Each year since 2006, Central College hosts a community-wide service day. Classes are canceled for the day and students, faculty and staff join in serving the local community. This year, for the first time in 12 years, service day will take place in the fall instead of the spring.
Cheri Doane, Central’s director of community-based learning, explains why.
“Community partners often express a need for assistance with projects that are unique to fall,” she says. “We also wanted the Intersections classes-interdisciplinary classes required of all Central first-year students-to work together on a project. Research establishes that service is an effective means of helping students bond with each other and their professors. We think connecting students, faculty and staff with our greater community enriches civic life, augments student learning and fosters stronger community relationships.”
This year, Central students will volunteer at more than 70 project sites Tuesday, Oct. 30. The work they will do includes:
- Teaching students in English-learning classes in Des Moines Public Schools how to play steel pans.
- Making woodland improvements at Christie Park in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.
- Doing outdoor work at Pella Regional Health Center.
- Supporting clients at the Pella Food Shelf.
- Collecting oral histories of Upward Bound participants in Des Moines.
A tremendous amount of real work gets done during the annual event. Each service day, hundreds of Central students, faculty and staff contribute thousands of volunteer hours-valued at approximately $75,000-to complete the projects. Classes are canceled and Central provides transportation to ensure every student can participate.
And it’s not just for students. Anyone can participate by contacting Central’s Center for Community-Based Learning at VISTA@central.edu or 641-628-5424.