(October 12, 2016) – The Center for Civic Engagement announces the fall semester winners of the City of San Antonio (COSA) Challenge Grants. This mini service-learning grant program has been supported through the generosity of District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg’s discretionary funding in the City Council Project Fund. Over 15 proposals were submitted for review from both graduate and undergraduate students totally close to $10,000 in requested funding. Nine projects were funded with the available funds for the fall semester.

Community Winter Festival $900.00
Graduate Students in Social Work Advanced Communities Course, College of Public Policy

This program will address safety issues raised in a community needs assessment of the Westside of San Antonio. The Festival to be held in conjunction with the Madonna Neighborhood Place will provide safety education and awareness through collaborative presentations from law enforcement and other community organizations.

Constitution Café $825.00
Undergraduate Students in Foundations of Civic Engagement Course, College of Public Policy

Students will organize a Constitution Cafe with the purpose of encouraging diverse group of participants to discuss the U.S. Constitution and how they can be engaged with their government. Participants will learn about the Constitution, how it is amended and will have the chance to discuss amendments they would like to propose.

Empowerment Tokens $450.00
Ethel Magna-Lopez, Undergraduate student in Communications, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

An outreach program in collaboration with The Rape Crisis Center for male survivors of sexual abuse to provide an opportunity for them to voice their experiences and feel empowered to seek help. The program will specifically target male Spanish speaking survivors who traditional have under reported rates of sexual abuse.

Jr. Pals $500.00
Alyson Moyer, Graduate student in School Counseling, College of Education and Human Development

Jr. Pals is a program with 4th and 5th graders at Tuscany Heights Elementary School in Northeast ISD. The program focus on community service to teach meditation techniques, inclusionary social skills, empathetic understanding, and the application of said skills in day-to-day interactions. The grant will support students creating sleeping mats for the Prospects Courtyard at Haven for Hope, felt blankets for terminally ill children with the Linus Project, and braided toys for the animals housed with the Animal Defense League. School counselors will assess engagement in the program to determine effectiveness of the sought outcomes for the students.

R.E.A.D. with PAWS $500.00
Amanda Swearingen, Graduate student in Bicultural and Bilingual Studies, College of Education and Human Development

This project will provide books and training materials for the therapy dog teams, with PAWS for service, who volunteer as certified Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) teams in elementary schools in San Antonio ISD and Northeast ISD to improve literacy outcomes.

VacMAPS $840.00
Undergraduate Students in Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Course College of Engineering

This senior design project will engage students in an after-school program at Health Careers High School in Northside ISD with the UTSA students project to design, analyze, build, and test a management and preservation system for refrigerated vaccines, furthermore improving vaccine storage and handling at a medical provider’s facility for refrigerated vaccines. UTSA students will demonstrate proper use of equipment, provide the high school students with the opportunity to program, debug and assist in the overall design of the equipment. The end goal of this project is to provide a valuable STEM learning experience for high school students to further their interest to pursue studies in STEM related fields.

Graduate Students enrolled in a Program Evaluation Course of the Department of Public Administration, College of Public Policy will conduct the following projects:

CAMP Program Evaluation Design $230.00
Students will with Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) to design an Evaluation Program to assess volunteer retention efforts.

Evaluation Design $150.00

Students will design a detailed evaluation plan for Transplants for Children with the purpose of addressing issues related to a specific program of the organization’s choice, and help resolve questions or implement suggestions for improvement.

Leadership SAISD Evaluation $175.00

Students will design an evaluation plan to provide Leadership SAISD with a tool to measure the impact of their programs.

by Brian Halderman

Learn more about the Center for Civic Engagement

Learn more abou the COSA Challenge Grant

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