Often, the adolescents do not feel like valued members of their communities. Service Learning gives them the opportunity to do something positive in the community, giving them a sense of accomplishment. All clients perform community service projects that, not only benefit the community, but also impact the client following the PARC model: Plan, Action, Reflection, and Celebrate. We hope that this plants a seed of continued community service as they transition back to their home communities. Service Learning projects range from working with senior citizens with special needs, building community gardens, reading to children in local day care centers, and more.
The Bridges program connects the adolescent residents at the Adolescent Services Center with seniors from Pathways for weekly fellowship (including: games, crafts, and activities), fostering relationships based on unconditional positive regard. Additionally, this serves as an activity that teaches the adolescents about community involvement and serves as a safe place where they are not judged based on their past decisions.
“Well bridges is very important to me because I get to build a close relationship with my senior. It teaches me to help someone else other than myself, helps me learn to have more patience, and being with my senior at bridges helps me focus on being in the moment. Bridges is a safe and sacred place with no judgement and where everybody accepts everyone and has a lot of fun while doing it. Bridges also helps me and many others build and fix trust issues by building that relationship with the senior. The bridges program helps us learn manners and respect towards others. And personally I just love participating in bridges.”
– Testimony from a Bridges participant
Partridge Creek Farm
GLRC and Partridge Creek Farm have created a partnership that provides the adolescents with experience and education in farming, sustainability, and building a healthier community. With the help of Partridge Creek Farm the clients participate in projects that include gathering maple syrup, a hoop house, and a courtyard garden.
Maple Syrup Project
The adolescent residents worked hard this summer constructing a Sugar Shack to house their maple syrup evaporator. The Sugar Shack, located at the Adolescent Services Center, was funded through a grant from the West End Health Foundation. The adolescents participated in everything from start to finish in the construction of the building, including designing the structure, clearing and leveling the land, building the frame, and installing the doors and siding. Partridge Creek Farm and Dan Perkins Construction volunteered time and tools needed to assist the students throughout the construction process.
The Maple Syrup Project is part of the on-site classroom curriculum, taught by a State Licensed Special Education teacher, contracted through Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA). The project incorporates the plotting and tapping of maple trees, charting the sap production of each tree on collection days, and countless opportunities for statistical work in the classroom. Last spring, the residents gathered over 300 gallons of sap and boiled it down in the maple syrup evaporator to produce around 8 gallons of maple syrup. With the addition of the newly constructed Sugar Shack the Maple Syrup Project continues to grow each year.
Tapping the Trees 03/08/2018
Sap Collection 04/12/2018
Maple Syrup Brunch
Sugar Shack construction