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Making Civics Real Workshop 6: Civic Engagement  
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Workshop 6

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
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Student Perspectives: Value of service learning

Andy: As a freshman and sophomore, it’s more community service where you go out to walk dogs or smaller things--like you help out somebody for different events. As you get to your junior and senior year, you’re more connected, presenting projects and ideas to people such as the city council or even the state legislature or the governor’s office. As you get older, they kind of get you out into the community more, dealing with more people, to show you that this is the real world and prepare you more for your adult life.

I believe service learning is a lot more hands-on. I know I learn a lot better hands-on. It gives us an opportunity to go out there and meet with people in the community, lets us know that we can make a difference and that people do care what we think and believe. It gives us an opportunity to get out of the classroom a little bit and get away from the books--you know, traditional learning--and put what we learn in the books to a real-life situation. So we’re going out and seeing the actual value of that in the real world and that adds a lot to it.

Service learning is preparing us for the real world because a job is not going to be just sitting looking at [a book]. You’re going to have to go out and connect it to real-world situations. This allows us to actually see what’s going on in our community, to see who deals with it and how they’re going to fix the problem. It adds a lot [to your learning] because you’re out there actually seeing it, not just hearing.

I think our roles as citizens have become more involved in caring what happens in our community, what is going on, what could happen, the possibility. The role has just become strengthened. You actually care more as you learn about it. [When] you’re younger, you don’t know as much of what’s going on in the community, but as you get older and do service learning, we find out what’s going on.

Jenny: I think it was really good because it shows that anybody can get involved, if they just take the time. If they want to put forth the effort, they can change things. It shows that we actually do have the power to change some things--that not everything is run by people that we elect that we really don’t know anything about. We can meet them, and they’re just like us.

Rachel: Getting to work with the mayor and also one of the council members really brought our government closer to us. For them to really care and interact with us was really exciting. I think this gave me the opportunity to see that government positions are kind of in reach, and that I can make a difference.


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