SAAC members from all nine schools and Boston U. mentors pose with students from the Jackson Mann School in Brighton, Mass. during Saturday's Service Day.
CFES Day Of Service A Success For Schools, Athletes and SAAC
Cambridge, Mass. -- The America East Conference and College For Every Student, a national non-profit that helps underserved kids attend college, held a successful Student Service Day on April 9, 2011. The Student Service Day engaged scholar-athletes from America East Universities with CFES scholars at participating schools in community service projects, ranging from beautifying school property to collecting food and shoes for charity drives.
"Kids look up to student-athletes," said Boston University women's basketball player Chantell Alford about the importance of community service. "Just giving back and helping students, I think it shows a lot of character for us, and it makes kids want to grow up and be like us. We are role models, so it's just good to give back."
Alford, along with other Boston University student-athlete mentors and student-athletes from other America East schools in coordination with the conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting in Boston over the weekend, joined together with students from the Jackson-Mann Middle School to spearhead three projects on the school's grounds. Volunteers divided into three groups to prepare the schools gardens for spring planting, clean up the school playground, and paint two CFES murals in the 7th and 8th grade hallways.
University of Hartford student-athletes were side-by-side with over 100 volunteers from the UHartford Magnet School to take part in spring cleaning in an effort to prepare the school for the season. The students raked leaves, repainted play grounds and planted flowers throughout the grounds.
In advance of a school-wide Earth Day celebration later in the month, UMBC and Arbutus Middle School partnered for a garden project on Saturday. Scholars and mentors planted a variety of native plant species and learned the importance and significance of building a garden from science teacher Michael Guarraia and experts from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Afterwards, CFES scholars and other volunteers were welcomed back to UMBC for lunch and to watch the UMBC men's lacrosse game vs. Binghamton.
Stony Brook University and Longwood High School incorporated the kick-off of their shoe drive with the Seawolves' women's lacrosse game on Saturday. Soles for Souls is a four-time drive with the Seawolves, who encouraged fans to bring shoes during their entry to the game. When the shoe drive is complete the shoes will be shipped nationally/internationally to an area of need.
Also on Saturday, Binghamton student-athletes and their mentees from the West Middle School paired together to clean up the Danielle House of Binghamton. This home was created in response to the need for shelter and emotional support for family members visiting seriously ill patients in Binghamton-area hospitals. This group cleaned the house, grounds and neighborhood streets.
Up in Burlington, student-athletes from University of Vermont created a promotional video with their mentees at the Integrated Arts Academy for recruitment of more mentees next year. The day also consisted of a visit to campus for the mentees which included the Campus Kitchen Service project, lunch and cheering on the women's lacrosse team.
Earlier in the week, eight University of Maine student-athletes and students at the Lewis Libby School put together food baskets to deliver to the local food pantry. After the delivery, the group volunteered to help clean up the surrounding area and organizing.