September 27, 1999
Whitworth College Students Join Local Service Groups to Improve Spokane
Whitworth College's annual Community Building Day, which began over 100 years ago as a one day student-organized campus cleanup project, has evolved in the 1990s into a community service effort through which Whitworth students contribute to and learn from the Spokane community.
This year Community Building Day will take place Tuesday, Sept. 28, as approximately 500 Whitworth students team with local service groups to paint, haul, rake, shovel, sort, lift and build a stronger Spokane.
By volunteering in the Spokane community students establish relationships with service organizations and Spokane residents, and gain valuable skills and insight that can be applied to their classroom studies and their careers, says Linda Hunt, faculty director of service-learning and associate professor of English at Whitworth College.
From 9:30 a.m to noon a group of students will team with Habitat for Humanity to paint and refurbish the Merlin Apartments located at 29 W. Second Ave. The apartments provide housing for people recovering from substance abuse.
Tuesday morning students will also help sort food at the Spokane Food Bank located at 1234 E. Front Ave. Other projects include doing yard work and moving furniture for those in need. Community Building Day will culminate with a BBQ lunch held on campus for Whitworth students.
While Community Building Day involves short-term service projects, it reflects a growing commitment at Whitworth, and at colleges and universities nationwide, to develop long-term, mutual partnerships with the community through student service. Known as service-learning, its goal is to incorporate service in the learning objectives of higher education class curriculum.
"It's a win-win situation," Hunt says. "The community gains by having volunteers to meet needs, and students gain by serving in their community. It makes learning come alive for students."
Dayna Coleman, assistant dean and director of the Whitworth Campus Center and student activities, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4565
Greg Orwig, director of communication, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4580
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