October 3, 2007
A NEW MANAGER AND A GENEROUS GRANT
BOOST CLARK COLLEGE’S SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAM
A successful grant application by new Service Learning and Volunteer Program Manager Jody Shulnak will support mentoring and tutoring activities for elementary school students
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Clark College Service Learning program has received a $10,000 grant as part of the “Count Me In: Learning and Serving for School Success” program in Washington and Idaho.
A total of 11 grants were issued to institutions in Washington and Idaho by the Washington Campus Compact (WACC), as part of its Learn and Serve America Higher Education grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS).
The grant to Clark College focuses on the “Promising Practices” program. The goal of that program is to improve the school success of 2,310 disadvantaged pre-school through high school youth by growing and replicating existing tutoring, mentoring and service-learning projects.
The Partnership for Service in Schools Project is the catalyst for formalizing service learning at Clark College and developing a model to support education and literacy in schools. Clark College’s Service-Learning Program will expand the college’s partnerships with K-12 schools and community-based organizations throughout Clark County to improve academic achievement rates of disadvantaged youth, ensuring that more college students have opportunities to serve as part of their academic studies through high-quality service-learning. An anticipated 115 elementary and college students are expected to benefit from the new Partnership for Service in Schools Project during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Key activities for the Partnership for Service in Schools Project include the Math Club, which builds students’ knowledge and confidence in mathematics; the Homework Club, offering students a quiet place to do their homework during lunch recess; the Lunch Buddy Program which will pair Clark College employees with elementary students for lunch and conversation; and Read Across America, which will provide a co-curricular service-learning opportunity for college students and faculty to read books and promote literacy among school-age children.
About Jody Shulnak
Jody Shulnak, the college’s new Service Learning and Volunteer Program manager, has a background in experiential education and has worked extensively as an outdoor adventure guide, specializing in environmental education and conservation. Shulnak says she “cultivated her passion for service-learning” while serving both as an AmeriCorps conservation program leader in southern Arizona and as a program leader for a cross-cultural service-learning organization in the British Virgin Islands, each encompassing a variety of diverse projects with local masons, carpenters, farmers, and environmentalists.
Shulnak, who resides in Portland, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Northern Arizona University, graduating magna cum laude. At Northern Arizona University, she later served as the Student Services Coordinator for the undergraduate Forestry program. As part of her undergraduate education, she completed an academic internship organizing community recreation programs and teaching pre-school in rural South Africa. Additionally, she continued to pursue her enthusiasm for international service by organizing a two-year community service venture around the world, spanning 30 countries over six continents. Her expansive volunteer work includes tsunami relief efforts in south India, outreach for orphans in Bolivia and teaching English as a second language in the Himalayas.
Shulnak says she is “eager to apply her experience in community engagement, experiential education, international service and teaching to further develop the service-learning program at Clark College.” She added, “This is a very exciting opportunity for the Service Learning Program. I am confident that the Partnership for Service in Schools Project will help instill a sense of civic responsibility among college students while making a positive impact on the lives of local elementary school students, everyone wins.”
About the Washington Campus Compact (WACC)
“The funded colleges and universities will be able to make a tremendous impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth,” said WACC Executive Director Jennifer Dorr. “Improving school success and engaging policymakers about critical issues is at the core of what Washington Campus Compact has done for the past 15 years.”
Learn and Serve America, a program of the CNCS, provides support to schools, higher education institutions and community-based organizations that engage students, their teachers and others in service-learning. The CNCS is the nation’s largest grant-maker supporting service and volunteering.
Established in 1992 and hosted at Western Washington University (WWU), Washington Campus Compact and its membership of 36 two- and four-year colleges and universities are committed to providing meaningful experiences for students to become active, engaged leaders in their communities, furthering the civic and public purposes of higher education and strengthening communities. WACC is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, a national organization comprised of more than 1,000 higher education institutions committed to the civic and public purposes of higher education.
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