Alternative Break Citizenship Schools (ABCS)

Posted by on April 9, 2007

There has been a fair amount of interest on this listserv about alternative breaks, which we are thrilled to see. We?ve long been convinced that break programs are great models for student-led service-learning. The growth of alternative breaks ? new programs and increase of participants in existing programs ? has been amazing to watch. Some statistics that may be of interest:

Average number of staff persons committed to support of alternative break programs: 1

Average number of students on exec committees or boards overseeing alternative break programs: 4

Average number of student leaders being trained by student exec committees: 18

Average number of trips being sent out, per school program: 10

Average number of participants involved in campus alternative break programs: 98

Average budget fundraised by alternative break programs/participants: $18,688

Average number of hours of direct service rendered on alternative breaks: 350/group

Projected number of participants on alternative breaks in 2007: 36,000

Project number of alternative break direct service hours: 1,050,000

Projected worth of volunteer hours by alternative breakers: $19,708,500 (using $18.77/hr figure just released by the Independent Sector)

The press these students are getting is also starting to reflect a shift from deviance (what kind of strange kids would skip partying on the beach to go be do-gooders?) to a comprehension of the year-long effort students are putting into their local communities and learning in-depth about specific social issues as part of an alternative break trip.

This being said, alternative breaks are also being shown unprecedented support by nonprofit partners and corporate sponsors. Of particular interest, Orbitz (the travel company) has committed grant money to encourage schools outside of our current Chapter network to come to our national trainings (the Alternative Break Citizenship schools) and to do work in the Gulf region. So, we are doing our best to connect with schools that fit this bill and offer them free travel to come to these experiential trainings. If this is you (or anybody you know) please give us a call or email me.

The Orbitz grant will be used for the New Orleans ABCs from June 16 – June 22. More details about the Alternative Break Citizenship schools are below my signature and found here:

To qualify for the Very Early Bird Deadline (most economical rate – $525 for housing, food, travel, materials for a full week conference) we?d need you to fax in your registration forms (404.348.4337) and proof of payment by Monday, April 16th at 5pm EST.

I?m glad to talk to anybody on the phone, as I may have missed some significant details in my haste to get this word out.

My best to all,

Jill Piacitelli
Break Away: The Alternative Break Connection
404.979.2736 (direct)
800.903.0646 (toll-free general line)

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