Many of the Center’s other research- and writing- based partnerships lead to publicly shared collections of local history and oral history. Some of these projects include histories of the local ethnic, racial, and cultural communities. We have partnered with the local branch of the NAACP, the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum (CPAAM) in Reading, the Hispanic Center, and Jewish Federation. Other book projects have documented the history of the Olivet Boys & Girls Club, founded in 1898 as Boys Friendly Club; local Viet Nam veterans’ oral histories; Reading police officers’ oral histories; and the history and stories surrounding the buildings that comprise the City of Reading skyline as seen through the windows of the Pagoda, a local landmark and tourist attraction.
Another program, Environmental Awareness and Community Action Project, is an ongoing service learning project through which anywhere from 35 to 100 students per semester work in teams and in partner with community organizations such as Reading Beautification, Inc., Berks County Parks Department, Nolde Environmental Education Center, Hawk Mountain, and the Schuylkill River Heritage Association. Students research an environmental issue and, depending on the partner organization’s needs, take action through protecting the environment or educating the public. In a sociology class, students study the key concepts of social structure, including inequalities of class, race, gender, and age in the context of education, particularly urban education and work as Penn State Educational Partnership Program (PEPP) Learning Assistants mentoring youth in the Reading School District.
For more information, e-mail Dr. Laurie Grobman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 610-396-6141.
- Center for Service Learning and Community- Based Research