This map offers a glimpse of the places JMU students have served since 1996. To view details about a particular trip, click on the marker corresponding to the site. The yellow markers indicate Alternative Spring Break 2012 destinations.
Service is an important component of James Madison University's mission as a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.
Since its founding in 1986, Community Service-Learning at JMU has established and nurtured partnerships joining JMU students, faculty, staff and communities. Each partnership is grounded in a philosophy of mutual contributions meeting the mutual needs of all involved – critical assistance for human service, environmental and education agencies and opportunities for personal growth, awareness and lifelong learning.
That foundation is clearly apparent in CS-L's popular Alternative Break Program, which connects JMU teams with communities throughout the country by making service-learning opportunities available during the Thanksgiving, spring and May breaks.
Check www.jmu.edu/apb/index.html for more information about the alternative break program.
Early Saturday morning on James Madison University's Quad students gathered to register for The Big Event, a student-organized day of service intended to show appreciation and make a positive impact on the community. Wearing bright yellow T-shirts, committee members handed out volunteer assignments, box lunches and encouraging words for the 850 students heading out to serve the community.
"We're so lucky to be here and it's just an amazing way to get everybody rallied together," said freshman Emily Thyroff. "It's getting out there and showing how much we appreciate being in Harrisonburg."
When Kate Trammell says, "Dance is for everybody," she means everybody. Age, physical abilities, mental capabilities and any factors that make people different are not allowed to strip away the innate means of human expression in the dance professor's book.
For the past 10 years Trammell has shared her passion for the power of dance and creative movement with the community and JMU students, some majoring in dance, but others in disciplines such as occupational therapy, kinesiology, psychology and education. Through participation in Dance 325: Dance in Community about 15 students each spring semester learn to use dance as a two-way portal to help people express themselves and to deepen their own educations by learning from people different from themselves.
For a select group of James Madison University freshmen, the road to a career in the health professions begins in Shenandoah Hall, where residents become research partners, competition gives way to collaboration and the community serves as a classroom.
Each year, the Huber Residential Learning Community, which honors the late Dr. Vida Huber, who established JMU’s Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services, brings together 20 first-year pre-professional health students from various majors in a living-learning environment that promotes professionalism, community awareness, personal reflection, communication and teamwork.
Students involved in James Madison University’s Student in Free Enterprise are using their business degrees to impact the community around them. With help from Lowe’s, 14 active members have been working to revamp Harrisonburg’s Mercy House. Applying theories learned in their entrepreneurial and management classes, the students are learning that stepping outside of the classroom can change the way they look at the world.
In February 2012, the JMU SIFE team applied for a $2,000 grant from Lowe’s to implement their community project. After being awarded the grant, SIFE worked with the local Lowe’s store to gather the materials they needed to begin work at the Mercy House.
A Harrisonburg restaurant owner envisions long-term benefits from an herb and vegetable garden being designed and maintained by two integrated science and technology students.
"I think it's just an absolute win-win situation," said Katrina Didot, owner of A Bowl of Good.
Sam Frere and Dan Warren, both juniors, also see long-term benefits for their project, not just for the restaurant, but for others in the area who want to learn about sustainable gardening and business practices.
April 14, 2010
I've participated in two previous Alternative Spring Break trips – one as a participant my freshman year (the Gesundheit! Institute in Hillsboro, W.Va. in spring 2007) and one as a trip leader my junior year (Cayo Costa State Park, Fla., in spring 2009.) The first trip was a great introduction to alternative health care and communal living. I learned a lot about Patch Adams and his concept of "humanitarian clowning." After the trip, my group formed a JMU Health Care Clowning Club on campus. It was very rewarding to be a leader in the more independent volunteering experience in Florida. Our group had to be self-motivated in finding ways we could help around the island and balancing work with play on a beautiful beach in the Florida Keys.
— Anne Dreyfuss ('10)