civic engagement project essay
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Jeanie TranApril 11, 2014UF300Civic Engagement ProjectRecently, I had an opportunity of a life time. I found myself surrounded by the wisdom of warriors. For a Service Learning Project, I was assigned to work with Veterans that had decided to go back to school. I was able to teach them two reading strategies: The first one is known as, Know, Wonder, Learn (KWL) and the second one was Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review (SQ3R). Teaching the Veterans was a unique experience and it was something I had no previous exposure to. Within this process I learned to connected directly to the topic of ethics and the five core values. I was able to relate the experience to the novel, Half the Sky which talked about a hard issue that invites much civic engagement. The overall experience for the Veterans centered around the discussion of changes that may occur in their near future. The overall experience led me to believe, it is never too late return to school. Therefore, I was glad that I had the opportunity of a lifetime to work with these warrior-gentlemen. Describe the setting, mood and who is in the roomA Reading Strategies Workshop was set at TRiO Veterans Upward Bound located on Boise State University campus. There were nine to ten veterans and one Education Coordinator named Jo Stensaas. I was in charge of presenting two reading strategies workshops because I was asked to teach to these Veterans because of their collective interest in going to college to further their education. The Veterans were an all male, colloidal forces. The mood of the setting was that of a formal office setting. There was much respect and formality.From the information and/or conversation that took place at the event what evidence of, allusions to, or outright assertions of ethics were present? The Veterans were trained, via their military background, to always to be on time and respect their authority. I was dressed very formal, as well; slacks and blouse. These veterans arrived about 15 minutes before the Reading Strategies Workshop began. When I spoke to them, each individual gave me their undivided attention by engaging in the conversations and taking notes. I made numerous conversations to relate back to their real life experience when I used the reading strategies surrounding the SQ3R. The Veterans have a strict set of ethics they follow and it showed while I was teaching my lesson. Which of your core values were present in either the formal presentation or the conversations or actions before, during or after? Integrity, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and discipline are the five core values. Of the five core values, I believe we all used accountability and diligences the most. The accountability aspect came in play for all of us, when we said, that we are going to be there and show up on time. I was diligent in my consistency and presentation of the material as well as my knowledge base and how well I was prepared for this workshop. Before the workshop, I took the time to gather all of the information by doing some research on the Google- search engine and looking over the material from my Education Literacy 440 class for the two reading strategies: KWL and SQ3R. Each of the reading strategies was presented on a PowerPoint. I was encourage to have print outs of the PowerPoint and worksheets for the Veterans to follow along. After the workshop, I was able to get their inputs and reflections on the presentation itself. How does this event relate to the book Half the Sky? Describe.In the novel Half the Sky, the author wrote "The economy got multiple benefits from this transition. By improving labor productivity of the young women, growth was raised. By employing them in export industries... because they have good jobs and income-earning opportunities (Kristof, 2009)." I relate to this novel because of the transition that these Veterans had to go through. It is hard for these Veterans to transitions from their military life to civilization. In order to delve deeper into this statement, one would have to tolerate a Socratic like discussion of the trauma situations and that is beyond the scope of this paper.What forms of civic engagement did you witness and/or participate in?The Reading Strategies Workshop that I participated in, is considered community service and volunteerism. This workshop was planned and well prepared. I did the workshop on my own time and fulfilled the three hours requirement. What kind of change are people interested in making?The changes the Veterans are interested in making is simple, they wish to further their education. These Veterans were older gentlemen who were in the service between four or more years. Some of them were either active or non-active warriors. For their years of service, each individual was given a tuition assistance from the GI Bill.What did the organizers hope you would leave the event knowing or heading out to do?I asked Jo Stensaas, the Education Coordinator of TRiO on what should I be taking away from this experience. She said, "I should always to be open to teach any individuals a new or old skills". Did you learn anything about people who have differences from you? I learned from this experience that it is never too late to return to school and it does not matter how old you are. If I were in their shoes, I would want to know the strategies younger generations are using to be successful in college. I feel these two reading strategies could potentially help them in their near future to further their education. What question(s) would you ask people involved in this event? The questions I had for them were: "Do you think these reading strategies can be helpful?" Also, "Which reading strategies would you use the most?" And finally, I would ask," Did you know that there are other reading strategies which can be helpful?" Summary and ConclusionThe overall experiences has taught me that I can work with any age group and teach others what I know best. I also feel that it is never too late to return to school. These military men served our country. When they return to civilization it is hard for many a Veteran, because they slept and ate within a rigid militaristic life-style. They are expected to know what is right or wrong within their code of ethics. Their job description is a perfect example of the afore mentioned five core values. When I was given an opportunity to tutor these Veterans, I accepted because I wanted to see I how can help with a transition program such as TRiO for Veterans. This program helps them to prepare for college. The coordinator gave me an opportunity to work with these brave men and set up a workshop for them. This workshop was free for them and was a new learning experience on my behalf.
ReferencesKristof, N. D., & WuDunn, S. (2009).Half the sky: turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.