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November 20, 2013
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Dominican Republic Trip + Service = Student Learning

By Jasmine Butler, BSU senior

Bowie State University students can now apply their classroom lessons to real-world international experiences with a new service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic during spring break from March 21-28, 2014.

The Department of English and Modern Languages is sponsoring the trip to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic for students from all disciplines who express an interest in community service, focused on environmental protection. Students must agree to use the trip to gather information for research they will present as articles, blogs, websites and documentaries once they return. They will also upload their reflections and photos on their own websites provided by EducationFirst, the trip’s sponsor.

“We want students to be able to get the experience that will take their classroom learning to the next level,” said trip coordinator Dr. Monique Akassi, coordinator of composition studies.

The student volunteers will work with Brigada Verde, an agency that focuses on channeling energies of Dominican youth into volunteer activities to reduce environmental degradation.

Students will earn 35 hours of service learning, as well as participate in cultural and recreational activities as part of the trip, such as hiking to Salto de Jimenoa waterfall in Jarabacoa.

Students can register online and pay $95 to reserve their space by Saturday, Nov. 30 to enjoy a $100 discount for a total cost of $2,040 (or $649 per month). For every six registered students, a professor or staff member can travel for free to help mentor and lead students as a chaperone.

Some students and staff have raised money for the trip independently by collecting donations from people while standing outside local grocery stores. A group bake sale is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 5 in the Student Center.

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