Students combine writing skills, service learning focus to make an impact with community organizations
English 110 Class Partners With Community to Make a Difference in Alamance County Public Libraries and Service League
Students in Heather Lindenman's "Writing, Argument and Inquiry" class discovered new ways to combine an introduction to college writing with service learning experiences.
At the heart of Lindenman’s fall English 110 class was a focus on academic writing as students developed their skills at argument and analysis. Those skills were then put to use during the second half of the class as students actively served the community in community writing projects.
Lindenman said she sought “to build confidence with academic and nonacademic writing and give students the tools they needed to tackle writing in an unfamiliar situation.” The class offered the opportunity to develop skills that could be put to use in both academic and nonacademic settings.
As part of the service learning portion of the class, students partnered with a community organization. One section worked alongside Alamance County Public Library while the other focused on the Alamance County Service League.
The Alamance County Service League, a local women’s organization, needed assistance campaigning for funds to support their partner programs, including Meals on Wheels and Family Abuse Services. Specifically, ACSL was looking for flyers, brochures and video content to promote their mission.
Lindenman’s students created informative and persuasive materials that are now available on the Alamance County Service League's website. To accomplish these tasks, the students were divided into consulting teams and studied samples of different types of writing before using those types to craft messages for different platforms.
Those working with Alamance Public Libraries were immersed in creating an annual report to provide information to stakeholders with the goal of increasing library funding.
Students drew on their rhetorical skills to create infographics and persuasive content that displayed the achievements of these local community organizations. Service-learning is a crucial component to Lindenman’s class, as students develop writing skills while working to support real-world organizations.