Led by student-organizers Lily Pate, class of 2009 from Gahanna, Ohio, Emily Rudman, class of 2010 from West Lafayette, Ind., and Kristian Kovacs, class of 2009 from Gahanna, Ohio, with support from the rest of the staff, Wittenberg's Office of Community Service has organized a program to direct an anticipated 70 participants, who will branch out to five locations across the city to participate in service projects. The 2009 theme is "Lend a Hand, Leave Your Mark," and organizers are working hard to ensure that the participants' efforts will have an impact on multiple aspects of the Springfield community.
"We will be focusing our efforts on service that benefits sites that work with youth or involving youth from the community in the service with us," said Director of Community Service Kristen Collier. "We have worked with South Fountain Preservation Inc., for three years on beautification projects, and this is the last year for a large tree-planting in the neighborhood. It only makes sense that we continue our tradition of working with them in their final stage of the project."
Celebrate Service participants have five different service areas to choose from, including landscape work with the South Fountain Preservation, Inc., which works to preserve, restore and transform one of Springfield's most historic residential districts. In addition, participants will clear debris on the campus of Oesterlen Services for Youth, make improvements to a goat barn and walkway at On-The-Rise, which serves at-risk youth in a 4H-type setting, and assisting with improvements at two locations of the Children's Rescue Center that provide after-school programs to children in Springfield.
New this year, Wittenberg students will serve alongside members of a newly formed Interfaith Youth Service Core, an organization that is responsible for recruiting youth from the community to participate in the event. In addition, students from Roosevelt Middle School's student council will participate.
Before heading to their individual service sites, Bre Theiss, Wittenberg class of 1999 and a Springfield city schools social worker, will speak to the students about youth in the community and why support of various initiatives in Clark County is so important. The participants will receive lunch during the orientation, and after completing their projects, students will do an on-site reflection about the entire experience.
"We are very excited about focusing our efforts on youth in Springfield this year," Rudman said. "It is our hope that Celebrate Service 2009 will encourage all participants that no matter how young you might be, you can always leave your positive mark on the community."
Space is limited at each site. Students, faculty and staff members can register at http://www.wittenberg.edu/communityservice.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Robert Gantt
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