SOE News

Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education receives APPLES Service-Learning Award

The Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE) has been selected to receive this year’s Service-Learning Award from the University’s APPLES program. Housed in the School of Education, SCALE mobilizes college students to address literacy needs in their communities and supports campus-based literacy programs across the United States.

APPLES─Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service─is a student-led program at UNC-Chapel Hill that works to build service-learning partnerships among students, faculty and communities in North Carolina and beyond. APPLES presents this award annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated ongoing commitment to service-learning─ the integration of a service program into the academic curriculum, with the goal of fostering social awareness and civic involvement among students.

Any individual or organization that has been involved with the APPLES Program for at least two years is eligible to be nominated for the award. The APPLES Advisory Board, staff and students oversee the nomination and selection process.

SCALE was recognized because of its core mission of collaboration and connection to service-learning and its long history of effective work with the APPLES program. In particular, SCALE’s “Learning to Teach, Learning to Serve” initiative, which began in 2006 with a $1.2 million grant from Learn and Serve America, has allowed SCALE to expand its service-learning work in recent years.

Through Learning to Teach, Learning to Serve, SCALE is working to establish a replicable statewide model for infusing teacher education programs with service-learning instruction. The goal is to teach pre-service educators to use service-learning techniques in their own classrooms and introduce students to a lifetime of service and civic responsibility.

“For years SCALE’s director, Kathy Sikes, has championed increased involvement between the School of Education and APPLES, by encouraging more faculty to offer service-learning courses and participate in workshops,” said Jenny Huq, director of APPLES. “Kathy’s own teaching of service-learning courses has been very well received by students, and she has worked tirelessly to engage others in this valuable work. That’s how this field moves forward.”

In addition, SCALE’s work through Learning to Teach, Learning to Serve was cited as very significant. “Through the Learn and Serve grant, SCALE has involved colleagues across the state and increased the teacher education/service-learning connection,” said Huq. “We are honored to recognize Kathy’s contribution as director of SCALE as well as her long-time work as an APPLES advocate, champion and colleague.”

The APPLES Service-Learning Award was established in honor of Ned Brooks, a clinical associate professor in the School of Public Health who formerly served as the University’s interim provost. While in that role, he secured institutional placement and support in the Provost’s Office for the APPLES program. Brooks was the award’s first recipient in 2001.

This year’s APPLES awards will be presented at a ceremony on April 16, 2009.