WVU students skip the beach to spend Spring Break helping others
Published: Friday, March 23, 2007
Updated: Monday, October 12, 2009 00:10
While most West Virginia University students will spend their Spring Break relaxing at home or getting some sun at the beach, others will be traveling to different locations to help those in need.
Students with the United Methodist Campus Ministry will be traveling to Chicago to perform a variety of projects, including preparing food and working to improve the health of the homeless.
The students will also be working with food pantries in the area and work with ex-convicts, said Dr. Cindy Stackpole, ministry director.
Stackpole said the students will cook meals with the ex-convicts and hear stories about their experiences.
The trip is being done in conjunction with WVU service fraternities Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Epsilon. The theme for their trip is "H.I.T.," which stands for "Help, Inspire and Transform," Stackpole said.
"We hope the people we help on this trip will be transformed by the experience and see that you can help yourself through others," Stackpole said.
The WVU Center for Civic Engagement is sponsoring two trips to Alabama and Jamaica. During the Alabama trip, students will learn how to develop a community based on the civil rights movement. In Jamaica, students will work with elementary students, said Kim Colebank, director of the center.
Students going on the trip to Alabama will learn to be a part of a community and how to create dialogue, Colebank said.
"We want students to learn how two sides can come together and explore the complexity of social issues," she said.
Students going on the trip to Jamaica will help clean schools and tutor students to get hands-on experience dealing with international educational issues, Colebank said.
There will also be a literacy program for Jamaican students who are at risk of dropping out of school, said Michael Sandy, executive director of Amizade, which is partnering with the Center of Civic Engagement and the WVU Office of International Programs for the trips to Alabama and Jamaica.
Sandy said the workshop will focus on making sure the Jamaican students evaluate and understand the value of education.
Colebank said she hopes students on the trip to Jamaica learn that having an education is a privilege because there are others who are not so fortunate.
"I also hope the students we interact with on this trip recognize that there are people in this world who do want to help," she said.