November 2009

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club November 8th, 2009

A huge thank you goes out to all who came and celebrated our 5th birthday with us.  We so appreciated the large turn out of friends and supporters!  The Marshall Community Center turned out to be a wonderful venue and the decision has been made that this will be our new home.  If you weren’t able to make it this month, please join us on Dec. 13th and check out our new digs.

A special thanks goes out to John Anderson for arranging for our move to the Community Center and to Karen Schultz and guests who provided a terrific presentation- what a great way to celebrate the last five years while also looking forward to the next five!

We hope that you noticed our front page, above the fold, article with photo in the November 11th issue of the Fauquier Times Democrat.  Thanks to the reporter and photographer as well as to David Roos and Neil Swanson for their great quotes about the SSC.

David began the evening by presenting a lovely flower arrangement to Linda and Neil Swanson along with a heartfelt thank you for their integral role in the establishment and continued success of the Sunday Supper Club.  We also took a moment to recognize Huel Meadows, a dear founder and friend of the SSC, who, while no longer with us in person, is definitely with us in spirit.

David encouraged us all to “Give yourself permission to get a little smarter about what’s going on in the world around us,” an apt summation of the mission of the SSC.

Five Minute Flash Reports:

Treasurer’s Report-  Lisa Richard
Our balance last month was $210.95.  After paying out $31.90 for domain names the balance now stands at $179.05.

The SSC’s continued growth has necessitated a move to a larger, more public venue which also means that we now must pay rent.  After much searching (and leg work by John Anderson and others) we settled upon the Marshall Community Center as the best value for our dollars.   The rent here is quite reasonable and made even more so by a discount if we pay for 10 months in advance.  If you are able, a donation to help fund this expense would be greatly appreciated!

News flash:  Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of our wonderful friends, we raised over $580 this evening which easily covers our rent for the next 10 months.

Coal Country House Party- JL Combemale filled in for Bill Day in issuing an invitation to Bill’s “Coal Country House Party” to be held Sat. November 14th.  Working in coordination with the Sierra Club, Bill will be hosting one of hundreds of house parties taking place across the country.  We’ll watch the film “Coal Country”, the “stunning new documentary about mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia” and will learn ways we each can work to stop the devastating practice of Mountaintop Coal Mining.  Visit www.sundaysupperclub.org for details on the house party.  Visit www.coalcountrythemovie.com for more details on the film.

Marshall Community Center- John Anderson asked for feedback on our meeting space at the Marshall Community Center.  He pointed out that if we wish to continue meeting here we’ll receive at 15% discount on rental if we pay for 10 months in advance.  John also thanked Meg for all her help in setting up and taking down our room.

Services to Abused Families- Julie Turner and Donna Lipinski encouraged us all to support SAFE, the shelter for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.  The shelter is located in Culpeper but provides services to 5 counties including Fauquier.   Julie’s current task for SAFE is to secure donations of both money and items for their upcoming holiday celebrations for resident women and children.   SAFE collects items and then allows the women and children to “shop” for one another.  If you are interested in donating or perhaps know of a business or church group that would like to get involved, please contact Julie at 540-364-6240.   For more on the work of SAFE, visit their website at http://www.safejourneys.org/

Virginia Democratic Women’s Caucus T-shirts- Julie offered for sale the new VA Democratic Women’s long sleeved, royal blue T-shirts.  These shirts are union made and available for sale for only $25.00 and may be purchased through Julie or online at

http://vadwc.org/

Community Announcements
Linda Dulicai invited us to the Fauquier Business and Professional Women’s Annual Craft Fair to be held Nov. 14th at Fauquier High School, 9:00AM to 3:00 PM.  Over 60 vendors for local crafts and products will be represented.  Funds raised will provide college scholarships for all three Fauquier High Schools.  For more information call 540-270-5434 or visit www.fauquierbpw.org.
School board member Sally Murray requested that anyone needing information on H1N1 please contact the health department.  She apologized for the confusion in getting out information but stated that both the school system and the health department are doing their best in a difficult situation.

Donna Lipinski invited all interested persons to attend the meetings of the Holistic Business Alliance held on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.  The meetings take place at Donna’s Blue Ridge Immigration office at 9 North 3rd St. and are open to all who have an interest in running their businesses in a holistic manner.

Andrea Martens revealed her “discovery” of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and mentioned that they are having a holiday concert on Sunday December 6th.  Tickets are available on the Highland School web site at http://www.highlandcenterforthearts.org/etickets/show_listing.php?action=showDetail&show_id=221

The Warrenton Chorale will be holding their annual Christmas concert on Dec. 5th and 6th.  Information on this event may be found at www.warrentonchorale.org

Gerry Eitner invited everyone to attend a series of meditations for inner peace being held on Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:00PM at St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton.
For more information email communitiesofpeace@gmail.com

Michael Rainger reported the good news that the Fauquier County energy conservation program, while only a year old, has already produced savings on electrical bills of about $30,000.  32 building complexes are participating currently (up from the original 24) with 19 averaging almost 15% in KW savings year to date.  By popular request, Michael will be giving a flash report on this important topic at our next meeting.

The SSC was pleased to welcome Krystal Ball, 2010 candidate for Congress in the 1st CD, and her adorable daughter Ella.  Krystal thanked us for our hospitality and commented on the importance of community in our lives.

*** The SSC has always limited the emails we send to three a month- two invitation emails and one with the minutes.  Unfortunately this means that often by the time I complete the minutes many of the events mentioned in our flash reports and community announcements have already passed.  I wanted to ask if anyone would mind if I sent out an additional email, immediately after the meeting, with information on upcoming events.  If you would prefer that I not do this please email me at almartens@gmail.com.  I’ll assume silence is permission to do so.J  Thank you!

Guest Speaker

We were pleased to welcome longtime friend of the SSC Dr. Karen Schultz as our guest speaker.  Karen spoke with us about the concept of Service Learning and how this strategy is being successfully implemented at Shenandoah University.  Karen brought along a few reinforcements to demonstrate the multiple ways in which Service Learning benefits both students and the communities they serve.

Karen provided me with a handout from www.servicelearning.org (thank you Karen).
Although I’ve including parts of this handout in my notes, if you are interested in more details about this subject I would highly recommend that you visit this excellent web site.

Karen began her presentation with the question: “From what source are we able to receive reliable, free medical advice?”  (No, the answer is not webmd.com).  The correct answer……  Pharmacists.  Because pharmacists play such an integral role in the health of the community Karen believes that future pharmacists must learn to interact with all groups of people and that one path to this is through the development of service learning programs.

Before beginning with Karen’s remarks, I’ve selected a few segments from the aforementioned handout which provide a general overview of Service Learning.

By definition, “Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.  Service-learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection.  Service-learning provides college and university students with a ‘community context’ to their education, allowing them to connect their academic coursework to their roles ads citizens.”

“Students involved in service learning are expected not only to provide direct community service but also to learn about the context in which the service is provided, the connection between the service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens.”

“Service-learning is a form of experiential education that
Is developed, implemented and evaluated in collaboration wit the community
Responds to community-identified concerns
Attempts to balance the service that is provided and the learning that takes place
Enhances the curriculum by extending learning beyond the classroom and allowing students to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations
Provides opportunities for critical reflection.”

“Service-learning is significantly different from other forms of experiential education in that it:
Offers a balance between service and learning objectives
Places an emphasis on reciprocal learning
Increases an understanding of the content in which clinical and/or service work occurs
Focuses on the development of civic skills
Addresses community identified concerns
Involves community in the service-learning design and implementation

Karen stressed these principles often throughout her presentation, beginning with the importance of creating a relationship with the people at the sites the students intend to serve.  Service-learning is a two way street- the site lets us know what they need and teachers and students devise a plan to help.  Students commit to spend 3 hours a week at the site implementing this plan.

The goal for Karen’s pharmacy students is to be exposed to different populations; therefore the students are encouraged to volunteer with a group they have not dealt with in the past.  Because reflection is a critical piece of service-learning, students are required to submit a journal within 48 hours of each experience which looks at questions such as; What did you see, what’s going on, did you feel uncomfortable?

Emily Kirchner, a current Shenandoah University pharmacy student, spoke with us about her work at the Adult Detention Center in Winchester.  For her Service-learning project she had to develop a presentation on addiction for those incarcerated in the center.  She spoke of the difficulty in presenting the scientific data in a way that everyone could understand and also about her initial discomfort working with inmates.  In addition to her highly successful addiction presentation, she assisted with the detention center’s adult reentry programs, GED training and in the medical unit.  Through her experiences she gained insight into this population and realized that many of this population are highly motivated and truly want to do something good with their lives.

Former SU student and current CVS manager Dr. Eli Wilson then shared with us his experiences with SL.  Eli worked at the middle school with a group called “Math Buddies” which targets 7th and 8th grade students at risk for failing.   8 SU pharmacy students worked with the children that year and discovered that in addition to marked improvement in math scores, their mentorship of these children made a difference in other areas of their lives as well.  The pharmacy students went on to make a very well-received documentary about this experience.

Eli commented that during his time with “Math Buddies” he learned to become a better communicator as well as developing greater empathy for others.  He also stressed that Service Learning is a two way street- “We were giving to them but they were contributing to our growth as people.”

We were pleased to be joined by Professor Woody Bousquet, chair of the Environmental Studies undergrad program at Shenandoah University who gave further examples of the many possible implementations of Service-Learning.  He incorporates SL programs in several of his courses and believes this encourages not only acquiring knowledge but then doing something with it.  SL allows the students to recognize the realities they will face as environmental professionals.  He provided us with a couple examples from his classes.
He and his students recognized a need in the community to develop a brochure of natural places to visit in Winchester and Frederick County.  The students set out to identify, explore and describe these areas and created a brochure which is distributed to visitors by the County and some local businesses.
The students recognized the importance of the Abrams Creek Wetlands as home to more than a dozen species rare to Virginia.  They gathered data on the Wetlands and got this information out to the public.  Their study of the Abrams Creek/White Pond Wetlands was sent to the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors as well as to the School Board.  The following year, as an Environmental Education Program, they provided tours of the wetlands, targeting political decision makers and neighbors of the preserve.

Because this area is designated wetlands, developers must now consult
this information before beginning construction.

3.  Their new project is now to research and teach others about ways to take care
of the Abrams Creek Wetlands.  As this area is only 25 acres wide but runs a
mile in length, encroachment is a constant problem.

Karen kindly answered a few of our questions at the end of the evening.

How do you contact Shenandoah University to request help at a site?  Shenandoah University is considering creating a department of Service Learning at SU.  In the meantime, you may contact Karen or individual department heads.
What is your long term commitment to the sites?  As long as we are welcome, we stay.
Do other local colleges offer Service Learning also?  William and Mary offers a few courses with a service learning component.

Thank you again to Dr. Karen Schultz, Dr. Eli Wilson, future Dr. Emily Kirchner and Professor Woody Bousquet for joining us on this very special evening.   These four individuals join the long list of passionate, informative, educators who have made the Sunday Supper Club THE place to be on the second Sunday of each month.

Save the Dates
You won’t want to miss the interesting meetings we have planned!

Dec. 13th- Jack Gibbons of The Plains will be our guest speaker as we convene at the Marshall Community Center for our last meeting of 2009.  Jack has had many important responsibilities in the scientific life of our country including director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Clinton-Gore years.  Please visit www.johnhgibbons.org to learn more.

January 10th 2010 and beyond-  Stay tuned as interesting topics are in the works.  Help is always appreciated in finding our speakers.  Please join us at our next SSC planning committee meeting on Monday Nov. 30th, 6:30 PM at Panera’s in Warrenton or email me at almartens@gmail.com with any suggestions.

Take care everyone and see on December 13th!

Warmly,
Andrea