For the fourth consecutive year, John Carroll University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.
The majority of John Carroll students (2000+) annually perform more than 36,000 hours of community service.
Margaret Finucane, Ph.D., is the director of the University’s Center for Service and Social Action. The Center is dedicated to meeting real community needs through outreach efforts and has developed or guided many successful projects.
Among the JCU programs recognized by the Honor Roll this year are:
- Hough Neighborhood Partnership – John Carroll University partners with Cleveland schools and organizations in Cleveland’s Hough community in a variety of programs designed to redress the significant educational and economic needs of residents. JCU students provide GED tutoring, homework support, reading and math literacy activities, civics lessons through aftercare programming, classroom assistance, and direct instruction in public and private schools and neighborhood outreach centers. Through service-learning courses, JCU computer science majors teach basic programming languages to middle-school youths; education majors create weekly reading/writing workshops for fourth-graders who are paired as “pen pals” with seniors in a local nursing home; and environmental students work on community gardens and host a field trip to Lake Erie for third-graders.
- JCU Homeless Initiative – John Carroll has an ongoing commitment to the issue of homelessness, including the following programs and partnerships:
- The Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Project is a student-led program which offers companionship, food, clothing, and conversation to homeless residents of Cleveland on a weekly basis, year-round.
- The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a partnership of faith communities in Cleveland that provide shelter and support for homeless families. JCU students assist IHN with evening meals and children’s activities, as well as efforts to help families move into permanent housing.
- Spring Break Immersion Experiences take students to Chicago, Ill., and Camden, N.J., where they assist with various housing and education programs for people living in struggling communities.
- We, the People – This service learning program engages John Carroll students as tutors in urban classrooms to provide supplemental instruction on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy for elementary, middle, and high school students. Upon completion of the We, the People curriculum, classes participate in simulated congressional hearings. These hearings allow upper elementary, middle, and high school students to demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 600 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms.