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Project Title:Service Sunday: Serve Where You AreInstitution Name:Northeastern State University Innovation Category:Civic Engagement Project Director:Evelyn Woods, Assistant Dean of Student AffairsContact Information:(918) 444-2120, woodse@nsuok.eduWebsite:
Project Description:Service Sundays are designed to be short projects which can be completed in an afternoon setting.  The Cherokee Nation is a major partner in this endeavor as they provide millions of dollars in scholarships with a self-help component.  Sequoyah Schools is a local school system affiliated with the Cherokee Nation and has also become a partner.  A group of individuals representing all partners determine projects for the semester with the primary aim being to return services to our native community.  The Cherokee Nation assists with materials and NSU and Sequoyah assist in providing drinks and snacks.
Objectives:
  • To provide quality service opportunities to students who need hours for scholarships or organizational requirements.
  • To develop an ethic of service.
  • To develop community partnerships with a service basis. 
  • To encourage people to serve in the community that they live in, whether they are there for a semester or a lifetime.
Outcomes:
  • Over 870 hours of service have been completed between August 2010-April 2011,
  • Over 125 different volunteers have participated in the events.
  • Developed positive working relationships with the Cherokee Nation and Sequoyah Schools.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:We faced an issue with developing a niche for Service Sundays and some areas initially saw the program as competitive and not complementary.  That problem was resolved through a series of meetings.  We also find ourselves needing to improve publicity, although the program has grown steadily throughout the year.
Evaluation Approach:We have used participation as an evaluation tool at this point and have not formalized our evaluation process. The program coordinators do evaluate how the events worked after each one, but this is limited more to planning and conversation.  We will improve this area in the future.
Potential for Replication:This program can be easily replicated as there are needs that can be met on any college campus or community organization. The goals of the project need to be reasonable and targeted to the individual campus.  Since Native Americans are a major part of our culture in Oklahoma, this partnership was a natural fit.  Find something that speaks to your individual campus culture and work to solve problems in that area.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Steve Turner , Presidentturner@nsuok.edu
(918) 444-2000
Date Published: Monday, April 25, 2011