Month: July 2017


Community Service Program of the Month
Adventure Farm Beautification (ft. Taco)

School: University of Pittsburgh Region: CAACURH
Person in charge: Ali Rich Nominator: Alexandra Rich

Target Population: 20 Time Needed to Organize: 2 weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 19 Date(s) of Program: July 7th
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: $0
On-Campus Population: 6200 Chapter Size: 30

Origin of Program:

A local non-profit Glade Run is an organization that works with students referred to them by "over 50 local school districts in Western Pennsylvania and come to Glade Run with one or more mental, emotional, or behavioral health diagnoses. Many of these students also have a dual diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD) or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in addition to their other mental health issues." Glade run has an Adventure farm that allows these students to learn about animals, plants, k with horses wheather it is riding or even just being able to approach a horse. They also are with other students to help with learning behavioral and social skills. Glade Run's services help these students build skills to live idependently. Pitt students went to help Glade run clean up the farm and assisted in repairing the chicken coop and garden. This relieves the stress from the 5 staff members and ensures a more pleasurable experience for the students. This program allowed the Pitt students to help beautify the farm and give back to a local nonprofit in our community that enables children with special needs and learning disabilities to reach their fullest potential.

Word Count: 196

Please give a short description of the program:

For this program 17 students (Corps members of Jumpstart and SCEC members) and two staff members of the Office Of Pittserves drove to Glade Run Adventure Farm which is one of the non-profits properties that they utilize for students with special needs (specifically children with Autism) as well as children with learning disadvantages. As soon as we arrived we learned about the program and the resources that this organization provides. We then were put to work organizing the main building and cleaning to make sure there is space for the students to do therapy and classes. We were then put to use outside cleaning the trail, weeding the garden, planting, and building a new chicken coop for the chickens on the farm. Even though we were clearing weeds, paths, and building homes for the very sweet animals and did not directly have contact with the students utilizing the horses, gardening, or classes, we did get to learn a lot about the program and assist the staff with projects that they do not have time to do because they are trying to dedicate all their time to the students. We helped do tasks that are important to keeping the program alive and were appreciated by the staff at Glade Run. At the end of the program we got to meet some of the student care takers of the horses, have a photo shoot with Taco the incredible Donkey. He is so famous they sell shirts with Taco the donkey in a Taco costume like that is when you know you have made it big. The other volunteers enjoyed the 4 hours that we were there volunteering. It was hard to pull them away to return to campus. One volunteer stated " I wish I could see the look on the kids faces when they are riding or when they see the chicken coop we built", another student told me she wanted more projects like this. This project was an incredible experiencing getting to know volunteers, talking to staff of the non-profit, beautifying the farm, and giving back to our community.

Word Count: 350

Goals of the program:

The program was created to provide University of Pittsburgh students with Service over the summer. It was also put on to show students that the service we do for our community is important to a target population even when we are not directly working with that population, the things we did during the hours were served are important to those we served with and are important so the program can have a long lasting impact. This beautification program at Glade Run was also initiated so we could give back and serve in the Greater Pittsburgh Area and experience serving with a new community partner and making a long lasting service connection with that partner and the Pitt Students. WThe community partner told me that she would love to have more larger groups come out to help serve on the farm as well as help the children during larger program days. This comment was followed by student remarks showing interest in follow up service with this organization. That in its self was the overall goal of this program.

Word Count: 178

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

The student volunteers had incredible volunteering, and many want to continue volunteering in various ways whether it is with this specific non-profit or other non-profits in the Pittsburgh area. Also the non-profit has created a long-lasting volunteer with the University of Pittsburgh and knows that they can contact Ali anytime they need volunteers as well as they have the ability to utilize Pitt's resources for non-profit community Partners. Also, through our volunteering we made a long-lasting home for the chickens (many even chased us for hugs after), and we helped the staff with tasks they would normally have to stay late to finish or sacrifice program time to maintain the state of the farm.

Word Count: 114

Short evaluation of the program:

The program was a true success especially since 20 Pitt students took time out of their Friday morning in the summer to give back to the community. This 4 hour volunteering program has a long lasting effect on the staff at Glade Run and the Pitt students, and hopefully inspired the students to part take in future volunteering opportunities. We even got to end the day Petting some of the horses, taking selfies with Taco the Donkey, and chasing chickens, and petting the farm cats. We could not have asked for a better experience: A mostly sunny day with a bit of rain, farm animals, and serving children with special needs through service.

Word Count: 114

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

To adapt this program universities could create on campus service projects that are tailored to students with learning disabilities or Autism. Also, they could reach out to local community non-profits and schedule a volunteer opportunity for a group of students. We happened to be able to recruit a group of 19 students but could even be a small group going to a project that is specific to their interest. The program can be adapted to serve the same purpose of serving in the community, learning about different populations to serve in the area, serving in new areas of the community, and building service relationships with non-profits.

Word Count: 107

Date of entry into database: 2017-07-16 20:25:27

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