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Service-Learning

Stories

Spotlight on Malta House

Malta House of Good Counsel is a home for young mothers and their babies in Norwalk, CT that was conceived in order to provide more than a temporary shelter for young families in need. Malta House, opened by the Order of Malta and served by employees as well as a large number of volunteers, accommodates 10 young mothers and their children for a year, providing food and shelter. While staying at Malta House, the mothers participate in educational programs on health and nutrition and parenting. They also receive guidance and counseling in creating a positive self-image as well as personal finance and budgeting aid. Malta House provides these services with the goal of promoting self-sufficiency, and creating a long term solution to poverty and need. During the residency, mothers at Malta House continue their education if they have not completed high school, and work towards their GED or enroll in classes at local colleges and universities such as NCC. They also find jobs with the aid of Malta house and work through their residency. In addition to the residency program, Malta House runs a pantry for baby equipment and clothing, as well as diapers and food. Malta House also provide follow-up programs for mothers leaving after their year.


Malta House is one of NCC's active community partners. NCC students who are working with Malta House have praised the passion the organization has for its residents and clients. "They want people to succeed," one NCC student notes. The organization, in implementing a structure to their residents' lives, "teaches a good lesson." Volunteers from NCC have taken part in tutoring, childcare and a marketing project. One student who tutored a resident of Malta House said, "I fully enjoyed my time there and would be back." She noted that a challenge was "understanding the language and having to respond in Spanish. [The resident] was very patient with me." A student involved with childcare said, "I liked that we were able to get experiences working with shelters because it is not something I would have done on my own." Site supervisor and coordinator Ginny Casey remarked that students "deepened an already impressive repertoire of character traits - compassion, dedication, and creativity.

 

For more information on Malta House, please contact Service-Learning at W106.

 

 


Student Experiences: Principles of Marketing

Students of Professor Susan Steiz are in the midst of receiving one of the most unique classroom experiences that in possible. Broken up into five groups, Professor Steiz's students are working with five different non-profit organizations in Fairfield County to create marketing plans that will promote the work these organizations do. The students are working with Malta House, the Aspetuck Land Trust, Coastal Connecticut Senior Transport, 461 Wilson Food Pantry, and the Fairfield County Women's Center, visiting the sites, and meeting the staff and volunteers. Students are clearly enjoying this project, gaining "good experience with heads of the organizations." One student remarked that it is "really cool that they are taking us seriously." Their professor adds "it's such a win-win...input from the younger generation is invaluable." The experience is not one these students will forget, as one student commented, "It's different from any other class." The students will be presenting their strategies to the college November 17th at 11. Please contact Service Learning for time and location

 

 


FCA After School Program at NCC

With the beginning of the school year, students from the Family & Children's Agency After School Program once again come to Norwalk Community College every weekday afternoon for a wide variety of enrichment activities as well as homework help and mentoring from FCA's dedicated staff and corps of volunteers. The After School Program is for students from grades 6 to 8 in the Norwalk Public Schools and runs from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

 

This year, the After School Program will be participating in activities such as culinary arts, yoga, theatre, and various field trips. The students will run their own reading groups, as well as studying the cultures and history of various foreign countries.

 

Volunteers at the FCA After School Program include former teachers, tutors, Norwalk Community College service-learners, and high school volunteers. Some NCC students also volunteer with the After School Program without participating in a service-learning course. NCC's To The Future students worked with the FCA's summer camp program during the summer semesters of 2009.

 

The After School Program provides much of the care and enrichment children need while helping them grow as students and individuals. Mentors, in the form of the staff and volunteers, are an invaluable resource in maintaining this program and helping the children along in their development and NCC Service-Learning is proud to provide this.

 

If you are interested in working with the After School Program as a volunteer, please feel free to contact Service-Learning for more information.

 

 

 

36 Sets in 36 Days

The Service-Learning Club at Norwalk Community College is proud to announce 36 Sets in 36 Days. The aims of this project are to assist the 36 children who are part of the Family and Children's Agency Afterschool Program here at NCC. 36 Sets in 36 Days is requesting students, faculty, and staff for new hats, gloves, and scarves to help keep the children warm this winter. As there are 36 students in the After School Program, the Service-Learning Club is hoping to collect a set for each child. Any additional items collected will be donated to an area children's charity.

 

The club's president, Angel Lopex, has spearheaded the movement to collect the sets. His efforts, along with those of the college community, will ensure that the children of the FCA are prepared for the winter months.

 

The drop off box for 36 Sets in 36 Days is located next to thr Service-Learning Office in West Campus, 106. If you would like to donate new hats, gloves, and scarves to the children of the FCA Afterschool Program. The 36 Sets will be distributed to FCA by the Service-Learning Club on Tuesday, November 24th, at 3:00 in W104

 

 


Student Service-Learning Experiences by Clarissa Garcia

For my service learning project, I have decided to work with a middle school program called Choices for Success, whose goals are to reduce teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and school drop-out rates. Choices gives students the support and the skills they will need in order to succeed in life. The reason I chose to do my service learning at Choices is because I attended Choices as a middle school student, and I think it's very important to give back to the places and people who have given me so much throughout the years.

 

Doing my service learning at a wonderful program like Choices for Success has given me the opportunity to give back to my community. But also, I am able to be a good role model and help mentor kids and see things from another point of view. I am helping students `who may not have any support at home, who may not realize that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. The fact that I can say that I've helped is very meaningful for me. But I always remind myself that I was just like them a couple years ago, and that it took a helping hand from someone kind enough to care about me for me to realize that I could be successful.

 

 


FCA After School Program Pumpkin Carving with NCC Art Club

On October 28th, The students of the FCA After School Program had a wonderful opportunity at Norwalk Community College to celebrate Halloween in a creative way. The Art Club, with advisor Prof. Joe Fucigna, worked with the ASP coordinators and volunteers to have the kids carve pumpkins for Halloween.

 

The ASP staff picked up more than 30 large pumpkins, and the Art Club provided the tools and space for the kids to work on.

 

The event, attended by NCC students and friends of the college as well as the After School Program, was a rousing success. The kids carved more than 30 pumpkins, some with more traditional designs and some putting a twist on the Halloween spirit. None of this could have been done without the help of Prof. Fucigna, the Art Club, and the many volunteers and service-learners that helped the kids.

 

If you are interested in working with the After School Program as a volunteer, please feel free to contact Service-Learning for more information.