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Acting Director of Service Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512
St. Petersburg: Spring Break 08
Over 150 Eckerd College students left St. Petersburg for their 2008 spring break service learning trips. But who needs to leave town to engage in a meaningful week of service learning programs? Seven Eckerd College students chose to stay in St. Petersburg! After all, thousands of visitors from around the world choose St. Petersburg as their vacation travel destination each year and think this is a great community for exploration. For St. Pete Spring Break Service 2008, Aurora, Brooke, Elliott, Emma, Kaylie, Kevyn, Kyle, and Lianne experienced St. Petersburg in ways that were rewarding for them and for the organizations they served, and trip leaders Alizza, Debi and Lisa were honored to share in the opportunity.
The week started off warm and fuzzy at Southeastern Guide Dogs as the students socialized and hugged puppies and walked dogs in training to serve as guide dogs. Judging from the number of volunteers joining the Eckerd students at that site, there is no shortage of animal lovers providing good service in this part of the state! On Tuesday, the students rolled up their sleeves at the Christmas Toy Shop and applied white primer to doors that soon would be transformed from periwinkle blue to festive holiday red. While there, students toured the workshop where donations of new and gently used books, toys and bikes are made ready for parents needing a little assistance bringing holiday cheer to children in their homes.
Tuesday's painting gave way to a lesson on environmental art at Creative Clay on Wednesday. Taking what they learned in the classroom to Fort DeSoto Park (named America's Top Beach for 2008 by TripAdvisor), pairs of exceptionally gifted Creative Clay artists and Eckerd students applied their imaginations and talents to create their own displays of environmental art on the beach and at the historic fort. Lunch followed at the Seaside Grille in Pass-a-Grille courtesy of the owners and a stop at Eckerd College to view a digital photo gallery of the day's events.
Thursday and Friday were devoted to the fourth and fifth graders at Midtown's Melrose Elementary School, known for its aspiring students and communications and mass media program. Eckerd students -- representing majors in chemistry, international relations, classical humanities and modern languages, marine science, theatre, and visual arts -- inspired Melrose students to think about careers and college and what it takes to be successful in school. The Melrose students, charming our students with excellent questions about what it takes to succeed in college, sent the Eckerd students back to campus charged to return to the classroom and to plan their next service engagements.