On the first day of class each year, Dr. Spoma Jovanovic asks her new students what’s the purpose of higher education. It’s not a trick question – she tells them that living a meaningful life in a democracy demands both an informed mind and service. And they get a good dose of both before the semester ends.
College professor, community organizer and advocate of service learning, Jovanovic regularly involves her students in out-of-class service experiences that are often eye-openers for folks who don’t normally look for community problems to solve and needs to meet.
Called BUBBS, the current project is an acronym for Bringing Us Benches and Bus Shelters. Pulling students together from UNCG and Dudley High School, BUBBS – as its name suggests – is seeking to place benches and shelters at Greensboro’s bus stops; nine out of 10 bus stops have neither and there are more than 1,000 stops citywide. BUBBS is a partnership with Guilford Education Alliance and the News & Record.
The project has taken off, and “It’s all very cool,” she said.
BUBBS has attracted the attention of Action Greensboro’s synerG, through its “big idea” competition. It was selected from 18 entrants, and SynerG is putting $10,000 toward the benches.
By Steve Gilliam