to be involved, and the Alford Center enables reciprocal working relationships between Denison students and the community, and beyond. The integration of service and learning produces a richer, more meaningful educational environment.
Curricular service-learning refers to classes taught around a topic that engages students in real-world activities. One recent example is the course “The Culture of Survival” taught by Karl Sandin, associate professor of art at Denison, who became involved with the homeless community in nearby Newark. He and his class studied urban areas and homelessness, interviewed residents and helped to research and collect data for the East Main Street Visioning Project.
DCA, the largest student-run organization on Denison’s campus, serves 25 different community needs. These students provide a much-needed resource of time and talent for the community by building houses with Habitat for Humanity, tutoring children, growing food for underprivileged families and working with victims of domestic violence.
The third arm of the Alford Center is the America Reads program, which provides a campus employment opportunity for Denison students to interact with children and teachers in area communities. America Reads tutors provide one-on-one attention for elementary students, assisting in reading skills while also serving as role models.
With each hour of volunteer work, Denison students develop more fully into engaged citizens, and the community is enriched from the contact with these committed individuals.
To help ensure that service-learning continues to grow among Denison students, the late John W. Alford, a longtime friend, benefactor, trustee and generous supporter of the college, provided a substantial endowment to support the center and its abundant service-learning offerings.
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CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville — The John W. Alford Center for Service-Learning 10th anniversary celebration at 3 p.m., on Wednesday, March 19, at the Alford Center in Higley Hall (100 Ridge Road). Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-6562 for more information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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