Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing has received $60,000 in support of its Office of Service Learning from the Charles and Mary Grant Foundation and the Georgia Health Foundation.
The Grant Foundation awarded the school $40,000 over two years to fully integrate the service learning experience into the curriculum of all undergraduate and graduate nursing students, to expand the number of partnerships available in the service learning program, and to establish the program as a model for other U.S. schools of nursing.
Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
"Service learning is an organizational expression of our commitment to social responsibility," says Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, FAAN, dean of the school of nursing, "And having funders like the Grant and Georgia Health foundations supporting our program is a testament to the importance of service learning in the curriculum."
Wendy Rhein, director of the school's 18-month-old service learning program, says the first year of the Grant Foundation funding will be used "to expand and support existing programs such as the Farm Worker Family Health Program in south Georgia as well as the Alternative Spring Break partnerships in the Caribbean. Next year we hope to add new programming including developing international and domestic service opportunities for the winter break."
The Georgia Health Foundation renewed a $20,000 grant to expand the school's Farm Worker Family Health Program that provides health services to migrant farm workers and their families in South Georgia each June.
"In addition to helping the Farm Worker Family Health Program reach its annual goal of providing health services to over 1,000 people in a ten-day period, the grant will bring the program closer to its long-term ambition of expanding its reach and impact," says Ms. Rhein.
Funds from the Georgia Health Foundation will be used to purchase equipment and supplies that will allow nursing teams to go out into the farm workers' housing communities and the fields during the day to deliver care to those farm workers who might not have access to the program's evening health care sites due to transportation constraints. Funds also will cover some of the costs to have teams of students work with the Department of Education to recruit and enroll children in the migrant education summer program, as well as cover some of the personnel, travel, and lodging costs associated with providing these additional channels of care. During the ten-day period of the program, such an expansion will increase the number of people served by approximately 20 percent.
The Office of Service Learning provides leadership, coordination, support, and other mechanisms to assure a high level of integration of service and social responsibility in the curriculum of Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the development of its students, and community focused research. Every undergraduate nursing student participates in at least one service learning project during their junior and senior years.