A service learning story
The Service Learning Action Fund (SLAF) was formed by Dheepa Maturi as a result of a service learning project she launched as a parent at an Indianapolis school. She saw an opportunity in connection with the school's International Festival to explore a global issue on a different level.
The Access to Water Project was a four-month campaign consisting of various service learning activities related to the global water crisis, including a community mural, a water-carrying simulation in physical education class, festival information booths and games, and a guest speaker. The activities eventually culminated in a Water Challenge to fund a water drilling project at Chibvuti Primary School in Zimbabwe.
Whether the students were studying water ecology or African history or community building, their participation in these activities not only provided context for their studies, but also seemed to cultivate their empathy for their global counterparts, as well as genuine understanding of a critical social issue. The impact of the campaign on the entire school community was so positive, and the response of the students so enthusiastic, that she wished to make similar service learning opportunities available in as many schools as possible.