President's Newsletter March 2014

Community Engagement

In an extraordinary kickoff to the semester, the Alvernia community volunteered at 34 sites across the community as part of our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, one of four annual days of service coordinated by our Holleran Center. On this occasion, when the university was closed for the holiday, 425 volunteers provided over 2,500 hours of service!  

Jay Worrall and other Holleran Center staff have partnered with humanities faculty and Dean Aracena to develop an academic minor and certificate program in Community Engagement. The programs are due for review by the Curriculum Committee, with implementation targeted for next year. In partnership with the Greater Berks Chamber of Commerce, the Holleran Center hosted the leaders of 16 area nonprofits including the Caron Foundation, Berks Women in Crisis, Teen Challenge, Reading Musical Foundation and the Berks Arts Council. These meetings, held quarterly, have become an important activity for the nonprofit community in Berks County.

The Holleran Center and the office of Student Employment continue to place Alvernia work-study students in positions with nonprofit organizations throughout the community to give them real-world learning experiences. Students are currently working with Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs, Berks Conservancy, the South Reading Youth Initiative, the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program, the Salvation Army and the I-Lead Charter School on a variety of community improvement programs.

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president's newsletter march 2014

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