The university has been named to The 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with recognition in two categories: General Community Service and Education Community Service.
Launched in 2006, the honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has administered the award since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core. The honor roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve. Southern was previously on the honor roll in 2008 and 2009.
President Mary Papazian said, “as a public university, we have the opportunity and the responsibilities to positively impact the civic and economic health of our State and our Nation. Southern has stepped up to the challenge of supporting our community in any way that we can, and I am very proud of the efforts of our students, faculty and staff in helping to solve local problems.”
The university was recognized for the following exemplary projects:
FOR THE EDUCATION COMMUNITY SERVICE HONOR ROLL:
Gear Up-Reach Up: Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a national program with 47 states having funded sites. The program’s mission is to support and prepare urban youth populations in the New Haven Public Schools for academic, college and career readiness. Southern works with cohorts of high risk and vulnerable students beginning in middle school, with a goal of being accepted to, attending and succeeding in college.
Southern Academy: Southern Academy is part of a multi-pronged approach that Southern is developing to help ensure that city school children receive the tools to succeed at an early age – in essence, tackling the achievement gap in the developmental years. The academy — an instructional program designed to improve literacy among local youth — includes an intensive, four-week on-campus program of education during the month of July.
Jumpstart: Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Jumpstart’s proven curriculum helps children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap.
FOR THE GENERAL COMMUNITY SERVICE HONOR ROLL:
Southern Athletics Community Service Cup: Community engagement is an important component of the experience of a Division II student-athlete. The Community Service Cup program provides a competitive format that allows student-athletes to gain an enriched experience through engagement with the on-campus and local communities by supporting ventures of traditional citizens, campus community members and peer students and student-athletes. SCSU student-athletes volunteered more than 3,000 hours of their time to numerous outreach efforts, both on-campus and in Greater New Haven, during the 2012-13 academic year.
Adopt-A-Family: The Adopt-A-Family Food and toiletry drive is a campus-wide collaboration to collect nonperishable food and toiletries for distribution in November. Partnering with the Family Centered Services in New Haven, the food drive helps New Haven families throughout the holidays and the calendar year. Last year the university donated almost 600 boxes of food to Family Centered Services and other local agencies during the Thanksgiving season.
The Ronald D. Herron Day of Service: The Ronald D. Herron Day of Service is an annual occasion for Southern students, faculty and staff to work together on service projects benefiting local neighborhoods and greater New Haven. The Day of Service is a strong collaboration between the university and the New Haven Police Department. This year’s sites included neighborhood and park trash pick-up, organizing and handing out donations at a refugee resettlement office, community gardening and a tree planting project. Southern’s Service Commission, part of the Student Government Association, plans and hosts The Day of Service.