Service Learning Preflection

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As I look ahead to my service learning experience, my hope is that I am able to make it a rewarding life lesson for my players and myself. I believe that there are many benefits to incorporating service learning into our curriculum. Aside from making a positive contribution to our community, we will learn the value of serving others above ourselves. My project will be conducted at the Liberty Humane Society Animal Shelter here in Jersey City. I chose Liberty Humane because I have been a volunteer there for several years and find it to be a very rewarding way of spending some of my free time. I intend to make this an education based project by requiring each of my 36 varsity football players to serve 1 hour with me at the shelter during the season. Some of the tasks we will perform will include but not be limited to dog walking, kennel cleaning/ maintenance, feeding animals and working at pet adoption events. We will also spend time socializing dogs with humans and other animals to help make them adoptable at some point. What I am most looking forward to is having many of my players face their fear of dogs, and to prove to them that the stereotype of Pit Bull breed dogs being inherently vicious is not true. As you know, most dogs that come through inner city animal shelters are Pit Bulls. These animals carry a stigma of being brutal fighting dogs who are bred to be violent. The truth is that these animals are made to be vicious through cruel treatment by irresponsible owners. They are routinely seized and brought to the shelter by the Jersey City Police Department from dog fighters and drug dealers who have trained them to be vicious. I believe that anytime you can lead a student into an experience where their own preconceived notions and stereotypes may make them apprehensive can be a very powerful learning tool. My goal is to simply show my players that everything they have been led to believe about these animals in untrue and to teach them the value of...
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