Geraldine Stirtz
director of the Office of Service-Learning, 308.865.8957

Area educators with an interest in integrating service-learning projects into their institution’s curriculum recently took part in a day-long Service Learning Symposium presented by the Office of Service Learning at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The symposium, which was designed for administrators and teachers, covered basic information and training on how to incorporate service-learning into pre-kindergarten through high school education. Presentations covered the six critical elements of service-learning, including identification of community need, youth voice, curriculum integration, building community partners, assessment and evaluation, and structured reflection activities.
According to Geraldine Stirtz, UNK Office for Service Learning director, people often confuse service-learning with community service, which is why so few people know about service-learning projects. She also said the purpose of the conference was to reinforce some structure in service-learning projects and share information about the benefits of service-learning for students in Nebraska schools.
Participants at the Service Learning Symposium are listed below, alphabetically by community:

     Amherst  – Roger Thomsen, Amherst High School; Rhonda Kohel, Amherst Public;
          Stacy Ringlein, Amherst Public
     Elm Creek – Keith Kucera, Elm Creek Public
     Emerson  – Dee Tiller, Emerson Learning Center
     Grand Island – Brian Grupe, Grand Island High School
     Holdrege – Ronald Evans, Holdrege Middle School; Jerry Ott, Holdrege Middle
          School; Jean Berreckman, Holdrege Middle School; Jodee Gnuse, Holdrege
          Middle School
     Kearney – Amy Meier, Family Resource Council; Suzanne Riley, Family Resource
          Council; Jenny Volkmer, Kearney Catholic; Debbie Bomyea, Kearney Catholic;
          Robert Goff, Kearney High School; Cyndi Ries, Kearney High School; Michelle
          Arehart, Kenwood Learning Center; Lesley Clark, Kenwood Learning Center;
          Judy Carranza, Park Elementary; Kathleen Klein, Sunrise Middle School;
          Rosemary Miller, Sunrise Middle School
     Lexington  – Janice Wergin, Lexington High School; Elizabeth Archer, Lexington
          High School
     Minden  – Dave Mroczek, Minden School Success
     Ravenna  – Jackie Cords, Ravenna Elementary
     Wilcox  – Nevita Lambert, Wilcox-Hildreth Public; Tammy Fritz, Wilcox-Hildreth
          Public; Lori Klone, Wilcox-Hildreth Public