The Religion in Politics Team - Perspectives in Citizenship and Community freshman seminar in Sharpe
Sharpe students enrolled in the Perspectives in Citizenship and Community seminar, taught by Professor Joel Schwartz, Government, examined the role of religion in politics using a variety of methods that integrated service with academic learning. A team of seven students volunteered at Operation Hope, one of Williamsburg's local faith-based organizations that provides food and clothing to impoverished citizens, and observed how this religious organization practiced what might commonly be defined as social service. The team also attended local church services, visiting a variety of denominations, in order to observe the worship styles and the extent to which parishioners and clergy engaged in open discussion of public policy or politics as part of their service. View the film students developed to share the Religion in Politics Team Project.
The Sharpe - Alumni Partnership in Community-Based Learning
Funded by the generous donation of time and funds by the Hundred Acre Woods Alumni Group, Sharpe implemented its first Alumni Partnership in Community-Based Learning during one of Williamsburg's notable heat waves last summer.
Professor Jonathan Arries, Hispanic Studies, and the Sharpe director worked with the alumni to coordinate logistics, and to propose themes and target populations for community-based learning. Nine students enrolled in a team-taught course on issues in service-learning and cultural mediation in preparation for the alumni visit during the project's implementation. The project focused on Barriers to Health and Human Services for Williamsburg's Latino Immigrant Population. Five alumni and one young family member joined five to seven W&M students in learning about literacy, education, and transportation barriers to health and human services for Latino immigrant workers in Williamsburg, and they would distribute leaflets (in Spanish and in English) advertising a local, free health clinic event and on-going social services door-to-door in some of Williamsburg's low income neighborhoods. See a review of the 2005 Latino Outreach Project (pdf).