Education - Page 10 - Experiences, from page 1

- Page 10
Experiences, from page 1
Southeast Anchor and Hamilton. These social work students served over 600 community members during their inaugural year, providing referrals, support and navigation services.

Lane Victorson, LCSW, director of community organizing/neighborhood fellows for SWCOS, notes how the presence of the students was billed as more of an opportunity to engage with the community versus promoting group therapy services on issues such as trauma or incarceration.

However, they found they conversations went deep very quickly, allowing the students to delve into issues important to community members.

“The power of this group is that we did not come in with an agenda,”Victorson explains. “We may  tart the conversation with asking a question about favorite foods, which led to someone talking about how they loved their mother’s peach pie until she was shot. We dove quickly into topics such as loss, trauma or incarceration.” Future plans include adding four more branches to the program as well as a program called the Circle of Security, which is a parent strengthening program.

He was excited to add that the library has since added a licensed social worker and is proud of the sustainability of the program. “We think it’s a sustainable, institutional model and a great definition of what community based practice looks like,” he explains.

And lastly, this summer the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) launched the UMBC Interdisciplinary CoLab, a narrative-based paid internship that allows undergraduate students to join one of three teams that will integrate narrative-based research and technical skills in a collaborative effort to share stories surrounding the UMBC campus and communities. Participants receive a $3,000 stipend and a scholarship for a three-credit internship course. The internship is 30 hours per week for four weeks during the campus Summer Session One.

The three CoLab teams are Amazing Stories: Investigating the Coslet-Sapienza Fantasy and Science Fiction Fanzine Collection, which uses the research collected to produce a website as well as four to six original short research essays; Race and Social Justice: Stories of Transformation, which will explore the archives of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) and Art of Transformation (AoT) cultural organizing and community workshops to use this research to develop a digital story; and the UMBC Carbon Zero – Working Toward a Climate-Neutral Campus team which, through interviews and research, developed four videos.

The UMBC Carbon Zero team is in partnership with the UMBC sustainability office to promote the university’s Climate Action Plan and the efforts of the Climate Action Steering Committee. The four videos showcase the efforts of UMBC to become climate-neutral. The four topics featured in the videos produced by the UMBC Carbon Zero Team were energy and waste reduction, transportation alternatives, climate research and education. Co-leaders of the Carbon Zero project, Jasper Lewis with the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology at UMBC as well as NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Kristen Anchor, lecturer in media and communication studies at UMBC, notes how even a student who came in with no digital video production experience became energized learning about the environmental issues.

“It was a learning experience for them the impact that a single person can have on a global problem,” Lewis adds. Anchor notes future plans for the program, as “we plan to present the project on campus several times in the coming semester, as well as posting the videos on the UMBC sustainability webpage and social media.”

A member of the Carbon Zero team, Kennedy Lamb, a rising junior from Mexico, N.Y., notes that the best part was learning how to work on a team with people from different backgrounds and perspectives who were all passionate about the topic. She calls the program “the best educational experience I’ve ever had” and advises prospective  tudents to put forth the effort.“Make it your own,” she says. “You get out what you put into it, so take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. You will be so proud of the end product.” •

Accomplishments of the programs’ inaugural year

Social Worker in the Library Initiative at the University of Maryland School of Social Work:

• The Brooklyn branch has provided 20 direct referrals, served over 45 individuals within the context of coordinated community events and participated in a career day for the local elementary school.

• The Penn North branch established a bimonthly Mutual Support Group called the “Community Chat,” made over 300 patron and service provider contacts and made 150 direct referrals.

• The Southeast Anchor branch facilitated a mutual support group called Coffee and Conversation and dispensed care packets to homeless individuals attending the mutual support group.

• The Hamilton branch facilitated a Homework Club serving 100 students as well as facilitating empowerment groups with elementary school students.

UMBC Interdisciplinary CoLab: Narrative-based Paid Internship: UMBC Carbon Zero – Working Toward a Climate-Neutral Campus team produced four videos on the following topics:

• Energy conservation: presents behavior changes to reduce consumption of energy
• Transportation: emphasis on reducing use of single-occupancy vehicles, individual habit changes
• Waste reduction: stressing the importance of reusing, recycling and composting, each individual action adds up
• Collaborative/Education and Research: broad overview of climate change and environmental sustainability at UMBC

Campers at the Future Frostburg Teachers Teaching (F2T2) Camp enjoyed the following activities:

• Coding Raspberry Pi to solve problems
• Working with drones
• Building and coding LEGO WeDo robots
• Designing and building straw propelled rockets
• Designing and building hovercrafts
• Designing and building Doodlebots
• Experimenting with art-centered, relaxing technology tools •

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Above: At Future Frostburg Teachers Teaching, or F2T2, one of a series of STEM-focused activities centered on the theme of water, in this case looking at water samples from a pond, the tap and a ditch for things like turbidity, PH, nitrate and phosphate levels and other variables.

Top left: University of Maryland School of Social Work students Raina Wilson, left, and Michelle Steele, discuss clients’ needs at the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library as part of the Social Worker in the Library program.