Sarah M. Pritchett
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312, firstname.lastname@example.org
After 4 p.m.
August 19, 2021
CONCORD UNIVERSITY FRESHMEN AND BONNER SCHOLARS START SEMESTER WITH COMMUNITY SERVICE
ATHENS, W.Va. – As the fall semester gets underway at Concord University, freshmen and the Bonner Scholars Program are teaming up for Student Service Days. The campus and community projects are helping the new students meet their UNIV 100 – CU Foundations service component. UNIV 100 is the required First Year Experience course for all Concord freshmen that helps them make a smooth transition to college life.
“Our Concord students have a long history of serving in the local community and, by making service a component of our Foundations course for freshman students, we introduce our students to this tradition very early,” explains Kathy Ball, Bonner Scholars Director. “It’s our hope that they continue to serve as a student and on into their futures.”
The opportunity to interact with fellow students is also a benefit of participating in the Student Service Days.
“In addition to gaining experience in service learning, past service day participants have reported enjoying meeting other students who are interested in the same types of things that they are,” states Dr. Sheila Womack, Director of Student Success. “The service days are a really great opportunity for our freshmen to do some good for our community and also to meet and interact with new peers at CU as they transition into college.”
Student Service Days have been scheduled for three Saturdays early in the semester: Aug. 28, Sept. 11 and Sept. 25. Both in-person and remote service opportunities are available.
Projects ranging from clean-up and beautification to activities to brighten the lives of children and senior citizens are planned. Fellow CU students, residents of the local area and beyond, and even furry friends will benefit from their volunteer efforts.
Included among the variety of volunteer activities are painting Mountain Lion paw prints on the campus roadway; working in the Athens community garden; creating fun-colored pillowcases for children living in shelters; crafting cheerful gifts for senior citizens; making dog toys and pet treats for a local animal shelter; and constructing shoe kits for the Sole Hope organization to make footwear for people in Uganda.
The projects are being coordinated by Peyton Brown, Bonner House graduate assistant, who in an alum of Concord’s Bonner program. Each project is also being assigned one or two student leaders to supervise and support the freshmen as they serve. These students are typically Bonner Scholars or representatives of other campus organizations.
“In planning the freshman Service Days, we really tried to keep the interests of students in mind. We made sure to have a variety of different activities so that every student could sign up for a project they wanted to do and not just a project that they had to do,” Brown says. “Students were encouraged to line their interests up with their choice of service project, as those interested in serving outside could pick to participate in one of our outdoor projects, such as cleaning the football stadium. Those with more artistic abilities could select to make supplies for outreach agencies, such as baby blankets or children’s no-sew hats.”
“Each project will have its own impact on different communities; there are projects serving the campus community, the people of Athens, groups in the greater Mercer County area, and a few that even cater to organizations on the national level,” she says.
“A lot of hard work goes into planning the service days each year, and we spend the entire summer getting ready for each project,” Brown says. “However, the work put in behind the scenes is absolutely worth it whenever we see the lessons that students learn from doing service. It’s a great thing to serve somewhere by yourself, but serving alongside friends, classmates, and colleagues yields profoundly positive effects on students’ lifelong attitudes towards serving others.”
For additional information about the Student Service Days or the Bonner Scholars Program at Concord University, please email email@example.com or call 304-384-6009.
Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check
Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.