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Students Spend Spring Break Helping Others

By Bob Ewing     Apr 10, 2008 in World
This year, more than 40 students , faculty and staff from Spellman College,answered the call to serve, traveling more than 13,000 miles combined to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.
Building a school library is not the usual spring break activity and Spring Break Diaries will not be what many expect from the title.
Instead of participating in the usual Spring break activities, students from Spelman College, have over the past few years have undertake activities such as traveling to the Republic of Senegal to help build a school library in support of the 10,000 Girls organization.
Now Black Entertainment Television is presenting a 30 minute special detailing the 9 day mission. Spring Break Diaries will air Sunday, April 13, 2008, at 11 a.m. EST on BET.
The press release
says that seventeen Spelman students and two Morehouse students traveled to the West African country in March, as part of the Student Affairs Global Experience Humanitarian Trip which supports 10,000 Girls, an initiative that provides educational and employment opportunities to young girls in rural Senegal.
“The trip provided a rich opportunity for building relationships with women and girls in other parts of the world,” said Sherry Turner, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs at Spelman. “Our goal was to create a cultural immersion experience in an environment that is quite different from that which we are accustomed to in the United States. Visiting Senegal, a developing country in West Africa, provided that experience.”
The students lived with local families and tutored children in the rural Ndoffane Village. “Spring Break Diaries” gives first-hand account of the students’ efforts to positively impact the lives of the Senegalese people.
A second group of students spent their spring break in the Dominican Republic, working with Orphanage Outreach, a project that provides opportunities and resources to orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children.
Sponsored by the Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development, the 11 undergraduates designed curriculum and taught English to more than 80 kindergarten through fourth-grade students.
“Having the opportunity to experience the [Dominican] culture gave me a greater appreciation for the things I have,” said Acasia Barrett, C’2008, an English major. “I gained a better understanding of how to use the education and experience I’ve been blessed with to help others. I was really impressed with the fact that the people of the area always had a smile despite their lack.”
Six students from the Spelman Independent Scholars program also traveled to Jamaica, in support of the World Health Organization University of West Indies on Aging. The trip was designed to expand their oral history research of the Caribbean.
“The center directed us to the mountains of Jamaica where elders live,” said Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles, Ph.D., founding director of the SIS Oral History Project at Spelman. “Students had a unique learning experience because they were able to interview women and men who ranged in age from 93 to 104. Elders cooked original Jamaican dishes for students, sang songs from their childhood and even danced for the students.”
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