Service-Learning in a Hurricane

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been and will be affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Whether it’s hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts — the majority of the world is vulnerable to natural disasters. Service-learning can be a useful tool to help young people become accustomed to preparing for such situations, and helping those in need. Below are some project examples that other schools have done, a link to the Generator project planning tool, and other ways you can help those in southeastern Texas, the Caribbean, Florida, and anyone else in harm’s way.

Project examples:

  • The Power of Help and Hope After Katrina: The Corporation for National and Community Service’s official report on the disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina looks at direct service from volunteers and powerful contributions from others.
  • Rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast: The overarching goal of this project from the Ohio State University was to offer service-learning by providing students with an opportunity to meet community needs following Hurricane Katrina. Participants then reflected on their experience through journaling.
  • Untapped Resources: The Education Commission of the States outlines ways to involve and prepare students for civic engagement as a means to prepare for and respond to disaster, if or when disaster strikes.
  • In 2002, John C. Pine of Louisiana State University, conducted a case study that followed a class that developed emergency response plans. The planning initiative was an effort to challenge students in an interactive and engaging process that met the needs of their community. FEMA also hosts the results of the study on its site.
  • Ready for Anything: This manual is designed to assist staff of runaway and homeless youth programs in constructing a disaster response plan, including preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery. Templates and worksheets are included, as well as discussion questions.

The Generator is a planning tool you can use to guide your service-learning project. It walks you through the backward design method, offers supporting resources, and assessment tools after you complete the project.

Monetary donations can be difficult to navigate. Here are five tips for finding the proper outlets for your giving.