On Monday, Aug. 29, a total of 454 first-years, transfer students and orientation leaders participated in the traditional new student Day of Service during Orientation. They performed a total of 1,433 hours of community service and 13 projects.
“We are educating our community’s leaders,” said Arcadia University President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “From the very start of their four years here, we want them to know that they are personally responsible for the quality of life in their communities. Glenside is our home, and we will be active contributors to it.”
Many groups did hands-on work at facilities. Twenty-four students headed to Carmel Nursery School, while 34 went to St. Paul's Nursery School, both in Glenside. At St. Paul's, students put new mulch in the play yard and sanitized children's toys. At Carmel, students also cleaned the sandbox while at St. Paul’s they spent time raking and weeding.
“I am so excited to see the enthusiasm and effort the students had made to make our nursery school ready for the teachers and the students on their return,” says Kathleen Getz, St. Paul’s Nursery School Director.
Another group worked with Cradle to Crayons on the Backpack-A-Thon project, where they helped pack more than 600 backpacks and distributed them to the children. (Check Friday's Bulletin for video footage and more information about the Cradles to Crayons project.)
Others went to the Cheltenham Arts Center and cleaned up around the building and landscaped to get ready for fall.
Sixty first-year students cleared debris and removed invasive vines at High School Park, an 11-acre natural haven in the heart of Elkins Park, Pa. Clean-up efforts were coordinated in association with the Friends of High School Park, a non-profit community organization dedicated to restoring and managing the native ecosystem for the enjoyment of the community.
Many service projects were conducted on campus. Students wrote Letters for Soldiers and made bowls for Empty Bowl Dinner, an annual campus fund raising event to feed the hungry and homeless in the Philadelphia area and abroad. More than 100 students participated in the AU Sweater Project, and 527 paper cranes were folded for charity. Some students even took part in cleaning the wooded area behind Murphy hall, which is an ongoing effort to create a recreational path for the campus community.
Other projects focused on helping those in need. Thirteen students volunteered at Phoebe Wyncote, a non-profit organization, specializing in health care, housing and support services for senior adults. In addition to playing a few frames of bowling in the common room, students helped the residents prepare for their autumn activities by crafting fall-themed decorations.
“Getting involved with community service gave me the opportunity to meet other students I didn’t come across during orientation," says first-year student Olivia Jannuzzi. "It also helped me interact with different places and people of Philadelphia.”