The purpose of the University of Michigan-Flint’s Alternative Spring Break program is to enable students to learn about issues such as homelessness, poverty, hunger, violence, environmental issues, and complex social and cultural issues. Students will listen to and understand community needs and continue a commitment to community service and social change.
The University of Michigan-Flint’s Alternative Spring Break is a University Outreach sponsored program that offers a community service learning experience on a local level during the traditional Spring Break of the academic calendar. Students spend time learning about complex social, cultural and environmental issues. During spring break, groups carpool to a selected site to engage in meaningful action toward a greater understanding of root causes of relevant issues. Students participate in critical reflection and analysis of social justice issues they experience first-hand.
The program is dedicated to providing break opportunities to as many students as possible, while striving to increase community impact and student learning and address societal problems with understanding and compassion. Critical elements of this process are recognizing community needs and assets while working in partnership with community members. Equally important is translating the experience into an understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of social problems and making a commitment to being part of the long-term solution.
Some of the sites that ASB have served are, but are not limited to: helping with hurricane Katrina cleanup, urban renewal with the Genesee County Land Bank and the Salvation Army, help with afterschool programming in local middle and elementary schools, serving meals at homeless shelters and also doing small construction projects.
This year, our students donated their time at Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, Durant Tuuri Mott Elementary School, Kings Karate and Wellness Aids Services, Inc. We had 64 students volunteer throughout the week of spring break, for a total of 192 service days. At 5 hours per day, the students donated approximately 960 hours throughout the week. According to the IRS these hours can be billed at $19.79/hour for a value at $18,998.40. The University of Michigan-Flint students once again made a very significant impact on the Flint community and beyond!
Keep an eye out for details on ASB 2012 on University Outreach’s Alternative Spring Break page.