BSW Juniors work with the Red Cross to Install Smoke Detectors
On Saturday, September 30th, 30 juniors in our SWK 395 Field Experience class traveled to Houlton to work with the Red Cross by helping to install smoke detectors in area homes. The Red Cross program works to make sure that all Mainers have functioning smoke detectors in their homes. Students were trained in putting the (free) smoke detectors in homes around the Houlton area and then went door-to-door to do installations. Phil Gibson, MSW candidate in the online/hybrid program is an intern with the Red Cross. Without Phil’s work, this would not have been such a successful community service project. Phil designed the learning module, came to the SWK 395 Junior Field Experience classes and taught students about disaster relief service, client engagement and professionalism. Then he organized and taught students how to install smoke detectors. According to Nancy Kelly, Field Director and professor for the SWK 395 class, Phil was also “the energizer bunny when we were all starting to fade around 3 pm.” In total, 212 fire alarms were installed in 42 homes, impacting 128 people. The staff at the Red Cross were so impressed with our students. One Red Cross staff member wrote: “I cannot say enough about the 30 students who are juniors from the University of Maine Social Work class. They did their field experience with us today. They are truly amazing. They all will make great contributions to society.” Special thanks to Nancy and Phil Gibson who organized this service learning project, with help by Katrina Duncan, MSW student and Graduate Teaching Assistant for the class.