Ford Community Corps Program
CTAR 300 and Erikson Elementary School
Photo of kids with puppets.
Dr. Darlene Leifson, in collaboration with Jenny Rogers, an MFA student in our Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young Program at EMU, received a Ford Community Corps grant this semester (fall 2019) to partner one of Dr. Leifson's CTAR 300 (Integrated Arts) course sections with a local elementary school, Erickson Elementary. Our grant allowed Jenny to bring Intertwined--a week-long puppetry project--to an after school program at Erickson. Jenny taught the CTAR 300 students puppet making skills which the students shared with the Erickson students. Erickson students used these skills to build their own puppets and to tell their own stories. EMU students transcribed student stories which were then crafted into a hard-bound book and presented to the Erickson students at the end of the semester. Erickson students built social/emotional skills and EMU students received valuable arts instruction and experience working directly with elementary students.
PURL 333 and Habitat for Humanity
Integrated Campaigns partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley. Students were divided into four groups and tasked with collecting information from one of Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley's target audiences. Audiences were, people who never volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, Established Habitat for Humanity Volunteers and Community Members. Each student group conducted 30 interviews with one of the identified audiences. The fourth student group gathered interviews from all three identified audiences. Students then utilized their research to develop comprehensive campaign plans designed to increase volunteerism and to increase volunteer satisfaction with the organization and the communities that it serves.
PURL 221 and Arts and Scraps
Fundamentals of Social Media students partnered with Arts and Scraps to create social media content for the organization's social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Students created three months worth of content that Arts and Scraps can post to their social media channels to increase awareness, highlight STEM kits and increase engagement. In addition to content creation, students developed comprehensive social media plans to engage various public institutions and to increase engagement with local educational institutions.
Academic-Service Learning Projects
CTAC 359 and EMU Bright Futures
Small Group Communication Theory courses work to incorporate community-based activities as a medium to enhance academic learning while aiding the community at large. Goals for students are to develop crucial academic skills imperative for working within a group dynamic. In so doing, students forge stronger relationships by strengthening interpersonal development, practice theoretical understanding of small group content, while exercising leadership and communication skills. Additionally, students’ experience with AS-L exposes them to the needs of community, learn and reflect on civil responsibility while keeping in mind basic principles of professionalism: reliability, cooperation, flexibility, courtesy and respect. A key to community-based activities is to satisfy the mutually defined needs of both the academic course and the community partner. The partner for this project was EMU Bright Futures 21 st Century Community Learning Center. The defined need for the community was the development and creation of educational tools in the form of board games to assist the learning goals of afterschool programs. An investigation of topics and themes needed for these tools was conducted and student groups selected subjects. To produce the product, students were given the opportunity to asked poignant questions regarding the community, work to research educational tools for the desired population and adhered to specific criteria/guidelines established by course design.