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Service Learning Class Giving Back to the Local Community

Service learning group
UI REACH has a wonderful tradition of offering a Service Learning class for the third year students. This fall, the tradition continued with five students learning about volunteerism and non-profits along with doing service projects at various organizations. This course gave the students an opportunity to learn and work at a wide variety of volunteer sites. The students were able to see exactly how they can be engaged and giving members of the community, often seeing immediate results. The goal of the Service Learning course is to have the students be active in their community and we hope that carries over to their home communities after their time at UI REACH is finished.

Students have learned about available resources and ways to better their community. Students assessed community needs, researched volunteer organizations, and provided service within the community. Students explored the link between what is learned in the classroom and what can be done by volunteers in the community. Participating organizations in this semester’s curriculum included: Iowa 4C’s (supporting children and families), Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Downtown Gardens (cleaning, weeding, and planting various flower beds throughout the downtown area), Johnson County Crisis Center Food Bank, Old Capitol Museum on the Pentacrest, Oaknoll Retirement Residence, Englert Theatre, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

On each field trip, the students met staff, got a tour of the facility, and either worked on a project and/or learned about how they can volunteer at the organization. When they came back to the classroom, each student journaled to reflect on what they learned and how they felt about the experience. Highlights this fall include: going to Iowa 4C’s for the first time and helping with a mailing and preparing books for donation to local day care centers; spending five sessions working on many different garden plots in the downtown area; planting 174 plants downtown in 2 hours; and visiting with residents in the assisted living section and helping some residents of Oaknoll Retirement Residence with a craft project. There are too many great experiences to list here, but as one student said at several different venues, “That was really fun!”

For a final project, each student chose one of the organizations they volunteered at and gave a presentation to UI REACH staff. This presentation included an overview of the organization, ways to be involved, and an encapsulation of all they learned about the organization. Through this process the students were able to show the pride they have in their volunteerism efforts, talk about why they liked the organization they chose to talk about, and were able to express their ideas and opinions about the experience. A good time was had by all!

Iowa City Experience (ICE) Class Visits Kinnick Stadium

During Iowa City Experience, the first year students toured Kinnick Stadium. On the tour, first year students checked out the press box, the Hawkeye Locker Room, the visitor’s pink locker room and had a chance to run out of the tunnel onto the field!

Kinnick visit

Kinnick visit

UI REACH Winter ReConnect

Over winter break, there will be four UI REACH Winter ReConnect gatherings! See below for information on each gathering.

Chicago, Northbrook: December 17, 2016

  • Pinstripes – 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, IL
  • 3:30-5:30pm
  • $8.00 per game, per person and $5.00 for shoes
  • Please contact Susan Sheinkop (daughter, Ellie, current 1st year) @ ssheinkop@gmail.com if you would like to attend and or assist

Chicago, Roselle: December 28, 2016

  • Strike Ten Lanes & Lounge - Two levels with a restaurant & two bars that serve burgers, sandwiches and pizza
  • Bowling is $3 a game/$3.50 for shoes
  • Please contact Nancy Hayes (son, Tim, current 1st year) @ m.n.hayes@sbcglobal.net if you would like to attend and or assist

Des Moines, IA: January 7, 2017

  • Lunch and Bowling
  • Possible lunch location at Hickory Park and bowling at Perfect Bowling
  • Perfect bowling also has a restaurant, arcade, and laser tag
  • Please contact Julie Tindell (son, Nathan, current 3rd year) @ bandjtindell@mchsi.com if you would like to attend and or assist

Dubuque, IA: January 7, 2017

  • Lunch, Games & Hockey!
  • Lunch will be at the Inspire Cafe, 955 Washington Street #105, Dubuque, IA
  • After lunch there will be a Pictionary battle, students vs parents! (Families are encouraged to bring other games as well)
  • Hockey Game – Dubuque Fighting Saints at 7:05pm
    • Opportunity to get a group photo on the ice and name announced at the game
  • Please contact Pam Straka (daughter, Rachael, current 2nd year) @ Pam.straka@yahoo.com if you would like to attend and or assist

Alumni Profile

Kelly Nagle
Name: Kelly Nagle

Town: Mission, Kansas

Year Graduated: 2012

Where do you work? Overland Park Regional Medical Center

What do you do? I work full time as a Nutrition Catering Associate. My responsibilities include: preparing and delivering meals to patients, and stocking nourishment rooms with food and drinks.

Services: I participate in a program called Mission Project 2.  It is a family cooperative that enables young adults with developmental disabilities to live independently and safely in a community with minimal support. I receive transportation support from MP to and from my workplace. There are also weekly activities that I attend depending on my work schedule.

Hobbies/Fun: I enjoy reading, watching TV, going to movies, painting and hanging out with my friends. I also volunteer at my church

Advice for current students and families: Try new things and join clubs; it will help you meet new people.

UI REACH Students Are Enjoying Fall Internships

Internships (left to right) Gabe at the Iowa Children's Museum. Matti at a preschool.  Rachel at the Hy-Vee bakery.
  1. Gabe has a great time at his internship at the Iowa Children’s Museum interacting with the families and putting the displays back together after play time.
  2. Matti combines her love of art and interest in working with children as an art classroom assistant at a preschool.
  3. Rachael beams with pride over all the delicious treats she helps create at her internship at a Hy-Vee bakery.
  4. Scott sorts silverware at University Housing and Dining with a smile!

UI REACH Summer Internship Opportunities

Summer intern working with the Iowa Cubs
UI REACH is excited to announce that we expect to have summer internships again for 2017 in the Des Moines area. Summer internships are for students who have completed UI REACH’s 2nd Year.

In previous years, the Iowa Cubs internship offered a UI REACH student an experience in grounds keeping and stadium operations. The Wellmark internship offered the student work experience in an office setting. Both internships are paid and are open to any UI REACH student that has graduated from the program. Summer housing is available through Grand View University and is arranged and paid for by the family. Students can also live at home if they are from the area. Summer Internships start in May and go through early August.

If you are interested in either summer internships please contact Brian Campbell @ brian-d-campbell@uiowa.edu or 319-335-5227.

Community Learning Groups Fall 2016 (CLGs)

Community learning group
We had another great semester of CLGs!! These groups meet twice a week in the afternoons and give students an opportunity to develop a new interest or hobby. The students get to rank their choices at the start of each semester and are given two of these classes throughout the semester. The choices this semester included knitting, robotics, walking, speech and drama, healthy microwave cooking and puzzles.

Our hope is that the students may just find a new hobby through the exploration of new experiences. We enjoy a “show and tell” of the activities at the end of each eight week exploring session.