Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University
of Southern Maine in Portland are taking part in two formal Service Learning
ESL – Intensive Language Program
The Need: Students in USM’s Intensive English Language Program
need to converse with native English speakers to improve their English
The Project: OLLI students will engage in oral activities with
ESL students, interacting in ways that effectively build speaking fluency
in the ESL students.
The Learning: OLLI students will first meet with ESL instructors,
to learn effective techniques for assisting ESL students in speaking.
Then, for three weeks, OLLI students, guided by ESL instructors, will
engage in one-on-one conversations with ESL students two afternoons a
week. Oral and written reflection is an integral part of the course.
Riding to the Top: Therapeutic Riding
The Need: Riders with disabilities can improve muscle tone, social
skills and self-esteem through therapeutic riding. Trained volunteers
are needed to assist the rider throughout his/her lesson. The OLLI volunteers
will be walking, not riding, the horses.
The Project: OLLI students will learn how to assist a rider while
walking along side to help riders reach their goals in the therapeutic
lessons. They will learn how to work with good-natured horses and apply
the knowledge they have gained.
The Learning: OLLI students will attend a two-hour class on therapeutic
riding and rider disabilities the first week and a two--hour training
session for volunteering in the lesson program the second week. Following
the initial orientation classes, participation hours will be flexible
based on Riding to the Top’s schedule. Based on ability and availability,
students are assigned to a rider for the duration of the 8-week session
and will apply their learning by leading a horse or walking alongside