Academic journal article Childhood Education

Global Community Engagement

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Global Community Engagement

Article excerpt

Working with children who work on the streets of Santiago, Dominican Republic, has been a spring break tradition for groups of students at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, for the past eight years. University students plan and implement educational projects for the children and adolescents at Accion Callejera (Street Action), a nonprofit center in Santiago. Project themes have ranged from environmental sustainability to managing anger to documenting life on the streets through photography, and activities have included art projects, literacy projects, meditation, yoga, plays, and video productions. Both the children at Acci6n Callejera and the FGCU students learn and benefit from these interactions. Through daily reflections while in the Dominican Republic, the FGCU students work together to process what they are learning. The project was established by professors Ingrid Martinez-Rico and Craig Heller in the College of Arts and Sciences, and faculty from various colleges have been invited to participate and share their expertise as well.

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Accion Catlejera is a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services to children who work on the streets and others in need. These services include educational programs, medical and dental exams, psychological services, and outreach educational centers in neighborhoods in need. At the center, educational programs are provided for children who cannot attend public school and to supplement the education of those who do. …

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