Community Projects

Picture of the Ford Community Corps Logo.
Picture of the Ford Community Corps Logo.


Ford Community Corps Program Highlights

CTAR 300 and Erikson Elementary School

Photo of kids with puppets.
Photo of kids with puppets.
Photo of kids with puppets.

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.

  • 2020

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    Jessica 'Decky' Alexander, CTAR 504 & ReGen Theatre with Ypsilanti Senior Center

    Megan Sterling, HLED 345 with Big Brothers, Big Sisters & Eta Sigma Gamma Honorary with Peer Health Exchange

    Jamie Ward, PURL 221 with Chance For Life

    Marisol Garrido-Guitierrez, SPNH 430/530 with Ypsilanti Senior Center

    Krish Narayanan, Women in Computer Science Org with Detroit Community Technology Project

  • 2019 

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    Darlene Leifson, CTAR 300 with Erikson Elementary School

    Imandeep Grewal, EDPS 322 with 826Michigan

    Jamie Ward, PURL 333 with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, PURL 221 with Arts and Scraps

    Keisha Lovence, NURS 608 with Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan and with Alternatives for Girls

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    Imandeep Grewal, EDPS 322 with 826Michigan

    Lolita Cummings Carson, with LifeBuilders

    Matt Cook, GHPR 335 with Habitat for Humanity

Academic-Service Learning Project Highlights

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.

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    Anita Rich, EMU/WCC Prison Theatre Group

    Dyann Logwood, Mentoring Youth in Urban Spaces

    Kathryn Ziegler, Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility

    Ramona Caponegro, Diversifying Estabrook Elementary School's Library

    Rocco Sulfridge, Community Based Board Games for Bright Futures

    Wendy Wang, ESL Open Tutoring Group

  • 2019Expand dropdown

    Anita Rich, Theatre Group Project with the Woodland Correctional Center

    Celeste Hawkins, Making Youth Matter Mentoring Program

    Imandeep Grewal, Ypsilanti Photo-Voice Project with Ypsilanti High School

    Katy Greenwald, Washtenaw County Biodiversity Survey with Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation Department

    Rocco Sulfridge, Board Game Project with EMU Bright Futures

  • 2018Expand dropdown

    Celeste Hawkins, Mentorship Project

    John DeHoog, Ypsilanti Bench Project with Riverside Park

    Leslie Atzmon, Marketing Project with Growing Hope

    Rocco Sulfridge, Board Game Project with EMU Bright Futures


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