Service Learning

Cleveland, Mississippi

Cleveland, Mississippi

Poetry for Life service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that bring students and elders together in a meaningful community service.  The students receive instruction in how to recite poetry. They write reflections on working with the elders to enrich the learning experience. This intergenerational project helps to strengthen our community.




Students benefit from service-learning through:

  • A hands-on experience of performing poetry that increases the relevance of their recitation skills.
  • An increased sense of social development and the aging process.
  • Increased awareness of career opportunities in the healthcare field.
  • Meaningful involvement in the local community
  • Interaction with people of diverse ages, cultures and lifestyles.

Student Reflection

This was an interesting experience. When I signed up for this, I expected just some service hours helping seniors recite poetry. This is much more. I saw people get into the experience and it became contagious. The whole group would be participating in the recitations. They helped create a poem answering our questions. The coolest part was the enthusiasm of these elderly, who can’t remember what they had for breakfast, and their pride in participating in something like this. They were also enthusiastic about having us come back and the funny part was that I wanted to do this again as well. The simple act of remembering is hard for these people. Knowing that such a simple solution is available is a bit uplifting for a disease we know little about. It goes to show, that even the smallest encouragement can help, even the back and forth recitation of a poem.

Tanner Tiffany, Durand High School, Durand Wisconsin