Dewey House for Civic Engagement
Serve: What Deweys Do
How do Deweys Make a Difference?
At the Dewey House for Civic Engagement, we believe in transformative civic engagement-doing work that provides deep learning experiences for students and meets real needs in the community.
"Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not preparation for life but is life itself." -John Dewey (Educator, philosopher, and Vermonter)
Dewey House programs and staff support students in finding and reflecting on service-learning experiences which deepen students' skills for leadership and effective community work; understanding of our world and complex social problems; knowledge of how their own strengths and interests can contribute to making positive social change.
Meaningful community work looks different for each student. For some, it's providing resources to a non-profit through volunteering at a one-time fund raising event. For others, it's more direct, like building a 1:1 relationship with a child learning English. And for others, it's leading a campus group that advocates for policy changes to reduce poverty.
Looking for upcoming involvement opportunities? Check them out here!
"I learned the importance of communication and reliability in building strong community relationships. With the Localvore dinner, it became really obvious to me that there are endless possibilities when you collaborate with others." - Hillary Laggis
"Having never been a mentor but having one when I was younger really appealed to me. Building a relationship with a younger buddy has been great. I can tell its making a huge impact on his life as well as mine". - John Black
Here are just a few recent examples of Dewey students' community engagement:
- Hillary built relationships at the Spectrum Youth and Family Services downtown Teen Center by cooking dinner there weekly, and then led her Dewey seminar peers in partnering with Spectrum to develop a "localvore" dinner event.
- Jeanelle developed an art exhibit of made by survivors of sexual violence with the HOPE Works organization for display at the campus Dismantling Rape Culture Conference, led a weekend retreat for girls’ leadership development with the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, and responds as a trained volunteer for the Rape Crisis Hotline regularly.
- Paul led an Alternative Spring Break two years in a row, to work in Texas with an HIV/AIDS clinic and to Florida for week of partnering with a farm that works with veterans.
- John became a mentor for elementary school-aged boys downtown and the King Street Youth Center and helped other Deweys get involved there too.
- Alyssa is the co-founding president of UVM's Oxfam club that coordinates a range of anti-hunger education and advocacy, to which many Deweys belong.
- Liz worked with Fed Up, a feminist advocacy organization, to help make the Occupy Burlington movement more inclusive.
- Sam worked with the Johnnie Brook Trail organization to bring students out to Richmond, VT to rebuild a trail bridge that Hurricane Irene had swept away with members of the wider community.
Here is a selection of more current and past community organizations with whom students have partnered:
Annual Community Contributions
Dewey House students commit to being civically engaged in their community for about 30 hours a semester, or 2 hours/week, a minimum of 60 hours per year. Most students contribute between 70 and 100 hours. And some complete significantly more than that!
The Dewey House student enrollment has grown every year since we opened our doors in the Fall of 2008. The following numbers show the total hours of community engagement contributed by Dewey students each academic year. We anticipate that these will more than triple by the end of 2013.
- 2011-2012: 2,700 hours
- 2010-2011: 2,500 hours
- 2009-2010: 1,250 hours
- 2008-2009: 700 hours
Last modified March 13 2013 12:01 PM