Applications of Service Learning through a Room Renovation Project

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Katelyn Mershon
Steffi Meinhart


Imagine your favorite memory with your family. Is it gathering around the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, and playing games on a cold day? Maybe it is that one tradition your family has as the New Year approaches. Now stop. Imagine that same memory with no fireplace, no hot cocoa, no games; your family tradition is incomplete. All you have is a room at a shelter without anything that reminds you of that place you call home. We saw a place like this when visiting our local Salvation Army and knew right away we wanted to make a difference. Thankfully, as students in Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) at Purdue University, we have gained skills that have given us the ability to make a change in our community. These skills come from the variety of subjects in Family and Consumer Sciences, such as: housing, textiles, nutrition, foods, personal finance, child development, and more. In this program, we are preparing to teach middle and high school students about the many content areas of Family and Consumer Sciences. Community Issues and Applications for Educators (EDCI 350) is a required course in the FCSE teacher-education program. In this class, we completed an in-depth service learning project which is the source and focus of this article. The purpose of EDCI 350 is the “examination of diverse family and community characteristics and issues, and potential impacts on teaching and learning processes. The course includes interactions with human service agencies and personnel in schools and communities” (Purdue University Course Catalog). Our service learning project, in particular, taught us that it takes a significant amount of knowledge, time, and effort in order to have a large impact in our

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Mershon, K., & Meinhart, S. (2014). Applications of Service Learning through a Room Renovation Project. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research, 3, 1–8.
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