During the fall semester 2018, the office of Citizenship & Service-Learning partnered with the Springfield Dream Center, The Fairbanks/Northwest Project, and Dr. Alex Jean-Charles and Dr. Ann Marie Daehn’s service-learning students to host a brand-new program called “Around the World in 80 Days.”
“Around the World in 80 Days” developed out of Dr. Ann Marie Daehn’s service-learning courses MUS 293,393 and 493 and Dr. Alex Jean-Charles EDC 345 Multi-cultural Education and Diversity class and in partnership with the CASL office. In these classes, students discussed ideas for giving back to the community with culture. Service-learning director, Dr. Kathy Nordyke was more than happy to help build this vision of using multiple departments to create a community educational event. Ultimately, education students from CFD 560/660 Family Engagement course and Professor Sarah Murray’s BMS 340 Nutrition Education students, along with a host of students from French, Sociology, Biology, Management, Psychology, First-Year Programs and the Honor’s College also joined in with Music and Education students to support and develop this program.
The plan to create an event that would offer an experiential learning opportunity to Missouri State students while also teaching local children different aspects of diverse cultures was a success. These cultures and locations were imaginatively recreated by structuring a series of globe-hopping booths, visualized with beautiful 9-foot-by-6-foot canvas paintings – all of which were made by hand under the direction of Missouri State art student Megan Wood who is a Bonner Leader in the CASL office. The first event took place on November 10, 2018 at the Springfield Dream Center. A number of other CASL Bonner Leaders as well as student volunteers, assisted in the paintings of the backdrops for each country.
For instance, at the India booth, students read a storybook about Diwali – the Hindu festival of light over darkness – to the families and children that attended. They made simple flutes out of straws to represent an instrument in the story that is often used during the celebration.
At another booth, families in attendance were treated to a mini-Italian opera performed by Dr. Daehn’s students, teaching elements of language, music, and emotion in a classical art form.
Spain was also in town, where Professor Alex Jean Charles’ students created a lesson plan to educate the families about the language, culture, and music of Spain through castanet crafting. Families took the opportunity to dance around the gym of the Springfield Dream Center with their castanets.
Additionally, service-learning students from Professor Sarah Murray’s class were there to teach families about food safety and healthy eating, particularly relevant to a population that may not have had the opportunity to learn things the rest of us often don’t think twice about.
In total, there were fourteen countries students had the opportunity to visit through this program. Dr. Nordyke is pleased with the results of the multi-class and community collaboration, saying, “If we can inspire one child, or one person, we have done our job!”
“Anything one person can imagine another person can make real.”
– Jules Verne
Based on the classic novel by Jules Verne, about an adventurer and his friend as they experience different countries and unique cultures. Service-learning was inspired to use the story as a foundation for sharing new and exciting knowledge about diverse cultures across the globe. “Around the World in 80 Days” received positive feedback and comments from families. The Springfield Dream Center also praised the event and hope Missouri State can come back again soon with even more countries and more things to learn. If you missed the “Around the World in 80 Days” event November 10, 2018, please feel free to join us on December 1, 2018, for the next event at the Fairbanks Community Center.
If you have any further questions or are interested in partnering with Missouri State University to host an educational event, please contact the Center for Community Engagement.
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