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Service Learning for Family Health AmeriCorps Program

From 2000-2003, the Service Learning for Family Health (SLFH) Program had great success. Funded by the California Service Corp (formerly GOSERV), and supported by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, SLFH provided opportunities for CSU students to become AmeriCorps members by providing a year of service in exchange for a minimal living allowance and an educational award.

Over a three-year period, over 180 AmeriCorps members, primarily CSU students, from several CSU campuses-Dominguez Hills, Northridge, San Francisco, San José, Sonoma, and San Luis Obispo-provided service to community-based health organizations by coordinating service learners and volunteers from universities. The community organizations benefited from the additional volunteer assistance and the university benefited from the supportive coordination that AmeriCorps members provided for service-learning courses. .

In particular, Service Learning for Family Health AmeriCorps members served the campus and community in three critical ways:

  1. They developed new service-learning opportunities and strengthened existing service-learning opportunities
    Members provided recommendations to community partners about new ways to utilize students’ skills, improve volunteer position descriptions, and enhance ways to recruit students.

  2. They served as peer leaders.
    Members organize information sessions at community partners’ sites to train volunteers and service learners. Orientation and training are critical in ensuring that service-learning students have rich learning experiences and are also aware of their responsibilities.

  3. They supported the critical crux of service learning - the community-university partnership.
    By placing members at community partners’ sites, members had a clear understanding about how CSU service-learning students can support community partners’ missions, goals, and daily operations. A SLFH community partner shared that, “this program allows us access to the campus and to view the campus from a new perspective”

This program worked with over 4,000 service learners and volunteers who provided over 40,000 hours of service. This partnership is a strong example of the benefits of having a reciprocal partnership between the community and the university-creating meaningful service experiences for students while also meeting the needs of community organization.

If you would like to learn more about Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, visit www.ccph.info

Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:
webmaster@calstate.edu

Last Updated: April 29, 2008