by Bridget Kern
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
by Bridget Kern
- Spanish community service learning (CSL).
- Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship
- Business Spanish
- Social Media
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
by Ann Abbott
Susanna Easton. U.S. Department of Education Grant Opportunities: the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) and Business in International Education (BIE) Programs. I always think that I'm going to apply for the BIE grant, so I want to attend this session to give me the push I need.
Maida Watson. Florida International University. "Teaching Spanish and French for Business to Heritage Speakers in Miami." Maida and I have worked together on several projects, and I always look forward to her presentations.
Monday, March 22, 2010
by Ann Abbott
- In my office, I have a basket full of thank-you notes from students. I'm proud to have touched the lives of so many students, and the over-flowing basket reminds me of who I am working for.
- If I do a search on this blog for the label "student reflection," I have at my fingertips detailed descriptions of what students do and learn when they use their Spanish with our community partners. I find their insights inspiring.
- I got rid of all but a few of my high school trophies, ribbons, medals and letters. But I have saved the ones I managed to garner in my career. I keep my trophies for my "Social Entrepreneurship" and "Distinguished Teacher Scholar" awards in my home office.
- I framed a picture of me holding Comunidades: Más allá del aula. When I began teaching Spanish CSL there were no textbooks that prepared students to work in the community and that helped them understand better what they observed there. Little by little I built lesson plans to help my own students and community partners.
- I have a bulletin board outside my office that I rarely get around to updating. I think I'll ask my students to come up with an idea of how to decorate it to motivate students and myself.
by Ann Abbott
- You can identify potential hurdles for your students. If something is hard for you, it will probably--though not necessarily--be hard for them.
- You can pin-point the academic concepts of your course that will be highlighted through their community service learning (CSL) work.
- You can anticipate questions and concerns that students will have and can sketch an outline of what an orientation session would likely include.
- You may decide that a community organization that seemed like an ideal partner just won't work out. In my case, maybe the students wouldn't use Spanish enough. Maybe you will see that the organization has enough volunteers already. Or that they don't have the necessary infrastructure to handle your students.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
by Ann Abbott
Thursday, March 18, 2010
by Ann Abbott
by Ann Abbott
- January. Tour your community--on foot, in your car and on the bus.
- February. Volunteer yourself.
- March. Read some of the CSL bibliography. (I'll help you find the choice reads so you don't get bogged down.)
- April. Advertise your CSL course to students. (You're really committed now.)
- May. Build your community partnership.
- June. Integrate CSL into your course curriculum--classroom activities, homework, projects.
- July. Incorporate reflection into course activities and requirements.
- August. Prepare and file any necessary paperwork.
- September. Go on site visits while your students are doing their CSL work.
- October. Pause and re-align expectations with all stakeholders.
- November. Write the final exam.
- December. Celebrate!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"I met Sammi Esterman while I was there, and she said that she and the other volunteers do a lot of work on flyers to advertise the services of CCRS. They write in both Spanish and English, and do quite a bit of translation work both in written form and orally as well. They may translate advertisements for CCRS, or even translate for families that come into the office. The CCRS is especially important for Latino families in Illinois because they help find child care where there are Spanish-speaking employees. I think that this service is crucial for Hispanic families because so often they and their children do not speak English and can either get lost in the system or even taken advantage of. In one of their pamphlets (created by our own students!), Miguelito, a Mexican immigrant who moved here with his parents, explains that CCRS helped his family find child care "with a Spanish-speaking provider...I have fun every day while my provider helps me learn through playing and activities... She also makes me authentic Mexican food!" Not only does CCRS ensure that every child is placed in a safe and caring environment, but by taking the linguistic and cultural background of each child into account they also help ensure that children do not lose a sense of who they are or where they came from.
"I feel like the link between daycare and cultural preservation isn't a very clear one, or one that most people ever think about. However, after visiting CCRS, the importance of quality and affordable childcare has become extremely clear. I learned how providing this service for Spanish-speaking families can really alleviate some fear about leaving your child for the day, in addition to the financial stress it addresses as well. Knowing that a childcare provider is able to speak Spanish and communicate with both the parents and the child in their native language is an invaluable service, and I think that CCRS is really unique in this aspect."
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
In SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Languages, Cultures & Communities" (course information is in the left navigation bar), we now find ourselves half way throughout the semester. Thus far we have talked about the following, using Enterprising Nonprofits:
- Defining Social Entrepreneurship as having the objective to maintain and improve social conditions beyond financial benefits, blending social and commercial methods, looking for creative ways to generate revenue, and having a social objective through a hybrid of commercial and philanthropic methods.
- Defining and Creating Mission Statements: this needs to be equal to the actions you take. Social entrepreneurs can use their mission as their lever to move minds and hearts, and to “change lives”. It can also provide a sense of progress and significance to their work. But most importantly, it needs to be focused and clear. Or as Peter F. Drucker said, “It should fit on a T-Shirt”.
- We have also been exposed to rubrics in order to recognize and assess new opportunities, in particular, their social value potential, its market potential and its sustainability potential.
- Learning how to mobilize our resources and being familiar with the four phases of an entrepreneurial resource assessment, going from defining capabilities, devising operating structures, developing economic models and deducing resource needs.
- Accountability informs all parties involved, helps achieve our goals, creates an organizational framework and maintains a communication network.
Reality shows continue to fascinate television viewers. As I ask myself what elements being represented captivate the viewers, I can not help but realize that we continue to be fascinated by narratives of adventure and our desire to maintain a voyeuristic gaze on other individuals, at times similar or completely opposite from us. This eclectic combination between narrative that represent reality and fiction was present last Thursday in our Spanish and Entrepreneurship class. The homework was simple, go to kiva.org, click “lend” and choose a “region” with Spanish-speaking countries and browse the entrepreneur’s profiles. They had to select the profile they thought deserved a loan. Lastly, they printed the profile and brought it to class. Traditionally, students are asked to make use of their language skills and imagination in order to complete many foreign language in-class activities. What was drastically different this time around was that their analytical, persuas
ion and communication skills directly affected the life of a person in a Spanish speaking country. After several rounds of group work and class presentations, the students voted for the person or team that they felt deserved… the $100 dollar loan Dr. Abbott was going to make after class. Who knew replicating scenarios had real life consequences!
Focus for the Rest of the Semester
- Cover last half of Enterprising Nonprofits.
- Analyze real-world examples of social entrepreneurship in class.
- Complete community-based team projects.
- Prepare engaging presentations about the team projects.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
by Ann Abbott
- Researched information about Latino demographic and educational trends.
- Wrote a detailed and well-argued memo to the School Board.
- Involved the local press in the issue.
- Spoke before the School Board.
- And contributed to the successful outcome: the position was not eliminated.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
by Ann Abbott
Engage Chicago is an eight-week summer field study program that gives bright undergraduates from across the nation a chance to live, work, serve and learn together in this remarkable city, amidst a rich history & culture of civic engagement. The innovative program model deliberately combines academic coursework, placements at top community organizations/civic institutions, and powerful community experiences — all under the guidance of expert Northwestern faculty, staff and community mentors.
Through hands-on experience, thoughtful reflection, and a summer living with a vibrant community of peers, Engage Chicago is designed to be a powerful opportunity for students to learn about a great city, about social change, and about themselves.
TO: Board of Education, Urbana School District
FROM: Lissette M. Piedra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The School of Social Work
DATE: March 9, 2010
SUBJECT: A Case for Bilingual Family Liaison Services
"During times of fiscal austerity, cutting educational support services for Latino students and their families will prove in the long-run to be short-sighted and unwise. National, state, and local demographic trends signal the need for an increased focus on Latino youth and their families. Nationally, the unprecedented growth of the Latino youth population shows little sign of declining. Hispanic students make up 60% of the total growth in the nation’s public school enrollments over the past fifteen years1. There are now approximately 10 million Hispanic students—about one-in-five— public school students in the United States. By 2050, Latino youth are expected to make up 29% of the youth population2. Between 1996 and 2006, the proportion of Latino students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools increased from 14.0% to 20.1%, a significantly higher growth rate than any other ethnic or racial group.3
"According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, student enrollment in the Urbana School District follows a similar and even accentuated trend. In 2000-01, 120 Hispanic children were enrolled in the district. Five years later, the number had nearly doubled to 210 students, representing a 75% growth. During the 2007-08 school year, the number of Hispanic children grew to 267, reflecting a 122.50% change since 2000. During the same period, the total number of students shrank from 4615 to 3990. Hispanics children now make up nearly 7% of the student population and this trend shows no sign of decline.
"The size of the Latino youth population and the role they will play in future labor markets warrants a larger public investment in their well-being4. Indeed, evidence suggests cause for concern. According to the 2000 Census, the Latino population in Champaign County is relatively young; less than half are 25 years or over (38%). As a group, they have low levels of education; less than a third (32%) has a high school education or more and an even smaller percentage (16%) has a Bachelor degree or more. In addition, about a third of the population is foreign-born (33 %) and over 60% report speaking a language other than English at home.
"Latino youth are overrepresented among the poor. Low levels of education, recency of migration, and limited English proficiency contribute to low-wage labor participation. While labor participation among the Latino population is comparable to the general population, 54% and 55% respectively, there is significant discrepancy in earnings. Median household income for Latinos is $12,653 less than for the total population and families fare even worse—median family income is $21,737 less than for the total population. Not surprisingly, the percentage of individuals living below the poverty level is significantly higher among Latinos than for the total population (23.5% vs. 14.7%)5.
"Given the corrosiveness of poverty, Latino youth are at higher risk for poor developmental and health outcomes than their white peers.6 Moreover, for low-income immigrant Latino families increased length of residency in the United States coincides with deterioration in the health and school achievement of their children7. While overall school dropout rates have fallen over the past 30 years, the rates for Hispanic youth remain substantially higher than for any other ethnic group. According to the Illinois State Report Card (2008), 76% of Latino student who enter high school graduate compared to 93% of their white counterparts. In other words, one in four Latino students fails to graduate from high school in Illinois8. In addition to academic attrition, there are worrisome increases in adolescent parenthood, gang involvement, and suicidal behavior among Latino youth9.
"Despite all these vulnerabilities, Latino families report placing a high value on education. With appropriate supports, Latino children can succeed. However, language barriers pose serious obstacles for parents when accessing institutional supports10. In many ways, the presence of a bilingual Family Liaison conveys the message that the educational institution wants to keep vulnerable families connected to the school system. Moreover, the ability of the Urbana School district to provide support services in Spanish represents an institutional achievement that will be undermined by cutting the position. Indeed, in a recent study of Champaign service providers, researchers found that a chief compliant among bilingual providers was the lack of institutional planning around bilingual services when there is a reduction of bilingual staff.11
"During this fiscal crisis, it is important to keep sight of long-term demographic trends and to consider the difficulty in replacing bilingual services in a community with a serious shortage of bilingual staff. The Urbana school district urgently needs to have a bilingual Family Liaison and will need one even more in the future. An investment in the family liaison position today, represents an investment in the district’s ability to respond to rapid changing demographics and ultimately, to contribute to the development of our future labor force.
"1 Pew Hispanic Center (2008). One-in-five and growing fast: A profile of Hispanic public school students. Retrieved December 16, 2009 from http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/92.pdf
2 US Census Bureau. (2000). Population Estimates and Projections
3 National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Digest of Education Statistics, 2006, Table 41.Washington, DC: US Department of Education.
4 See Morales, R., & Bonilla, F. (1993). Latinos in a changing U.S. economy: Comparative perspectives on growing inequality (Vol. 7) and see Sullivan, T. A. (2006). Demography, the demand for social services, and the potential for civic conflict. In D. W. Engstrom & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity -- Implications for 21st Century American Society (pp. 9-18).
5 Click here for reference.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
On the first day of my placement with CLACS at the Urbana Free Library I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing that I knew was to be prepared to utilize spoken Spanish. This was a very daunting thought for me because in the past I had spoken Spanish in the classroom and occasionally with friends. I had received varying responses to my forays into speaking Spanish. In class where the emphasis is placed on learning, I felt shy but comfortable using my Spanish. With my bilingual friends the response was different. Some of my friends would laugh at my rudimentary pronunciation, while others smiled and said “Wow, you’ve learned so much”. With these experiences in mind I nervously approached the library. Never before had I been placed in a situation that demanded that I converse with native Spanish speakers.
When I arrived at the library, I learned that the author who was supposed to be reading his book to the children had not arrived yet, and I was informed that I potentially might have to translate a Spanish book to English while the program coordinator read it in Spanish. After quickly reading though the book, I found that I knew all of the words and could definitely translate the whole story. However, this was not the case, the author arrived and instead of being the entertainment I got to watch the entertainment. After a touching story about abuelitas, which was very meaningful to me because my grandma is important to me, and listening to a traditional Spanish folk song, it was my turn to lead the craft portion of the afternoon. I helped set up the craft and then offered assistance to the children who wanted to make Valentine’s Day picture frames for their grandmas.
What I found from this experience is that I can understand native Spanish speakers and they can also understand me. I felt most comfortable talking to the children instead of their parents because I felt like the children wouldn’t judge my grammar or pronunciation. My first day in my community placement helped me feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. I also met a study abroad advisor from the University of Illinois. He gave me information about studying abroad as well as the group Mi Pueblo, so that I could continue to practice Spanish. I also learned new craft centered vocabulary words. A final benefit of working at Spanish Story Time was that it put me in closer contact with the Latino community in Champaign- Urbana, which helped me experience the literary and musical aspects of Latino culture.
Monday, March 8, 2010
by Ann Abbott
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Booker T. Washington is a lovely school that is undergoing a big transformation right now--a new building and a new theme. Our partnership will have to evolve along with their changes, and that will require lots of conversations to find out how we can change our partnership but still keep it mutually beneficial.
Below are Kirsten Hope's words as she described the atmosphere she encountered during her visit to BTW.
"I visited Booker T. Washington School this morning. I went to Claudia Fradkin's 1st grade bilingual classroom. Wow. I have never seen so much energy! The students in her class were so excited about learning and the amount of activity going on in the class astounded me! When I first got there, the students were broken up into groups, working on reading, spelling and I think some math! Every student was thoroughly engaged in what he or she was doing, and you could almost feel the learning going on. The classroom was so different from the upper grades that I'm used to. Claudia's strategies of working in groups and rotating between them really kept every student on task, and even when they looked off task, she somehow brought them back to the task at hand.
"There were two volunteers from SPAN 232 and 332 there. James McElwain and Hugo Olvera work in her classroom every week, and they told me how Claudia manages her classroom with a delicate balance of strictness and warmth. The students seemed to really respond to her attitude, and they obviously really loved our volunteers as well! James and Hugo told me about all the students, and the funny things they say or do. It seemed like a lot of fun working there, and I also think that it's very educational- not only for the 1st graders, but for the volunteers. For example, I asked James about what happens if the students use a colloquialism or slang word that he doesn't know. He explained that although the dominant language of the classroom is Spanish, the students can switch between Spanish and English so quickly that communication problems don't arise too much. I think that the 1st graders really appreciate seeing 'big kids' use their native language to communicate with them. They seem to really love working with the volunteers. Claudia also told me how much she loves having the volunteers in the classroom, which is more than obvious in the classroom. There is a feeling of respect and pride for both the Spanish and English languages in the class, and everyone works together in their mutual learning."
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I consider Carolina Kloecker to be the "poster child" for the Spanish & Illinois program.
- She did a wonderful job in "Spanish in the Community" (SPAN 232) and blogged here about her community service learning (CSL) work. You can search for the label "Student Reflection" and find her posts.
- She did a Spanish & Illinois Summer Internship with ACCION Chicago, a micro-lending organization.
- She's in "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" (SPAN 332) with me this semester, and I often use her work as an example during my class presentations.
So I was thrilled to see that Carolina was at the poster session before Muhammad Yunus' talk and during his book signing. He was so gracious that even after an exhausting day, he took the time to go to each poster and hear about our University of Illinois students' work with social entrepreneurship. As you can see from the picture, Carolina poster was about ACCION Chicago. And as you can also see from the picture, she had a chance to speak personally with Muhammad Yunus!
Click on the video to listen to Carolina explain the important work that ACCION Chicago does. I asked Carolina a few questions, and I was pleased to know that borrowers need an ITIN number, not necessarily a Social Security number. That is an important, inclusive policy.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Illinois Launch is a wonderful new initiative on our campus. It will highlight UIUC alumni who are entrepreneurs, and help current students achieve their entrepreneurial goals. You can read all about it at the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership's website--and even apply to participate in it.Students, if you are looking for a wonderful summer opportunity, read the message below and apply to work on their website.
Summer Media Internships
Paid – New grads welcome
University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership is launching a new website. Impact Illinois focuses on entrepreneurial, innovative alumni and their accomplishments, as well as accomplishments of university students, faculty and staff. A key component will be profiles of business and social entrepreneurs. The audience is both internal and external – models for students and telling the Illinois story to others.
Two full-time internships are available for summer 2010. Interns will spend most of their time researching, interviewing, writing, and developing content for this website. Primary responsibility: create profiles of entrepreneurial alumni from colleges across the campus.
Benefits: This internship provides tremendous hands-on experience, and a portfolio for job-seeking. Graduate students and May grads are welcome to apply. Salary: $10/hour. Possibility of academic credit.
Other details: For excellent candidates, will consider hiring as part-time interns, at a minimum of 50% time. Most work is during normal business hours, but some flexibility required. Possibility of occasional regional travel. The Academy staff is collaborative – interns will work primarily with the communications coordinator, Annie Sit, but will also interact with the other staff for specific projects.
Skills, education and experience needed: • Excellent writing skills • Print journalism, public relations, online content creation or other feature writing experience • Adherence to deadlines • Initiative to self-start/work independently • Bachelor’s degree preferred, but experienced undergrads welcome • Digital and/or video photography experience desirable.
To apply: Forward email cover letter, resume and samples of work to Annie Sit, email@example.com, by March 12th.
Additional background: In the six years since its founding, the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership has made a major impact at Illinois, and continues to do so. The university, through its students, faculty, staff and alumni, has made a major impact on the world. But neither the Academy nor the university is adequately telling its story – especially online. These internships are an opportunity for students with interest in feature writing, online content, videoblogging, public relations and marketing to contribute to this effort.
Projects - Interns will work on some combination of the following projects:
• Interview entrepreneurial alumni and write profiles
• Interview Illini social entrepreneurs and write profiles
• Create short video clips of entrepreneurial students, faculty and staff
• Write impact stories, related to Academy initiatives, and drawing on interviews of Illinois students, faculty and staff
• Solicit stories on entrepreneurship and innovation at Illinois from other university units
• Use online and university archives research to identify impact stories linked to entrepreneurship and innovation at Illinois. Edit or write stories based on these resources.
270 Wohlers Hall, MC-706, 1206 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
A final reminder about this exciting talk. And if you go to the poster session, please say hello to Caroline Kloecker, my student and former intern at ACCION Chicago, a microlending organization.
"Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century"
A Public Talk by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Celebration of University of Illinois Social Entrepreneurship Projects
Monday, March 1, 2010, Foellinger Auditorium, 7:00 PM, 709 S. Mathews Avenue, Urbana
Before speaking Dr. Yunus will be presented with the University’s Presidential Award and Medallion by President Stanley O. Ikenberry. A question and answer session will follow Dr. Yunus’s remarks. This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but admission is first come, first serve. Overflow will be directed to the Deloitte Auditorium in the Business Instructional Facility where the event will be broadcasted. For more information visit www.SE-21.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Poster Session Business Instructional Facility Atrium
Monday, March 1, 2010 515 E. Gregory Drive, Urbana
The Poster Session celebrates over twenty social entrepreneurship projects created by University of Illinois students, faculty/staff, and organizations on themes related to microfinance, gender equity, health, and social ventures. Copies of Dr. Yunus’s two best-selling books, “Banker to the Poor” and “Creating a World without Poverty” will be on sale during the poster session, and Dr. Yunus will be available for a book signing. This event is free and open to the public.
Provost’s Gender Equity Council
Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Center for Advanced Study
Center for Global Studies
College of ACES
College of Business
College of Engineering
College of Fine and Applied Arts
CSAMES-India Studies Fund
International Programs and Studies
Office of the Chancellor
Office of the Provost
School of Labor and Employment Relations
Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program