Working Side by Side
Creating Alternative Breaks as Catalysts for Global Learning, Student Leadership, and Social Change

Foreword by Tanya O. Williams
Paper: 978 1 62036 124 5 / $32.50
 
Published: July 2015  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 123 8 / $95.00
 
Published: July 2015  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 125 2 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: July 2015  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 126 9 / $25.99
 
Published: July 2015  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
390 pp., 6" x 9"
figures & tables
This book constitutes a guide for student and staff leaders in alternative break (and other community engagement, both domestic and international) programs, offering practical advice, outlining effective program components and practices, and presenting the underlying community engagement and global learning theory.

Readers will gain practical skills for implementing each of the eight components of a quality alternative break program developed by Break Away, the national alternative break organization.

The book advances the field of student-led alternative breaks by identifying the core components of successful programs that develop active citizens. It demonstrates how to address complex social issues, encourage structural analysis of societal inequities, foster volunteer transformation, and identify methods of work in mutually beneficial partnerships. It emphasizes the importance of integrating a justice-centered foundation throughout alternative break programs to complement direct service activities, and promotes long-term work for justice and student transformation by offering strategies for post-travel reorientation and continuing engagement.

The authors address student leadership development, issue-focused education, questions of power, privilege, and diversity, and the challenges of working in reciprocal partnerships with community organizations. They offer guidance on fundraising, budget management, student recruitment, program structures, the nuts and bolts of planning a trip, risk management, health and safety, and assessment and evaluation. They address the complexities of international service-learning and developing partnerships with grassroots community groups, non-governmental and nonprofit organizations, and intermediary organizations.

For new programs, this book provides a starting point and resource to return to with each stage of development. For established programs, it offers a theoretical framework to reflect on and renew practices for creating active citizens and working for justice.

Table of Contents:
Figures and Tables

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS
1) Alternative Breaks Defined
2) A Brief History of Alternative Breaks: The Beginnings of the Movement
3) Working Together for Justice: A Theoretical Framework
4) Developing Community Partnerships for Mutual Benefit
5) Alternative Breaks as Catalysts of Active Citizenship

PART TWO: KEY COMPONENTS OF ALTERNATIVE BREAKS
6) The Eight Components: Foundations of a Successful Alternative Break Program
7) Diversity and Social Justice: Addressing Power, Privilege, and Systems of Oppression
8) Education: Understanding Social Issues
9) Orientation: Learning About the Organization, Location, and Context
10) Training: Building Skills
11) Strong Direct Service: Working With Communities
12) Alcohol- and Drug-Free Programs: Practicing Full Engagement
13) Reflection: Synthesizing Learning and Experience
14) Reorientation: Active Citizens Reorganizing Locally

PART THREE: STUDENT LEADERSHIP, LEARNING, AND TRANSFORMATION
15) Student Leadership in Action
16) Program Structures and Leadership Roles
17) Training Student Leaders
18) Assessing Student Learning

PART FOUR: DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING ALTERNATIVE BREAK PROGRAMS
19) Program Growth and Continual Improvement
20) Community Building
21) Recruiting Leaders and Participants
22) Budgeting, Finances, and Fund-raising
23) Risk Management and Other Logistics

PART FIVE: GOING GLOBAL
24) The Complexities of International Alternative Breaks
25) Developing International Community Partnerships
26) Working with Intermediary Organizations

PART SIX: A SOCIETY OF ACTIVE CITIZENS
27) Working Collaboratively Through Compacts and Collectives
28) The Power of Alternative Break Alumni

Epilogue: A Call to Action

References

Index


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Reviews & Endorsements:
“The book is effective and accessible to students, staff, and faculty who are looking to start or strengthen an existing program or learn about the potential transformative power of Alternative Breaks. Even beyond those directly in this field, anyone working with students who are engaging in the community will find Working Side by Side<'i> an effective resource for program development. As a community engagement practitioner who works directly with an Alternative Break program, reading this book was a reflective, affirming, and energizing experience. The clear and authentic tone peppered with models, graphs, examples, and personal stories from the authors kept me engaged throughout and excited for putting new ideas into practice."
- Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
"Alternative Breaks on college campuses have moved from a 'feel good' week of service to a movement for social change. Working Side by Side is a comprehensive look at these short-term and immersive service experiences led by students during weekends or academic breaks. The authors provide an effective introduction to those unfamiliar with co-curricular service experiences, explaining the history, structure, and critical components of Alternative Breaks. In addition to its practicality as a 'how-to' manual, Working Side by Side offers a more theoretical argument for understanding Alternative Breaks as a social justice movement in which students develop as active citizens and communities are made stronger through their efforts together.
To this reviewer’s knowledge, this is the only book of its kind and is likely the closest there is to a textbook on Alternative Breaks.

In sum, the book is effective and accessible to students, staff, and faculty who are looking to start or strengthen an existing program or learn about the potential transformative power of Alternative Breaks. Even beyond those directly in this field, anyone working with students who are engaging in the community will find Working Side by Side an effective resource for program development. As a community engagement practitioner who works directly with an Alternative Break program, reading this book was a reflective, affirming, and energizing experience."
- Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement