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Acting Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Autumn Term 2008
On Friday, August 22, nearly 300 Eckerd College freshmen and faculty descended on Pinellas County to beautify, clean, repaint, organize, and landscape the community that many of the students will call home for the next four years.
The students volunteered at 23 non-profit agencies, including the Enoch Davis Center, Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Pinellas Hope, Bartlett Park Community Garden, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, and Happy Workers Children's Center.
Operating under the motto, ‘Try it for a day, you may love it for a lifetime,' Into the Streets is a 1-day volunteer opportunity that combines service with education and reflection, encouraging continued student involvement throughout the year. The program was originally conceived by the Campus Outreach Opportunity League nationwide in the hopes that civic involvement would become a regular part of college life and academic study.
Eckerd College is located on 54th Avenue South, just west of 34th Street/U.S. 19. "Many colleges and universities are realizing that the community in which they are located can be a great laboratory for the teaching that goes on in the classroom," said Brian MacHarg, Director of Service-Learning at Eckerd and organizer of the event. "Into the Streets is the beginning of that classroom-community integration."
Into the Streets at Eckerd takes place during Autumn Term, the freshman orientation term held for three weeks each August. In addition to taking an intensive academic course, students become acquainted with opportunities both on- and off- campus that make college living meaningful and enjoyable.
"Into the Streets is a great chance for first-year students to get to know St. Petersburg. Most students know about the beaches or Ybor City before they get here; however, many don't know about other parts of our community where they could be of service. Into the Streets introduces them to those places and opportunities," says MacHarg.
Explore St. Pete, another Service-Learning opportunity, brought students into the south side where they learnt a little history about St. Petersburg, educated them about the issues that surround the midtown area as well as the over 5,000 homeless individuals that reside in Pinellas County.
Service-learning plays a major role in an Eckerd student's college experience. For three years running, the Office of Service-Learning has documented an impressive number of volunteer hours in its annual Service-Learning report: 55,000 in 2005-06, 59,216 in 2006-07, and 56,849 in 2007-08. For a student population of only 1,800 students, that's an average of 31 hours per person.
The report's community service hours were tabulated mostly from the 1,800 students in the Residential program and do not include the thousands of hours donated by students enrolled in the Program for Experienced Learners, Eckerd College Search and Rescue (EC-SAR), or hours volunteered by students during the summer months.
The Office of Service-Learning is Eckerd College's resource for community service and service-learning opportunities in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. The office offers diverse opportunities for individuals and student groups to get involved in human services and other forms of advocacy, as well as assists faculty members with integrating community service projects into their academic courses. If you have a volunteer opportunity for Eckerd's students, please contact Brian MacHarg at 727-864-7512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore St. Pete brought 30 students into the south side of St. Petersburg where they learnt a little history about St. Petersburg, educated them about the issues that surround the midtown area as well as the over 5,000 homeless individuals that reside in Pinellas County.