Students serve others through Foley Center

Tue, 02/09/2010 (All day)

Feb. 9, 2010

MOBILE, Ala. – Through the Foley Center for Community Service, Spring Hill College students contribute thousands of hours of service to the Mobile community each year.

During the fall 2009 semester, 632 Spring Hill students, 54 percent of the full-time undergraduate student body, served the community each week throughout the fall semester.

The Foley Center also places students receiving a service grant as part of their scholarship as well as about 50 Federal Work-Study students. These students tutor at 10 elementary schools, two middle schools and three high schools. Over the past two years the College has implemented tutoring/mentoring programs for freshmen at Blount and Vigor high schools in order to assist these students to stay in school. The program received a grant from the World Omni Corporation to pay the coordinators for the fall, with a commitment to continued assistance for our high school tutoring efforts.

Spring Hill students also work with children at several community centers, three Boys & Girls Clubs, and Penelope House. They visit the elderly in area nursing homes and teach English as a Second Language. There were 162 immigrants enrolled in SHC’s free English program this fall.

Spring Hill offered seven service-learning classes during the fall semester: Ethics, Introduction to Sociology, American Democracy and Citizenship, Bioethics, Health Psychology, Environmental History, and Math for Elementary Teachers. These classes enrolled 192 students. Service learning is a method that provides students with opportunities outside the classroom to gain skills and values that connect to theories and ideas discussed in the classroom. Activities are generally based on engagement with underserved groups or organizations.

The Environmental History class offered the opportunity to develop partnerships with environmental groups in the Mobile area:  Mobile Baykeepers, Alabama Coastal Foundation, and the National Estuary Program.

In addition, students in Graphic Design created a brochure for the Dumas Wesley Community Center and students in Topography designed logos for several nonprofit enterprises serving the Mobile community.

Students in Communications and Fine Arts are collaborating with 15 Place, a center for the homeless in Mobile, and the Governor’s Office to produce artwork for an upcoming report on homelessness. Plans are in the works to exhibit the artwork  downtown and on campus.