Mary Ann Bencivengo
English Professor, Arts and Humanities Professor
- Began teaching with service learning: Spring 2011
Service Learning Courses:
- ENGL 267 Children’s Literature
- ENG 161 English Comp 1
Why do you teach with Service Learning?
"Students who complete Service Learning projects gain the reward of personal satisfaction of serving the community. Early childhood education majors can gain experience working with children before ever doing their student teaching and this can propel them forward in their college careers. I tell my students that even business majors will someday be working with the community. Students receive a certification and medallion upon graduation that celebrates their accomplishment, and this project can also be included on a resume. The Service Learning Center at Lorain County Community College is unique in that it offers so much literature on the subject to help teachers and students alike and offers a wonderful opportunity for students to be involved with the local community in regards to current issues we all face in areas where people need assistance.
The project I incorporate into my classes allows students to see the literary and social needs of children; topics such as kindness and non-bullying in schools are covered through reading and discussing fairy tales such as Cinderella with young children. This project also gives the young children at a day care center or other organization the opportunity to see other role models. It serves to make out students aware that these organizations are out there for those in need and then parents of children in the various organizations see that LCCC is active in the community."
Service Learning projects in Professor Bencivengo’s course tend to take the form of reading stories to children and reflecting with them on the story’s content. Possible local community agencies include the Girl Scouts, Neighborhood Alliance’s Children Centers, LCCC Children’s Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Service Learning student Sarah read the Native American version of Cinderella for a multi-cultural awareness and learning activity to a troop of 18 seven year old Daisy Girl Scouts. She also discussed with the girls the topic of bullying.
Sarah reflects on her experience, “They were able to pick up the moral of this story and found ways to relate it to their own lives. Not only did they get to learn life lessons that this story shares beautifully, but they were also able to learn about another culture…. now after being able to watch their thought processes and see their reactions, I have a feeling that the story of The Rough Face Girl will stick with my girls for quite a long time.”
Are you a student or community organization interested in getting involved in Professor Bencivengo’s projects, please contact her for more information.
Mary Ann Bencivengo