Where dreams take root

Where dreams take root

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UI students interact with, inspire youth in Chicago public schools
Smiles abound on the playground as Ariel Ferguson and the kids hit the slides on a sunny day.Ariel Ferguson was one of several UI students who spent spring break in Chicago, visiting elementary schools as part of a service learning program. Photo by Kirk Murray.

While some University of Iowa students were planting trees in Costa Rica to create a more sustainable future, other students were planting college dreams with elementary students in the Chicago Public School system over spring break.

Hundreds of UI students engaged in different service learning projects over spring break—some of which took them thousands of miles away to other countries—and some which took students across the state border to inner city urban schools.

Kathy Whitmore, professor of teaching and learning in the UI College of Education—along with co-facilitators Brynn Hambly and Nita Schmidt— took a group of 15 students to visit two schools in Chicago as part of an alternative spring break service learning project titled “Service Learning In Chicago Public Schools."

The UI students worked on everything from drama exercises to dancing with second, third, and fourth graders in addition to literacy and art activities. Even more important, says Whitmore, the project inspires youth to thinking of a future that includes pursuing a college degree and what life is like at the UI.

Contacts

Kathy Whitmore, UI College of Education, 319-335-5434

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