University of Louisiana System Partners with the Louisiana Recovery Authority – Sep 14, 2007
$550,000 Available for Service-Learning Programs
BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Louisiana System is seeking proposals to fund up to $550,000 in grants for service-learning programs that address hurricane recovery and disaster preparedness. This is the second phase of a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the Corporation for National Community Service’s Learn and Serve America division. The program proposals, due Sept. 28, must address one of the 15 recovery needs identified in the Louisiana Recovery Authority’s report, Louisiana Speaks.
“Service-learning is lifelong learning,” said UL System President Sally Clausen. “Studies show that when service is a component of classroom learning, students are more likely to stay in school, graduate and become engaged in their communities. The Louisiana Speaks priorities afford us a clear path on which to focus these positive efforts to help our state recover from the devastating 2005 hurricanes.”
LRA Director of Community Planning Jeff Hebert spoke at the UL System’s annual service-learning conference held August 13 in Baton Rouge and pledged resources from his office to help faculty make connections with community organizations already engaged in recovery efforts across the state.
“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita deeply changed South Louisiana, creating the most complex rebuilding effort in United States history. But they also created new opportunities for change and have provided us with a chance to rebuild better than before. That’s what Louisiana Speaks is all about,” said Hebert.
“By participating in service-learning initiatives that will support implementation of the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision, faculty, staff and student organizations from UL System universities can be a part of rebuilding a safer, stronger, smarter Louisiana. I am thrilled about this program, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Hebert.
The UL System awarded over $644,000 to 31 programs last year. So far they have yielded 3,058 college participants, 261 faculty and staff participants, 122 youth volunteers, 95 community partners, and over 14,000 volunteer hours.
Programs implemented this past spring included Louisiana Tech University architecture and design students who designed site-specific housing prototypes for Gert Town, a New Orleans community devastated by Hurricane Katrina; Grambling State University music students who restocked music supplies and performed two community concerts at New Orleans high schools; and Nicholls State University art students who worked with area community college and K-12 students to restore a sculpture garden damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
Only faculty, staff, and student organizations from the UL System’s eight universities are eligible to apply for funding but may partner with other institutions and/or multiple community partners. The eight ULS institutions are Grambling, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State University, Nicholls, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
More information about the University of Louisiana System service-learning grant and the request for proposals can be found at www.ulsystem.net.
Louisiana Speaks is the long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority that is supported with private funds provided by the LRA Support Foundation.