Our Community Partners: A Sampling
Campus Ministry offers monthly volunteer opportunities to faculty, staff and students. In many instances, employees are given release time for involvement in these events. Since 1996, students working through campus ministry plan alternative spring break projects with Habitat for Humanity and other agencies. Our athletic teams participate in service projects as well. At our annual awards ceremony, one or more faculty are recognized for their committed and creative efforts to incorporate service learning opportunities in the curriculum, as are students who have shown a deep personal commitment to service.
Partnering with the community
Community agencies contact Lourdes for volunteers and invite us to return once our students and employees serve with them. Faculty seek creative ways to assess and meet community needs. Located in Sylvania, a suburb of Toledo, Lourdes has a significant non-traditional population of primarily commuter students. Faculty, staff and students are deeply aware of existing needs. High unemployment and struggling urban schools within Toledo, sadly, provide many opportunities for service. Historically serving those who may not be prepared for academic success, Lourdes students often identify social needs from first-hand experience. Many faculty have worked in other settings and bring their knowledge of community concerns to the planning table.
Students speak of coming to Lourdes because of our commitment to service. Alumni who are recognized for their service efforts in the community often return to participate in these projects and to mentor current students. Members of the broader community often join us in these efforts.
The Central City Ministry of Toledo partnership
As in most urban areas, the city of Toledo has experienced a sharp decline in educational and economic opportunities for those living in what is referred to as the central city. Aware of the significant needs in this area due to rising crime and declining socio-economic conditions, the diocese of Toledo has a number of focused outreach efforts to residents of the central city. A major effort has focused on maintaining and subsidizing two private PreK-8 schools – Rosary Cathedral School and Queen of Apostles School – that provide a safe and caring educational environment for those living in this section of the city.
Lourdes University has found many ways to connect with these sites, including:
- Middle and Secondary Education licensure students providing essential support and supplemental assistance with remediation and individualized instruction
- Education students coordinating small group activities, working one-on-one with students and teaching small lessons to students in grades 4-8
- Education students organizing a Scholastic Book Fair
- Nursing students performing community-based clinicals
- Nursing students conducting eye screenings, providing health education classes and running health fairs