Springfield College to Devote Day to Community ServiceSeptember 17, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 17, 2008 – Springfield College’s students, faculty and staff, toting rakes, shovels and tutorial equipment, will appear throughout the city in grey and maroon tee shirts this Thursday, Sept. 18, as the college suspends its usual activities for the 11th annual Humanics in Action Day, a time of concentrated community service.
Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn will welcome about 1,900 campus volunteers at Blake Track, at 9:30 a.m., before they embark on more than 100 projects, mostly in the neighborhood surrounding the campus.
College work groups will perform services for more than 85 schools, churches, senior citizens’ facilities, city agencies, community organizations, and individual neighbors. They will perform clean-up/fix-up projects, plant landscaping, paint school playgrounds, remove graffiti, conduct educational projects, and perform indoor and outdoor services.
New to the event this year will be pre-construction work on the future outdoor classroom at the William N. DeBerry School. About 75 of the college’s volunteers will tackle preliminary landscaping and painting for the space. The outdoor classroom will be a place for science lessons and other activities focused on nature and the environment.
Throughout the city, Springfield College volunteers will support the national Jump Start program by reading aloud the book “Corduroy,” by Don Freeman, and conducting related learning activities for children in kindergarten through third grade. Jump Start is a national program that connects thousands of college students and other volunteers in year-long, one-on-one relationships with at-risk school children to lay a foundation for lifelong learning. “Corduroy,” is the story of a shopworn teddy bear who believes that, with a little work, he can tidy himself up to be the perfect teddy.
The college will host a cookout for its volunteers, participating neighborhood residents, and members of cooperating community organizations and city departments following the event.
Springfield College initiated Humanics in Action Day in September 1998. It was the idea of Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics Peter Polito and leaders of the New Student Orientation program to revive and expand an event described in the 1918 Springfield College yearbook by which students worked to improve the developing campus.
In subsequent years, Springfield College regional campuses and alumni groups in other parts of the country also have organized local Humanics in Action Day projects. In Springfield, Humanics in Action Day augments the college’s year-round service programs in which students perform projects related to their studies in schools, neighborhood organizations, and city programs.