Students from EDUC 300-A moved from classroom studies to learning in a Chicago neighborhood this spring break.
The class is Diversity and Culturally-Responsive Teaching, taught by Dale Blesz, PhD.
The Pilsen Neighborhood Experience was an optional experiential and service-learning component, scheduled as an alternative spring break trip. Traveling to the primarily Spanish-speaking, lower west-side Chicago neighborhood, EDUC 300 students spent time in K-8 classrooms, served as after-school tutors, worked in a soup kitchen, painted an early childhood center and hosted a dinner for participants in the Dominican Volunteers USA program. Both the study of diversity—and the university mission of service—coming alive in a tangible way.
But there was fun, too. A trip on the "L" landed the group at Giordano's Pizza for deep-dish. A Blue Man Group performance and night at the Art Institute were enjoyed by all. An unexpected highlight was the arrival of actor Martin Sheen and Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn at Pius V Parish (where the group's volunteer work took place). EDUC 300 students snapped photos of the visiting actor and governor, who were there to advocate for a raise in the minimum wage.
Read the group's blog and see photos from the trip!