39 Teams Take JMUís Service Commitment on the Road for Spring Break

From: Public Affairs

About 400 people from James Madison University are heading to destinations throughout the United States and seven other countries to spend Spring Break, March 6-13, volunteering as tutors, shelter and maintenance workers, builders, and nutrition and health advisers to help people in need and to clean beaches and forest trails.

The 39 teams, each headed by two student leaders and accompanied by a learning partner, a JMU faculty or staff member who works alongside the students, are adding their own chapters to JMUís well-established Alternative Spring Break program tradition. Part of the universityís Office of Community-Service Learning, the Alternative Break Program offers students opportunities to assist people while learning more about societal issues, such as homelessness, immigration and health problems.

ďAn overwhelming number of the students involved with the leadership this year are heavily invested in understanding the underlying causes that generate the need for their services,Ē said Dusty M. Krikau, assistant director of Community Service-Learning. ďThey are interested in their role as both servers and learners and are working hard to empower those around them to become active citizens within their communities.Ē

Students pay $250 to participate in one of 22 domestic trips and from $439 to $2,200 for one of 17 domestic-flying or international trips. Fundraising projects led by students helped defray some of the costs of the trips.

JMU also sponsors weeklong alternative break trips in May and at Thanksgiving. In 2009, 109 volunteers participated in JMUís fourth consecutive Alternative May Break to continue rebuilding in the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast. A total of 56 people worked in Atlanta, Winter Park, Fla., Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Va., New Orleans and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona during Thanksgiving break.

The longstanding commitment of students, faculty and staff to the Alternative Break Program is a key factor in JMUís recent inclusion on the 2009 Presidentís Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. JMU was chosen for the honor based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

More information about JMUís involvement in alternative breaks and service-learning and commitment to engaged citizenship is available at http://www.jmu.edu/service/.

Alternative Spring Break Trips:


California
Redwoods National Park, to focus on the environment
Crescent City

AIDS Project (new partner), to focus on HIV and AIDS
Los Angeles

LAís Best (new partner) to focus on youth
Los Angeles

Casa Familiar, to focus on immigration
San Diego

Florida
Sea Base, to focus on the environment
Big Munson Island

Practical Academic Cultural Education Center for Girls, to focus on children and youth
Immokalee

East Coast Migrant Head Start (cosponsored with Graduate Psychology and the Ashby Learning Community), to focus on immigration and youth
Orlando

Habitat for Humanity (cosponsored with Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry), to focus on housing
Pensacola

Community Service Center, to focus on children and youth
Winter Park

InterFaith Hospitality Network (cosponsored with the Center for Multicultural Student Services), to focus on hunger and homelessness
Winter Park

Georgia
Cafe 458, to focus on hunger and homelessness
Atlanta

Hands on Atlanta, to focus on community wellness
Atlanta

Indiana
Horizon House (new partner), to focus on hunger and housing
Indianapolis

Louisiana
Project Lazarus, to focus on HIV and AIDS
New Orleans

Mississippi
Hands on Gulf Coast, to focus on hurricane relief
Biloxi

Sunshine Childrenís Center to focus on children and youth
Natchez

Missouri
Operation Breakthrough, to focus on education and youth
Kansas City

Sheffield Place, to focus on youth and homelessness
Kansas City

The Bridge (new partner; cosponsored with the University Health Center and SafeRides), to focus on hunger and homelessness
St. Louis

New Mexico
Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area (cosponsored with University Recreation), to focus on environmental stewardship
Gila National Forest

New York
St. Lukeís Catholic School (cosponsored with Catholic Campus Ministry), to help in the classroom and with the afterschool program
South Bronx

North Carolina
LifeSpan, to focus on disability services
Charlotte

Teach for America (new partner), to focus on education and youth
Charlotte

Oklahoma
Cherokee Nation, to focus on children and youth
Tahlequah

South Carolina
United Methodist Relief Center (new partner; cosponsored with the Wesley Foundation), to do housing repairs
Georgetown

Point Pleasant, (new destination; cosponsored with Catholic Campus Ministry), to focus on housing

York Place, to focus on children and youth
York

Virginia
Lonesome Pine Office on Youth (new partner; cosponsored with Social Work 487), to focus on rural poverty and youth
Big Stone Gap

West Virginia
Appalachian Institute (new partner; cosponsored with the Interfaith Coalition), to focus on rural poverty
New Martinsville

International Trips:


Belize
ProBelize (new partner; cosponsored with Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication 400), to focus on community wellness and education
San Ignacio

Costa Rica
i to i meaningful travel (new partner; cosponsored with Catholic Campus Ministry), to focus on housing
San Ramon

Dominica
Ethnographic Experience in Dominica (cosponsored with Anthropology 395), to focus on community wellness
Paix Bouche

Dominican Republic
Orphanage Outreach, to focus on children and youth
Monte Cristi

Honduras
Organization for Youth Empowerment, to focus on education and youth
El Progreso

Students Helping Honduras (new partner; a national organization with a chapter at JMU), to focus on education and youth empowerment
El Progreso

Jamaica
Center for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill, to focus on health and homelessness
Montego Bay

Jamaica Adventure Secrets (new partner; cosponsored with Catholic Campus Ministry), to focus on children and youth
St. Andrew

Volunteer in Jamaica Opportunity Network, to focus on education and youth
Treasure Beach

Peru
Peru109 (new partner), to focus on community wellness and education
Trujillo

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March 1, 2010