Inspiring Community Involvement with Outcasts United

Warren St. John displays a copy of Outcasts United marked up by an engaged UNF freshman

For the past two years, the University of North Florida has used Outcasts United as their freshmen Common Reading title.  While many professors have integrated Outcasts United into their curriculum – leadership classes, for example, discuss the book from a leadership standpoint –  UNF’s Common Reading program, lead by Professor Leslie Kaplan, has used the book as a catalyst to establish meaningful relationships with several local refugee resettlement agencies.  Over 1,000 UNF students currently help refugees establish better lives in the U.S.

Through resettlement organizations such as World Relief, Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities, UNF students currently assist in English classes, mentor families, set up apartments and collect food.  UNF’s most extensive program is through the Honors Program’s Freshman Colloquium class.  Sixty honors freshmen act as mentors to families, meet weekly with children to help with homework, study english, and adjust to American traditions.  Furthermore, all children in the program are invited to UNF for trick-or-treating during Halloween, and for turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  A final assignment involves students creating a documentary film of the project.  Stay tuned for other ways Outcasts United inspires  social responsibility…

To view the University of Northern Common Reads page please visit: http://www.unf.edu/unfreads/Fall_2012_Selection.aspx

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