Fun In the Sun Summer of Service with the Dunes Center and United Way
This summer students from Northern Santa Barbara County benefitted from a unique partnership to earn $500 scholarship towards higher education while improving their academic skills and serving their community through student driven projects.
In 2010 The Dunes Center partnered with the United Way of Santa Barbara and Northern Santa Barbara County United Way to offer the first ever North County Fun In The Sun summer program for 25 students (grades 6-9th grade). The pilot project was modeled after the United Way of Santa Barbara program that has had 13 years of success and in addition incorporated a service-learning component from the Corporation for National & Community Service’s Summer of Service program. The program also included a lunchtime mentoring program, organized by Northern Santa Barbara County United Way, called “Lunch Bunch”. The lunchtime program recruited professionals who encouraged students to do well in school. Participants included environmental scientists, local politicians, city officials, business persons, and volunteers from various organizations throughout the area.
The Dunes Center offered programming at two sites, one in Guadalupe and Santa Maria. The 6-week program ran from June 28th to August 6th, 2010, Monday through Friday. The program served 25 students all together at two locations, 13 students in Guadalupe and 12 students in Santa Maria. The program heavily relied on partnership support with 21 different local agencies contributing to the program’s success. The primary focus was to increase literacy during the summer learning gap while encouraging environmental stewardship and citizenry. Each of the 25 students completed 100 hours of service and earned a $500 scholarship from the Corporation for National & Community Service.
The Guadalupe students focused their efforts on improving a vacant city lot and turned it into a native plant garden for the community. Students visited the local dunes and the Nipomo Native Garden to research native plants, met with professionals and local government officials to acquire the land, and requested donations and support from local businesses to complete the garden. The students’ garden can be viewed at 7th and Campedonico, in the City of Guadalupe.
The Santa Maria FITS group organized city park trash clean ups, analyzed trash, organized community outreach events regarding waste, and worked with the Santa Maria staff park managers to increase public awareness about recycling and litter issues.
To read FITS group blogs from both the Santa Maria site and the Guadalupe site, visit The Dunes Center Facebook Page.
The Dunes Center would not have been able to have such as successful program without our partners and sponsors.
The FITS Program will be posting applications for the 2011 summer program during the spring of 2011.
2010 FITS Santa Maria Group after a Park Clean Up
2010 FITS Guadalupe Group after finishing their
Guadalupe FITS Participants working on the
Santa Maria Students Picking Up Trash
For more information please contact us:
The Dunes Center