In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and to commemorate the anniversary years recognized by Project 60/50, MSU and community partners will launch the What’s Your 110? Challenge on January 20, 2014. All Spartans are encouraged to honor each anniversary year of Project 60/50 with one hour of personal service/engagement, meeting the challenge of serving 110 hours over the next year. This yearlong Spartan service challenge demonstrates the MSU community commitment to service and engagement and supports Spartans who serve.
If 1,000 Spartans take this challenge, the MSU community will serve at least 110,000 hours over the next year. The Independent Sector Value of Volunteer Time for 2012 was $20.14. In reaching our goal, Spartans will have contributed $2,435,400 in volunteer time by January 2015!
On January 20, 2014 from 10:30-2:30 at the MSU Union, the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, in partnership with Into the Streets, the MSU Libraries, the MSU Clerical Technical Union, the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, as well as several other Project 60/50 partners will host a Community Partners Fair with the goal of directly connecting Spartans with community partners. The fair will feature on-site service projects hosted by Into the Streets and a special film showing by the MSU Libraries. The first 200 Spartans to register for the What’s Your 110? Challenge will receive a free t-shirt.
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Volunteering, community service, civic engagement, and service-learning are all part of the American experience and the Spartan experience. Being in service for the greater good, collectively working toward community solutions, and being civically responsible are core to the overall mission of our university.
Volunteering is holds a special place in American culture and history. From the Benjamin Franklin’s first volunteer firehouse in 1736 to the modern day ability to connect volunteers and partners across the world with virtual volunteering and with the onset of micro-volunteering (performing small sets of tasks and personal actions that support and/or advance a cause or collective effort), service and engagement remain strong.
In 2013, according the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), 1 in 4 Americans volunteer (26.5%), enhancing opportunities for their neighbors and communities. To learn more about volunteering in America, visit: http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/infographic.cfm
The Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement (CLSLCE) at Michigan State University serves thousands of students every semester. The CSLCE administers a number of civic engagement programs. These university initiatives provide curricular and co-curricular service-based learning and engagement opportunities for MSU students. Opportunities are offered that meet students’ goals while also addressing the expressed needs of the community. CSLCE also helps faculty integrate service-learning into their courses. If you are a student who would like to be involved with community partners through service, there are many ways that the center can serve as a resource:
Records of Service: The CSLCE keeps track of the service-learning experiences and can provide students with a Record of Service upon request. This will list the program, agency, and date of the experience, and it is considered an official document.
Range of Opportunities: The CSLCE partners with approximately 200 community organizations
Support: The staff at the CSLCE and are available Monday through Friday for support. The center provides free bus tokens for service- learners and can help with comprehending bus routes if necessary.
Learning Opportunities: With such an extensive network of agencies and organizations in our partnerships, we can offer opportunities in a wide variety of academic, curricular, or co-curricular experiences.
Resources: The community organizations and agencies are excellent means to obtaining professional references, letters of recommendations, information about happenings in the field, and friendly faces. This contact can strongly support you in any career or academic advancements.
From the hundreds of academic service learning courses supported by the center to the many student opportunities offered in partnership with Alternative Spartan Breaks http://asb.msu.edu/ and Into the Streets http://streets.msu.edu/, the CSLCE is a great resource for all students. MSU has one of the largest and oldest centers of all universities and colleges in the country. Please visit the CSLCE website www.servicelearning.msu.edu.
Guest blogger Renee Zientek is the Director of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement at Michigan State University and a volunteer for several community partners in the greater Lansing area.