Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 13, 2003

Whitworth Students to Participate in Service-Learning Activities
as Part of Student Civic Engagement Week

Whitworth College students are taking part in service-learning activities Feb.16-22 in conjunction with Student Civic Engagement Week, which will feature the launch of the Raise Your Voice - A Week of Action campaign, a national effort sponsored by Campus Compact that encourages students to speak out on issues that are important to their futures and to take part in service-learning projects to strengthen their communities.

The weeklong campaign is being launched on 600 college and university campuses across the country and will feature activities including student visits to state legislators, gubernatorial endorsements, on-campus symposia, hunger banquets, service activities, art projects, and bipartisan student dialogues.

Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 850 college and university presidents, provides grant funding for Whitworth's Service Learning Program, which integrates academic instruction with community service that engages students in civic responsibility.

"Service is central to Whitworth's institutional mission; it provides invaluable learning opportunities and a chance for students to be part of the community as engaged and responsible citizens," says Kathy Storm, vice president for student life at Whitworth. "Campus Compact has been especially helpful in this effort, providing tangible support for the service programs that are so important to us."

Throughout the year, Whitworth students serve in approximately 50 community agencies in Spokane. During Student Civic Engagement Week, a group of Whitworth students will undergo training for the Street Kids Project while another group will take part in an Urban Plunge weekend.

Ten Whitworth students will participate in training sessions Feb. 15 and 22 for the Whitworth Street Kids Project, a student-run program that works in partnership with Cup of Cool Water Ministries, an outreach program for homeless youth run by Whitworth alumnus Mark Terrell.

The training sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cup of Cool Water Ministries, 170 S. Madison St. The sessions will address topics such as the factors that lead to youth homelessness, street life, resources for homeless youth, and building relationships with the homeless.

The Street Kids Project is directed by Julia Stronks, professor of politics and history at Whitworth. Approximately 90 Whitworth students have been trained to take part in the program since its inception in 2001. The students help prepare and serve hot meals at Cup of Cool Water, and hand out bag lunches to homeless youth wherever they can be found. The students' primary goal is to develop relationships with homeless youth, Stronks says.

Also as part of Student Civic Engagement Week, a group of Whitworth students will participate in an Urban Plunge weekend Feb. 21-23. The group will spend the weekend at Westminster House, located at 2612 W. Gardner, where they will learn about ministry and community-development opportunities in Spokane. Westminster House is operated by Whitworth alumni who are engaged in outreach ministry in the West Central neighborhood.

The Urban Plunge weekend begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, after the worship service at Westminster Presbyterian Church. During the weekend students will do a half-day service-learning project and will engage in discussion about community service with a panel of speakers from Youth for Christ, Christ Kitchen and Christ Clinic.

Contacts:

Keith Kelley, service learning coordinator, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4238 or kkelley@whitworth.edu.

Julia Stronks (Available on or after Feb. 17), professor of politics & history and director of the Street Kids Project, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4577 or jstronks@whitworth.edu.

Mark Terrell, director of Cup of Cool Water Ministries, (509) 747-6686.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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