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St. Lucia Service Program
The St. Lucia Service Program provides a once in a lifetime experience to partake in service learning, volunteerism, and educational programs in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Participants will travel to St. Lucia in the Caribbean and connect with the schools and missions of the Presentation Brothers. St. Lucia is a stable democracy and a part of the Commonwealth.
Participants will have the opportunity to explore and enhance their leadership through combining meaningful service learning and educational activities. Participants will spend the vast majority of their time volunteering at local schools, teaching, and helping in concrete ways to improve the local community, while having the opportunity to interact intensively with the local people. Moreover, hands on learning about development, world issues, leadership, environmental conservation and biodiversity through interactive seminars will engage individuals to consider the importance and challenges of much needed development, while ensuring the protection of the world’s most wondrous flora and fauna. Students will also learn about the history of St. Lucia.
The motivation for this proposal was derived from the personal and professional experiences of its authors in conjunction with the vision prescribed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). The authors believe that Learning, Leadership, and Service within the context of Safe Adventure is a very powerful educational paradigm. This experience will enhance the historic links between Brebeuf College School and the Presentation Brothers and give students and teachers the chance to put faith into action for the common good.
A unique and distinguishing component of this program is the concept of “service learning”. Service learning can be identified as experiential education when the learner adopts a life role that provides meaningful service to a community in order to learn about oneself and others. The pedagogical value of the service increases when the following are added to the learning: an academic component designed to prepare the learner in terms of content and competencies relevant to the service; an opportunity to reflect upon and think critically about the experience; an element of adventure and challenge; an international and cross-cultural context; and an alignment of individual, placement, and system goals.
The delivery of this programme is in conjunction with Adventure Learning Experiences, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Brebeuf College School, the Presentation Brothers. The Brothers, associated with Brebeuf since 1984, have had an extensive presence in Ghana for over forty years. Through dedicated service in their schools, parishes, and missions, they have helped to lift people out of poverty and give them skills to be able to help themselves. These connections ensure a warm welcome for us and active co-operation and advice throughout the trip.
Approximately 14 students and 2 adults will be selected for admission to this program. This number has been governed by the practical exigencies of traveling to these areas of the world. Students will be selected according to the following criteria:
1. Trustworthiness and reliability
2. Respectfulness of other people and cultures
3. Adaptability to new experiences
4. Parental support
Interested students will be invited to submit an application and two letters of reference. All participants will also be expected to complete a TCDSB Parent/Guardian Informed Consent Form For International Excursions. The limitations of TCDSB responsibilities with respect to this program are also indicated in a letter from Adventure Learning Experiences to Mr. Alex Mazzucco who is an officer with TCDSB.
Code of Conduct
Each student will be expected to pledge commitment to a Code of Conduct, which will be designed to ensure that respect for each participant, his/her property, and well-being is safeguarded. This code will preclude harassment and abusiveness and will prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs. Above all, the rights and responsibilities of all participants will be clearly defined so that the objectives of this program may be achieved within a healthy and safe environment.
In addition to the authors of this proposal, there will be a minimum of two teachers from TCDSB, who will be taking part in the programme. They see the experience as opportunities for their own personal and professional development. Their involvement in the instruction and experiential component of the program will be closely supervised by the authors. During the experiential part of the program, approximately 2 teachers will supervise the St. Lucia program.
Each applicant and his/her parents will be invited to a private interview with the Directors to assess his/her suitability for the program. This will also give the applicant and parents the opportunity to determine if the program serves their needs and interests. Each applicant will be asked to bring their letters of reference to this meeting as well their most recent report card. Interviews will take place in the fall of 2011 at the CEC (80 Sheppard Ave. East). All deposits will be refundable in the event that the applicant is refused.
The authors propose that this learning program be offered to include a minimum of 40 hours of community service, which can be used as the mandatory component of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
In order to provide the optimal educational experience for our students and the people with whom we will volunteer, it is important to prepare the group with information on St. Lucia, its culture, history, and people, as well as for the volunteer activities we will be undertaking. These meetings will be included as community service and will take place at the CEC on the following dates:
|November 20, 2011
||10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
|January 15, 2012
||10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
|March 4, 2012
||10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
|April 1, 2012
||10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
A one page personal reflection is the only assignment and must be completed by April 1 in order to have community service hours registered.
There will be a variety of service learning opportunities distributed across a few locations. The primary focus will be to volunteer in various local settings. Formal classes will be conducted whereby teachers and students will be given opportunities to discuss their reactions to the learning experiences and which will offer support for their adjustment to the new environments. Upon returning to Canada, the students will meet to reflect and process their experiences, and will be given an opportunity to formally present their learning to family and friends.
Service and Leadership Opportunities
- Community development: Lend your hands to volunteer at schools and missions.
- Cultural education: Attend workshops, walk through traditional villages, and learn local languages.
- Leadership training: Experience intensive and interactive training.
- Environmental education: Learn about environmental challenges on a fieldtrip.
- Adventures: We will visit natural wonders: volcano, beaches, sulphur springs, "The Pitons" world heritage site, rain forest, and Pigeon Island National Park (a colonial British military base).
Tentative travel dates: March 8 to March 19, 2012
St. Lucia Service Trip 2012 : To be determined and subject to change.
||Depart Toronto for St. Lucia
||Acclimatize and learn about local culture
||Mass and volunteering
||St. Patrick's Day & excursions
||Mass and excursions
||Depart for Toronto
Local transportation will be organized and provided by us. International air travel will be provided by a reputable national carrier. In recent years this has been British Airways.
In St. Lucia, the accommodations will be in a Catholic retreat centre recommended by the Presentation Brothers. The adult supervisors will always reside in close proximity to the students. Appropriate separation between genders will always be ensured in these residences.
The cost of this programme is $2495, which will cover return airfare from Toronto to St. Lucia, all travel expenses within the country, meals, accommodations, training materials and donations to the local communities. It also includes all expenses associated with the Study component.
Payment will be made by regular installments according to the following schedule:
$ 545 Deposit accompanying application
$ 650 November 20, 2011
$ 650 January 15, 2012
$ 650 March 4, 2012
Note: Participants are asked to submit a series of postdated cheques according to this schedule. Cheques should be made payable to Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.
There are two fundraising activities designed to help students offset their trip expenses.
Sponsor Booklet: This is intended to provide an overview of the program and will feature the participants. Students are invited to sell advertising for the booklet and these funds will be directly applied to their trip fee, except for a nominal fee for the printing of the booklets. Please be aware that advertisements that are purchased by companies in support of a student will not be eligible for a refund in the event that the particular participant being supported withdraws from the program.
Raffle: Students will be invited to proportionally share in the proceeds of a raffle that will be held in June. This optional activity is available to all participants who donate a raffle prize worth $75.
Students are expected to take responsibility in planning to meet the financial commitment involved in this program. To assist in this, the participants will be expected to submit a plan to achieve this goal.
Please contact Greg Rogers for this information.
The only other costs that are not included in the above price are as follows:
Passport (this must not expire within 6 months of departure)
Out-of-country health insurance
Inoculations (depending upon one’s private insurance coverage)
Health and Safety
Careful attention to sound health and safety practices will be an important part in the preparation of the program. This will involve mandatory immunizations, learning healthy eating and drinking habits, and understanding effective illness prevention practices. For maximum benefit it is recommended that participants, in general, be in good health and achieve a sufficient level of fitness prior to the trip. Physical and dental check-ups are highly recommended prior to the departure date.
a) The following are ordinarily administered through one’s family doctor in the course of normal Ontario health care. All participants are asked to ensure their protection with inoculations against the following diseases: Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoied are recommended but not mandatory.
b) Tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is also available.
It is expected that our groups will greatly benefit from the local contacts which the authors have established in St. Lucia through the Presentation Brothers in the event that medical care is required. Each participant will be expected to purchase out-of-country health insurance. In addition, Dr. Lato and Mr. Rogers are both members of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT).
Each participant must complete the Consent to Medical Treatment Form in the event that urgent and emergency care is required.