Tag: Martin Luther King Day of Service

Riverview Gardens Receives Lawrence University’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award

One of the Fox Cities’ newest and most inventive social enterprises was honored Oct. 14 by Lawrence University during the college’s sixth annual Report to the Community.

Riverview Gardens was presented Lawrence University’s Collaboration in Action Award as part of the report.

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Lawrence students helped construct hoop houses last January at Riverview Gardens, the recipient of Lawrence’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award. Students contributed a total of 1,038 volunteer hours to Riverview Gardens last year.

The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Riverview Gardens was founded in December 2011 on the grounds of the former Riverview Country Club on Appleton’s south side. As a self-sustaining social venture, it engages Fox Valley residents in community stewardship of a market garden, community park space and job training program. It seeks to assist local outreach organizations and build financial resources to help address the root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership with Lawrence,” said Burstein. “The staff at Riverview has collaborated with Lawrence on a variety of initiatives ranging from courses that use the gardens as a living laboratory and research and internships that help students prepare for a wide range of careers to outreach projects that take classical chamber music beyond the concert hall and community meetings to foster dialogue on issues of common concern.”

“Our relationship is far more than just a volunteer affiliation,” Burstein added. “It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps both the college and community thrive.”

Since embarking on its mission, Riverview Gardens has utilized Lawrence students with expertise in sustainable agriculture provided by the Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG) and the college’s environmental studies program. During the 2013-14 academic year, more than 300 Lawrence students contributed 1,038 volunteer hours at Riverview Gardens, the most of any of the 144 area agencies at which students served.

Two recent Lawrence graduates, Oren Jakobson (2011) and Hava Blair (2013) turned their student involvement with environmental and sustainability issues into key leadership roles with Riverview Gardens after they graduated.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing
root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership
with Lawrence. It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps
both the college and community thrive.”

— President Mark Burstein

Jakobson, who led the permitting process involved with establishing a bee colony on campus, serves as Riverview Gardens’ director of farm operations. Blair, who conducted an independent study project that created a wetlands restoration plan for Riverview Gardens, is the manager of farm sales and markets.

Lawrence’s connection to Riverview Gardens also includes executive director Cindy Sahotsky and ServiceWorks outreach coordinator Ronan Christman, 1984 and 2013 graduates, respectively.

“Riverview Gardens is a great opportunity for students to put thought into action and the people we serve benefit greatly from their impetus to action,” said Sahotsky. “Many students will take what they learn at Riverview Gardens and use it to provide community, wherever they live. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the financial and volunteer support we receive from Lawrentians.”

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Bethesda Thrift Shop, where Lawrence students help sort donated items, was one of 144 community agencies in the Fox Cities served by Lawrence student volunteers in 2013-14.

Riverview Gardens joins the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation (2010) as previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award.

As part of its Report to the Community, Lawrence’s involvement with the greater Fox Cities community was highlighted, including:

• Lawrence faculty and staff volunteer and make contributions to 133 community agencies, serve on the boards of 46 local nonprofits while spending an average of 71.4 hours a year volunteering in the community.

71 different Lawrence student organizations volunteered in the community in the past year.

 52 percent of Lawrence students — 785 — volunteered during the 2013-14 academic year, contributing 12,420 volunteer hours to 144 community agencies.

 Lawrence Academy of Music teachers and students provided 74 free community concerts, recitals or master classes during the 2013-14 academic year.

35 local employers provided internships to 45 Lawrence students.

• 73.1 percent of the Wisconsin vendors used by Lawrence University in the 2013-14 fiscal year were located in the NEW North Region.

 Lawrence spent $5,438,819 in the NEW North Region during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

 2,026 Lawrence alumni live in the NEW North Region.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

President’s National Honor Roll Salutes Lawrence University for Community Service

More than 16,650 hours devoted to community volunteer and service-learning programs by 989 students last year helped Lawrence University earn a spot on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the seventh consecutive year.

Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions to be cited every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service since it launched the honor roll program in 2006 in response to the thousands of college students from around the country who traveled to the Gulf Coast to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

The program salutes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on issues ranging from supporting at-risk youth to neighborhood revitalization.

Honorees are chosen on the basis of several factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 95th Annual Meeting March 4 in Washington, D.C. Lawrence was among 695 colleges and universities honored for their community impact.

“It is very gratifying that the efforts and dedication of our students are once again nationally recognized,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Service is a celebrated component of Lawrence culture and our new students experience this commitment their first week on campus when they go on a service outing during freshman orientation.  As an institution, we treat altruism and civic responsibility as traits to be nurtured. We encourage service participation through coordination and support, while maximizing the options for independent, student-driven service projects and experiences.”

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

• Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Under the umbrella theme of “learn, serve and celebrate,” Lawrence students and local alumni volunteers contributed more than 500 hours of service Jan.16, 2012 as part of the nationwide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. A total of 630 local K-12 students participated in a special curriculum created by Lawrence senior Marika Straw, which focused on diversity, fairness and social justice. Lawrence students also volunteered time to repaint facilities at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha and helped winterize homes with the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities.

• Relay for Life.  Sixteen student teams of 185 participants fundraised on campus, among families, in the community, and online, generating more than $15,000 in support of cancer research and to support local programs that aid cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, including Look Good/Feel Better, Road to Recovery, Hope Lodges and Man to Man.

• After-School Enrichment for Young Children in the Fox Cities. Partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, the Building for Kids museum and two Appleton elementary schools, this longitudinal project provides after-school programming for area youth. Throughout the school year, 55 Lawrence students provided nearly 2,000 hours of  enrichment, skills assessments and data analysis with Professor of Psychology Beth Haines. The research has been presented to several professional psychology organizations and at the statewide Poverty Matters! Conference.

“I am very pleased and proud that Lawrence has been recognized yet again as an institution that strives to excel in community engagement and service,” said Monica Rico, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “Every year we look for ways to build stronger partnerships that will meet the needs of our students and our community partners.”

According to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America Report, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country in 2012, a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

MLK Day of Service Generated More than 500 Volunteer Hours

Lawrence University students, faculty, staff and local alumni did their part to turn the annual Martin Luther King holiday from a day off to a day of service.

Working with several local organizations, including the Appleton Boys and Girls Club and the Appleton school district, 169 Lawrence volunteers contributed 507 hours of service on Monday (1/16).

A total of 630 area students participated in a special age-appropriate curriculum focused on diversity and social justice issues that was developed by Marika Straw ’13.  The program, led by Lawrence volunteers, included a variety of hands-on activities to bring Dr. King’s message to area youth.

“The students chose to focus their efforts this year on supporting youth in the community and were very pleased to partner with all seven local after-school sites of the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley,” said Kristi Hill, LU director of volunteer and community service programs. “Lawrentians are very involved with both this organization and the Appleton Area School District and seem to be increasingly concerned by the lack of funding and overall support of educational initiatives. In response, our students worked with club staff to develop activities that would allow Lawrentians to support K-12 youth and give the hard working staff of the club a bit of a break.

Gabrielle Rakidzich '15 (left) and Emily Crowe '14 were among 169 LU volunteers who participated in Monday's Martin Luther King Day of Service activities. (Photo by Emma Moss '13.)

“I can say with absolutely certainty that Lawrentians gained just as much from this day as the youth,” Hill added.  “Students returned to campus with both humorous stories and some more serious stories of important discussions that occurred around the topic of fairness.”

In addition to school activities, a team of volunteers repainted an affordable housing unit owned by the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities while 16 students helped winterize the Heckrodt Nature Center.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.