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Office of University Relations
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University`s Service Learning Program—Largest in United States
More than 2,100 Drexel freshmen returned to elementary school for seven weeks in January and February to teach more than 45,000 children in 105 Philadelphia public schools. The program is part of “The Drexel Experience,” a required four-credit, two-term course that is the nation’s largest service learning program between a university and a public school system. “The objective of the service learning program is to educate students for lives of engaged citizenship and active learning,” said Kelly Astro, director of the University’s program.
Under the observation of the permanent classroom teacher, Drexel students teach Junior Achievement of Philadelphia programs on families, communities, government and the business world to students in grades K-7. Freshmen in the Philadelphia Reads program serve as reading and writing coaches for students in grades K-3.
“In Service Learning both parties involved learn from the situation,” said Astro. “The elementary school children learn about themselves and their surroundings while our freshmen, in addition to working on their communication and presentation skills, learn about themselves and their biases, how to think critically and take a more active role in their own learning.”