On July 20, educators from several school districts spent an enlightening and impactful two hours as participants in the Service-Learning Design Challenge at this year’s Summer Institute. They helped generate potential solutions to critical challenges facing seven community agencies in central Ohio: Huckleberry House, Home for Families, Maryhaven, Finance Fund, St. Stephens Community House, Lutheran Social Services, and LeadingAge Ohio. Their efforts will support the work of these outstanding organizations and will ultimately make a difference in the lives of children, families, older adults, individuals dealing with substance use disorders, and other community members in need.
The session began with a “call to action” – a brief overview of each challenge/task. Then participants joined with agency personnel in issue-specific investigation, brainstorming, and reflection.
This experience integrated key elements of design thinking and high-quality service-learning. Using skills and strengths like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and empathy, participants embraced their missions and contributed to their community in many productive and insightful ways. In the true spirit of authentic learning, they became “experts and changemakers.”
This session was sponsored by the Center for Human Kindness at The Columbus Foundation.