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October 8, 2009

ULM joins other system universities in National Learn and Serve Challenge

The University of Louisiana at Monroe joins the UL System and thousands of young people, educators, community partners, civic leaders, and business partners across the country in celebration of this week's National Learn and Serve Challenge.

Since 2006, 79 projects funded at UL System campuses by a Learn and Serve America grant have tackled community problems from truancy to hunger to energy conservation.

The following Learn and Serve America grants have been approved for the ULM campus.

• C.A.S.T. - CPR at School Training Program, Dr. Mark Doherty

ULM kinesiology majors, working with faculty and volunteer community members, will guide sessions that focus on training middle and high school students in the Monroe area with a desire to learn basic CPR techniques.

The program enables large groups of students to participate in massive American Heart Association Family & Friends training sessions. The training also trains large groups of students to handle a life-threatening emergency that might occur during a natural disaster as well as increase the potential for these life-threatening emergencies to be managed by a larger number of people throughout the community.

• Project Soar: Launching a Professional Development School, Drs. Lynn Clark and Beth Ricks

This project is designed to provide targeted interventions in reading and writing for the Monroe City School and Cypress Point University Elementary sites, for first through fifth grade students, practical application of teacher preparation course content for College of Education and Human Development participants (junior year teacher candidates), and opportunities for ongoing relationships between university participants and site recipients.

The student population at these schools reflects the long-term academic needs of many of the communities affected by Hurricane Katrina, such as declining literacy rates, absenteeism and emotional or behavioral disorders. The grant enhances the existing relationship with Cypress Point by providing essential and sustainable resources to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

• University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks Mentoring Program, Dr. Wayne Brumfield

This project will utilize 50 carefully trained students from the College of Arts and Sciences to mentor 50 ninth grade high school students from Wossman High School and Carroll High School in Monroe. Through one-on-one relationships, the mentors will provide personal and academic guidance, encouragement and structured college and career readiness skills training to ensure that students gain basic skills and information to succeed in high school and beyond.

Individualized attention, special events and exposure to ULM's campus and students will help mentees begin to envision their potential and to develop specific plans for future success.

"This is an important opportunity to thank the numerous dedicated faculty, staff and students in our system for making a positive impact on Louisiana's communities," said UL System President Randy Moffett.

"As part of the role, scope and mission of our eight universities, service-learning harnesses brainpower for the betterment of our citizenry and instills an important lesson of civic responsibility for our students," he said.

Learn and Serve America's Higher Education Program Coordinator, Kirsten Breckinridge, praised the UL System for its efforts over the last three years.

"The ULS Learn and Serve program has done an outstanding job of spreading service learning across the state of Louisiana," said Breckinridge. "Over 13,000 students have participated in service learning, providing service to the state's communities by cleaning and restoring coastal lands, providing tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth, and a myriad of other projects addressing everything from health to economic development."

To date, almost 13,500 college students and over 800 faculty and staff have volunteered 115,000 service hours and engaged 323 community partners. Those impacts are expected to grow this year. Out of the 79 projects funded by the UL System grant, 28 are still in process including nine mentoring programs through a partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education.

For more information about the National Learn and Serve Challenge visit:

A detailed report on the UL System's service-learning programs including full descriptions of all 79 projects can be found at

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