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An Exciting New Relationship With Courts for Kids

The Service-Learning Program is thrilled to announce a brand new partnership, one that will mean amazing new opportunities for University of Oregon students.  We will be working with Courts for Kids, a Vancouver (WA) based non-profit that partners with communities all over the world to build basketball courts.  Courts for Kids works closely with community members to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership and a high-quality service-learning experience for volunteers.

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According to Derek Nesland, Courts for Kids' founder, "A sports court is a great project because it requires the help of many community members, provides plenty of work for everyone, and becomes an asset that provides not only safe places for children to play, but also various other benefits. The hard work of our team will be a great bridge between us and the community and we will develop a mutual respect that will help provide inroads into a rich cross-cultural experience and first-hand insight into a developing world community.  The finished cement court will benefit the entire community, and will even be available during the rainy season when area fields are muddy. It will mainly be used for basketball and with other Courts for Kids projects in surrounding bateyes, there is momentum gaining for both boys and girls inter-batey basketball leagues. The court will also host other sports including volleyball, which is very popular in other Dominican communities, especially amongst the girls. Additionally, the court will be used for celebrations, gatherings, and as a teaching space."

We have built a strong team for Spring 2014.  Fourteen undergrads from four differnet majors will be participating.  Participants will spend Winter Term taking an amazing course: Global Citizenship, with a focus on the history, politics, and current events of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  By March, we all will be fully prepared for the experience and to receive credit for the volunteer work of building the court in Batey Isabella. 

Visit Courts for Kids' website for more information about their work around the world.

Click here to check out the information packet about our trip.