Alternative Spring Break | Dominican Republic
A team of four NEC students from the Education Department and one faculty team leader traveled to the Dominican Republic during Spring Break 2009 to volunteer with Orphanage Outreach (OO). Since 1994, OO has worked with college, high school and church groups to provide English Language Learners in Dominican orphanages and schools with badly needed English language skills. TEAM NEC’s daily volunteer work with OO included training in English language instruction, teaching English in both public and private schools (grades pre-K – 8) and work projects such as clearing stumps from a field and building storage shelves for the Jaibon Orphanage. The NEC student team also worked collaboratively with other college volunteers from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Ohio, the University of Wyoming and New York University to plan English lessons and complete work projects. This collaborative service learning was followed each day of the one week trip with cultural programs and reflection sessions where students discussed their experiences during the day.
Another team of 14 student volunteers and 3 faculty members traveled to the DR to teach English in the Jaibon orphanage in March 2010. During the 7-day experience, students developed lesson plans, taught English in the local schools, and stayed at the orphanage.
During the January term, NEC continued their work with Orphanage Outreach, but traveled to Jinotega, Nicaragua for a seven-day volunteer service-learning experience. When the group of nine students and three faculty members arrived in Nicaragua, they participated and worked daily on community construction projects, they taught children in an early childhood center, and they learned a great deal about Nicaraguan culture and history. The group spent months collecting donations such as clothing, school supplies and food for the young children at the centers. Overall, the trip was a great success and everyone involved felt that they made an impact on the community. Little by little with the help of more volunteers, hopefully NEC can help make an even stronger impact on Jinotega, Nicaragua.