October 31, 2011

UC Santa Cruz Grows Community through Service Learning

By Guest Blogger Julia Doloff, UCSC student and member of Praxis

"At UC Santa Cruz there is never a lack of students who are willing to volunteer their time to give back to the community and to lend a helping hand. Praxis, which is a service learning organization at College Nine and College Ten, is the perfect example. Praxis introduces the concept of service learning, which is a type of experiential education at American Universities.

Service learning employs three key concepts: experience, reciprocity, and reflection. Students actualize these concepts by volunteering with a range of organizations throughout the Santa Cruz community, such as Save Our Shores, Habitat for Humanity, and Rising International, in order to understand social justice issues affecting our community and the world at large.
Praxis students have enjoyed participating with Save Our Shores for years. The students love the opportunity to get outside and help clean our local beaches for the preservation of the environment as well as to experience the beauty of nature.

The cleanup at Panther Beach on October 15 was eye opening for many students. We found large quantities of cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottle caps, styrofoam, and an enormous amount of broken glass. It is sad to think that people could leave so much trash in such a beautiful, pristine place.

This was our largest Praxis event because it could accommodate so many people and many students jumped at the chance to go. It was educational for all the students to learn about how long it takes for certain materials to deteriorate (or not) in the ocean and enlightening to know that there are so many people and organizations, such as Save Our Shores, willing to do everything they can to help protect our beaches."

Save Our Shores sends a big THANK YOU to the Praxis team for leaving Pather Beach and our environment cleaner than they found it!

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