TD Bank Financial Group funds new Centre for Community Service Learning

TD Bank Financial Group is supporting the establishment of NSCAD University’s new Centre for Community Service Learning with a gift of $100,000.

The Centre, the first of its kind among visual arts universities in Canada, will integrate community service learning (CSL) principles into the NSCAD curriculum while promoting partnerships between the community and the university.

“Community service learning is more than an internship program,” says President David B. Smith. “It’s a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community interaction with instruction and reflection. The collaborative nature of CSL means students and program participants create together while learning from each other.”

“Our new Centre for Community Service Learning will offer an innovative, enriching, hands-on approach to visual arts education in Canada that allows our students to apply their creative and critical thinking skills to building good community,” adds Smith. “TD Bank Financial Group’s unparalleled generosity in helping establish the Centre is a testament to its long-standing commitment to both community engagement and the arts, and we are deeply grateful.”

TD Bank Financial Group’s funding will be directed over the next two years to setting up the new Centre, from research and development through to establishing infrastructure and piloting CSL as a complement to NSCAD’s curriculum. As a first step, the Centre will create an inventory of community-based experiential learning and research projects, initiatives, internships and volunteer opportunities.

“By combining community service and learning objectives – and demonstrating measurable change in both the community participants and the students – the Centre for Community Service Learning will inform, even transform, the way we teach our students,” adds Sharon Blanchard, Director of NSCAD’s School of Extended Studies.

Joann Reynolds-Farmer was recently named to the new position of Coordinator, Community Service Learning & Outreach Initiatives, part of the university’s School of Extended Studies.