Service Projects in the Dominican RepublicPrint this Page
- Subject(s): Service Learning, Science
- Region / Country: Latin America & the Caribbean / Dominican Republic
- Grade Level(s): 6–8, 9–12
- Related Publication: Insights From the Field
Students will look into how Peace Corps Volunteers have provided community assistance in the Dominican Republic.
- Students will read primary source documents and be able to identify several kinds of service projects conducted by Peace Corps Volunteers.
- Students will be able to identify criteria used by the Peace Corps for conducting service projects for the common good.
- Tell students that they will be looking at examples of seven kinds of service projects conducted by Peace Corps Volunteers in the Dominican Republic.
- Explain that there are five categories of projects:
- Agriculture (helping Dominican farmers improve their farming techniques and methods)
- Small business development (helping Dominican villagers start and maintain a small business)
- Education (helping Dominican teachers learn new teaching methods)
- Environmental education (helping Dominicans become aware of environmental issues)
- Health (helping rural community dwellers develop ways to provide their villages with safe drinking water)
- Explain that the Peace Corps has identified four criteria for service projects that contribute to the common good. The best service projects
- Increase local capacity and skills (i.e., local people develop the skills to carry on the project after the Peace Corps Volunteer has left).
- Address the expressed needs of a group that has limited resources of its own.
- Seek sustainable results (i.e., results that will last long after the Volunteer has left).
- Work with local participants as partners (i.e., Volunteers do not do things for people but with people. They help people help themselves).
- Provide students with a copy of the seven vignettes describing Peace Corps projects in the Dominican Republic. Ask students to complete Worksheet #4: Peace Corps Criteria for a Strong Service Project as they are reading about the projects.
- Mention to students that not all vignettes will contain enough information to fill in every cell of the graphic organizer. However they should complete the graphic organizer in as much detail as possible.
- Have students share their graphic organizers and what they've learned from the vignettes with a partner. Then have partners share in groups of four. Finally, conduct a class discussion about the Dominican service projects and how they are an example of working for the common good.
- Give students time to add information from these discussions to their graphic organizers. Then see if they have understood the criteria for a strong service project.
- Journal Entry. Wrap up the lesson with a journal entry in response to the prompt below. Then have students share their journal entry with the whole group during a class discussion: What if there were no volunteers working for the common good in this world?
Framework and Standards
- How have Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the Dominican Republic worked for the common good?
- Why does service matter?
National Science Education Standards
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry