November 08, 2006

Case receives community service distinction

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Case Western Reserve University was recently recognized for its commitment to community service with a President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll acknowledgement.

The new program is designed to encourage and increase public awareness of community service by college students. The inaugural honor roll is in recognition of extraordinary volunteer efforts by schools and students to serve Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Case was selected as a member of the Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction. Of more than 500 colleges and universities that applied, only 141 were selected for this honor.

"Case Western Reserve University has set a strong example for college-level civic engagement," said Stephen Goldsmith, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that works to foster a culture of volunteering and service in America. "Many people and communities have been improved because Case and its students identified some of society's most pressing needs and got involved."

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, schools receiving distinguished service recognition "provided exceptional community service over the past year, contributing their time, resources, energy, skills—and intellect—to serve America."

The university's application detailed how the campus community responded immediately to help raise funds and collect non-perishables and other goods to assist those impacted by Hurricane Katrina:

  • A group of faculty and staff members under the banner of 'Case, Build Hope!' collected more than $2,200 in September 2005. Those funds were distributed through Habitat for Humanity, Mercy Corps, and the Bush-Clinton Relief Fund. Meanwhile, The Graduate Student Senate collected boxes of canned goods in several departments.
  • The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) led an Adopt-A-School effort to benefit the Good Shepherd School in New Orleans. Its campus-wide effort resulted in monetary donations, school supplies and backpacks that were delivered in person by a staff member and three students who drove to New Orleans in January 2006. In addition, three students from the School of Nursing also made the journey and volunteered at temporary health clinics during winter break.
  • CCEL coordinated a return journey for Alternative Spring Break 2006. More than $1,200 was raised to underwrite the cost of a charter bus that transported 27 students, a staff member and a community partner to New Orleans. The team volunteered at the Good Shepherd School, performed neighborhood clean-up through the Katrina Krewe organization, assisted at a women's shelter, and gutted the homes of returning residents through the group Common Ground. Students and staff devoted more than 1,020 hours to relief efforts.
  • Case's Habitat for Humanity also traveled to the hurricane-affected area of Florida, where sixteen members went to Fort Lauderdale to help with housing renovation as the result of Hurricane Rita. The Case student members contributed 640 hours of labor to assist with repair and re-building.
  • In fall 2005, Case accepted 25 Tulane undergraduates. The value of Case's in-kind tuition for these students was valued at $177,500.

In addition, community service efforts that take place year round were highlighted, including:

  • The Case AmeriCorps program, a CNCS AmeriCorps National Service project, was hosted by Case's Center for Civic Engagement & Learning during summer 2005. Forty Case students served as AmeriCorps members, each committing to 450 hours of service. The Case AmeriCorps members worked with youth in under-served urban neighborhoods of Cleveland and East Cleveland at community centers, libraries, public housing estates, and faith-based organizations.
  • With the aid of grants, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine staff and students provide dental care to Cleveland school students. During the 2005-2006 school year, 87 K-8 schools were visited, resulting in over 5,000 children being examined and treated, over 2,900 children being referred to network community dentists, and 17,000 children being educated in the areas of general and oral health.
  • Through routine state mandated screening in the Cleveland Municipal School District, students at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing found that over 45 percent of the children screened were overweight or obese, putting them at high risk for the development of diabetes and hypertension. As a result of these findings, a service learning project was developed to reduce the risk of diabetes and hypertension in children in two Cleveland elementary schools by reducing the incidence of obesity. Over 200 Cleveland students participated in the first year of this project, which included the development of an exercise video, presentation of multiple educational modules, the implementation of community-wide health fairs, parents' night educational programs, and more.
  • The AmericaReads program at Case deploys Work-Study eligible students and students who want to volunteer into neighboring schools, branch libraries, and community organizations to support the academic achievement and personal development of area youth. During the 2005-06 academic year, 92 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students participated in literacy efforts, positively impacting the lives of at least 1,971 children.
  • At Case's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, a unique service opportunity is provided to a small group of social work students each year. During 2005-06, four students were selected to participate in this community service program that involves rotations through agencies serving the needs of older adults. Examples of agencies in which students were placed include everything from "Computers on Wheels" to the Center for Therapy for the Arts, the Memory and Aging Center, and a hospice setting.

For more information contactKimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, November 8, 2006 05:10 PM | News Topics: Awards, Community Outreach, HeadlinesMain

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