Grant to Support Student Civic Engagement
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
An $11,320 grant will allow Butler University to expand student activities with and benefitting campus neighbors.
Indiana Campus Compact awarded a one-year Service Engagement Corps (S-E Corps) AmeriCorps grant to Butler in June, as part of a new program to engage 150 Indiana college students in community service.
With the grant, Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community (CCC) will expand its pool of ACEs, or Advocates for Community Engagement. ACEs are Butler’s student liaisons with community service programs; they coordinate and track the work of other students, easing the oversight burden for the community partners.
For example, ACEs have worked with fellow Bulldogs at the Martin Luther King Community Center on West 40th Street for several years. They’ve offered after-school tutoring and helped develop a “grandparents’ rights” document for the center’s Second Time Around Kinship program. The grant proposal outlined possible additional ACE involvement with A Caring Place adult day care, the NAACP and the Immigrant Welcome Center.
The CCC staff trains and supervises ACEs, who are paid through a combination of university and federal work study funds. With S-E Corps funding, CCC Director Braid hopes to provide additional incentive for each ACE to commit to a 300-hours-per-year work goal.
Braid said the service-learning outreach programs that the CCC designs and oversees offer Butler students much more than just a chance to help others. Through them, students can fulfill the service-learning requirements of specific courses and apply what they are learning.
Equally important, Braid said, the programs “let students learn about and participate in the process of citizenship at a neighborhood level.
“From Butler’s perspective, civic engagement is both a philosophy of education and a way of thinking and acting in the world,” he said. “When our students are civically engaged, they recognize how their decisions and actions, both now and after graduation, affect others. They come to see themselves as citizens and choose to participate in the cooperative process at the heart of a democratic community.”
The University's new Indianapolis Community Requirement offers “an ideal context” for the S-E Corps program, Braid said. Starting in fall 2010 semester, all Butler students will be required to engage in service to the Indianapolis community, either as part of a course or through other programs.
The requirement grows out of the University’s strategic plan goal of pursuing creative off-campus collaborations that engage students in learning experiences with local impact and national reach.
Read more about the Center for Citizenship and Community.
Contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
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