Hi! I’m Jessica Ayoub, and I’m serving at Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) through The LEAGUE Michigan (TLM). TLM works to implement service, service learning, and philanthropy education in schools throughout Michigan. In Detroit, we work within a network of about 24 schools. The school year is officially under way, so things in Detroit have been busy, busy!
The beginning of the school year is a time to re-introduce teachers to service learning, and to introduce our new VISTAs, Maya Faison and Ranonda Opara, to our teachers! We’ve been meeting with new and old teachers to lay the foundation for many of the service projects that will take place throughout the 2014-2015 school year. The VISTA role in planning these projects can take a lot of different forms, and often changes throughout the planning process. Basically, we help coordinate all of the behind the scenes work that is required of a service project. That means coordinating volunteer trips, finding community partners, seeking in-kind donations, and so much more!
And while we’re still doing a lot of heavy planning, we’ve already completed a wonderful service project on September 11th! In honor of Patriot Day (9/11), Loyola High School students baked pies and cookies for all of the firehouses and police stations in Detroit. The students personally delivered the baked goods with hand written thank you notes from the students, and bracelets that said men and women for others. While they were delivering their gifts, students ran into a news crew and were interviewed by a local Detroit news station!
Along with planning upcoming projects, I’m also focused on developing ways to sustain service learning in Metro Detroit. I’ve been working on creating some electronic communication methods that allow some of our established teachers to work more independently from the VISTAs, which will free up some VISTA time to expand our reach into new and existing school partnerships! I’m also hoping to complete a website for TLM Detroit where teachers can find service learning resources and can record completed service projects.
It will be a busy next few months, but I’m excited to see some service projects unfold and to think of new and creative ways to expand the reach of TLM to even more schools throughout Detroit and the surrounding areas!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!