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Miami students take alternatives to spring break and volunteer

By Brady Easterling, university news and communications intern

Service learning projects take Miami University students across the country during spring break 2019.

RedHawks Immersion Service Experience

The RISE alternative spring break participants gear up for service projects, each with a specific social justice theme.

St. Louis, education inequity and youth development - Students will participate in a workshop with the St. Louis Learning Disabilities Association. They also will spend time with Gateway Greening, which empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening. There will be two days of service with Almost Home, which helps lift young mothers out of poverty. Students will tour a St. Louis school district and have an information session with administrators on how they’re handling inequities.

Land Between the Lakes, environmental justice – Students will travel to Land Between the Lakes, a national recreation center bordering Kentucky and Tennessee. Students will participate in spring cleanup projects. It includes preservation work of an 1850s farm site as well as removing debris from two campgrounds.

Nashville, gentrification - Students will serve with the Nashville Food Project and Second Harvest Food Bank. They’ll work with children affected by gentrification and take a guided tour of a gentrified neighborhood.
The RISE program is coordinated by the office of community engagement and service and international student and scholar services.

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Each year, students visit government officials in Columbus and Washington, D.C. during spring break.

Government Relations Network

The Miami University Government Relations Network Alternative Spring Break Leadership and Advocacy Conference provides students with a firsthand look at how an individual can impact government and how government impacts an individual. Conference participants engage in a series of office meetings with state and national legislators. The students travel to Columbus and Washington, D.C. The conference provides students with direct exposure to the government process and the people that run our government.

Service in the Kentucky hills

The English Language Center, TRiO Student Support Services and the Center for Civic Education at Miami’s Regionals are teaming up again for the third annual Alternative Spring Break service experience.

Eleven domestic and international Miami University Regionals students and four staff members will participate in a five-day service trip to Paintsville, Kentucky. Students will assist families with the restoration of their homes as well as provide remodeling support for the local food pantry.

Students will learn about the Appalachian culture, history, social issues and geography while serving a community in need.

Upon their return, students will showcase what they experienced and learned at a special event on Monday, April 8, at the Middletown campus.

This trip will be conducted in partnership with Good Neighbor Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit charity serving the working poor families of eastern Kentucky.