Thursday, October 11th, we met our Beveridge partners to see art and create art. Our focus was on "Voices" and making each of our voices heard through writing and pictures on 3 big canvases. These canvases represent us as a group, how we're unique and how we are the same. 
I'd love to know what the UNO students thought about....
the art project
the reading/writing project in which we read about the immigrant experience
the lunch
how we used language (English AND our first languages!)
your understanding of the Latino influence here in Omaha....
Can't wait to read your thoughts! Thanks for giving 100%!
 
 
Kudos to our service learning class for using their mingling skills and representing us well on October 4th. at the UNO International Student Reception!
 
 
We made it! Even though we had some mix ups, every member of our class got to the Omaha Food Bank on 105th. and J today. We got to hear how the Food Bank supplies food for people all over Nebraska...and HELP in the warehouse.
Students sorted donated items into bins....condiments, meals, rice, mixed fruit, baking goods, and even CANDY! Serving as a team we helped each other when faced with products we'd never seen before. Part of the group boxed food by weight, then taped up the boxes, labeled them, and put them on pallets. The number of boxes they packed were taller than they were!
The staff in the warehouse gave us all high-fives as we left.....many of us would love to go back some time.
In just over an hour we donated, as a group, about 20 hours...that's half of a work week for a full time person...and for us it was just part of an afternoon.
Not to mention the students got to see the inner workings of how food banks in the US operate, while demonstrating initiative, team-work, and problem-solving...in an all English environment.
I'd say it was an outstanding way to spend a Tuesday afternoon!!
 
 
Hurrying to the yellow school bus parked in front of the Student Center on Thursday, 9/20, we all were greeted by our wonderful graduate assistant Sandra! Her arms were full with video equipment and cameras to be used for our interviews with the Global Studies 8th. graders at Beveridge Middle School. Sandra also brought with her delicious boxed lunches provided by Service Learning. The lunches and bus allowed us to spend a lot of time together and maximize our time at the school.
Geography, language, family, sports, values, important places....these were all topics of discussions we had with the energetic and welcoming 8th. grade students! Having already read letters the eight graders wrote us, we got to actually meet (in person) the students who had written these letters.
The students also showed us maps about their lives they had created using all kinds of themes, from baseball, to candy, to video games, to basketball. The students used these maps to tell us about their lives and what is important to them.
They also wanted to know so much about us!! What language do you speak? What is the weather like in your country? What sports do you play and what about people in your country? What do people wear? These students already knew a lot about the world and I think they know even more now having talked with us!
We had 2+ hours of non-stop, enthusiastic, one-on-one communication with native English speakers and everybody's language was definitely challenged and expanded! Oh, and now we are privileged to say we have true friends at the Beveridge Middle School!

 
 
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Heading north on Dodge Street, four cars in a row, every member of the Global Citizens class anxiously awaited finding out more about the UNION. Where is this place? What will we do there today? Having read an overview of the Union's mission and purpose gave us some ideas, but seeing things in person is always more exciting!
The friendly resident artists greeted us and immediately took us into their "family." Reaching out to the community in so many ways (local art for kids, tools for neighbors to borrow, seeds to use and exchange for urban gardening), they allowed us to get involved by helping plant, weed, and pick up the outside of the building area. They allowed us to put a little of ourselves into the Union and its mission.
Our time was short, but the impact the Union had on us was IMMENSE!!

 
 
The challenge was given...in the next 30 minutes you need to exit this room and come back with at least the results of one interview! It's time to put all the English grammar and conversation into real life practice!
First we role-played and then it was time for the students from Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Oman to hit the hallways and lounges to find unsuspecting Americans to interview about volunteerism. Almost 30 short interviews were conducted and only one person was turned down for an interview, albeit turned down politely because the student was studying for a test.
I hope that every student adds something to this blog about what he/she learned in the process.
 

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    Kelli has lived in France, the UAE, and Bahrain. She is now settled in Omaha with her family and enjoying the global connections she has via her teaching in the Intensive English Program at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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