Month: April 2019


Community Service Program of the Month

School: Morehead State University Region: SAACURH
Person in charge: Meau Jones Nominator: John Haky

Target Population: 500 Time Needed to Organize: 2 Weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 113 Date(s) of Program: April 16, 2019
Number of People Needed to Organize: 17 Cost of Program:
On-Campus Population: 3200 Chapter Size: 0

Origin of Program:

The idea for this program came from the desire of the Resident Advisors to provide an impactful community service activity that was also fun and engaging for the students in their halls. With the weather turning warm for the spring, this provided a great opportunity to be able to do a large-scale activity just outside the residence halls that could accommodate a larger number of students than the limited amount of space inside the hall could handle.

With a strong interest in helping groups that supported the Eastern Kentucky region, the staff selected the Hope Hill organization as one that could benefit from many hands accomplishing one goal. Hope Hill is an organization that provides high quality services in a safe, loving, and therapeutic environment to Kentucky's most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families. Their services include foster care and adoption services, a residential treatment program that gives adolescent girls a safe, supportive environment to heal and move forward from past traumatic life experiences, and delinquency prevention efforts the seek to redirect adolescents who are considered discernibly at-risk for delinquency or who have committed a low level offense from further involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Word Count: 196

Please give a short description of the program:

The lawn space outside of Andrews Hall is designed in an amphitheater style (with a sidewalk/stairs down the middle and a gentle slop down away from the hall). Using this, the Resident Advisors set up a series of 8 tables on either side of the side walk, and on each of these tables were fabric and materials to make blankets. The blankets that were being made were the seamless blankets that required participants to cut short lines at equal intervals up the sides of the fabric and then tie each of resulting slits of fabric to another piece of fabric to create a layered larger blanket. By having multiple tables set up along the sidewalk/stairs, the RAs were able to capture people as they were coming or going from the hall, and provide the opportunity for many students to be working at the same time.

Another way RAs enticed students to participate was by strategically placing the food options at the top and bottom of the sidewalk. Using things like the Office of Student Housing’s popcorn machine and cotton candy machine, coupled with some drinks, pizza, and cookies, the staff were able to entice residents to come out of their rooms, stop for a moment to get a snack, and then transition them in to helping to make a blanket at one of the tables.

To further enhance the event, various games and activities were set up on the on the periphery of lawn surrounding the tables and the food. For residents who were looking to just relax with a simple activity, it was a great opportunity for them to grab a snack, make a blanket, and then hang around to converse with friends and neighbors while others took over making a blanket. The RAs used games available in the Housing Office resource room, such corn hole boards and Frisbees or footballs, and also worked with other areas of campus to obtain additional games, like borrowing the Recreation Center’s large Connect-4 boards.

Finally, the staff were able keep track of attendance by handing out raffle tickets to everyone that attended, and then used those raffle tickets for drawings for gift cards. The event itself was well attended, by all accounts was enjoyed by all, and created 18 blankets for the Hope Hill organizations.

Word Count: 383

Goals of the program:

The goals of the program were twofold: 1) Create a dynamic and engaging social program for residents to socialize and build a stronger sense of community among the hall. This is especially important for a hall like Andrews Hall that houses many student athletes who find their time occupied by their sport’s commitments. The event allowed many of those student athletes to not only socialize with their teammates, but also get to know many of the other students living in the hall.

2) Create an opportunity to promote civic responsibility and engage students with a means of providing a service to the community. Whether it was just students looking to put down some extra service hours for their team or organization or because they had a genuine interest in the cause, students were able to provide a meaningful service to a group that has an immediate impact of Morehead State’s service region.

Word Count: 152

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Even with only 4 weeks left in the Spring semester, the event had a great impact of furthering a sense of community among the residents of Andrews Hall in particular. Andrews Hall houses a large number of Morehead State’s student athletes, whose time is often heavily occupied with classes and sport commitments. This activity allowed those students an opportunity to both participate in some service to the community while interacting with other students in and around Andrews Hall. In addition, many of the residents of Andrews Hall were able to learn more about an organization that supports the Eastern Kentucky region (where a large number of Morehead State students call home) and allow them to engage in that same support while enjoying the company of their neighbors. Even with many of the events that took place in the weeks following this event, you could almost see a stronger sense of familiarity amongst the residents and gave them the anticipation going into those future events that they would provide a fun and meaningful end to the academic year.

Word Count: 177

Short evaluation of the program:

The program was well attended and had an impact on all those in attendance. The RAs’ plan to set up the tables to make the blankets in the center of the lawn while spacing additional activities like food or games around those tables allowed the staff to draw people into the circle, transition them into helping to make a blanket or two, and then keep them engaged in the event with those other activities was a great idea. The event engaged a variety of residents, from student-athletes to those involved in Greek like to students just coming from class. With over 18 blankets being made and over 100 students in attendance, it was a great time for everyone and helped a great cause that supports the Eastern Kentucky region. The event ran into a little bit of hiccup when they blew a circuit and had to reset the electrical breaker, but that was easily resolved.

Word Count: 155

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

The program could easily be adapted to any other campus. The first thing would be to identify a group or cause that could have a meaningful connection to the campus or area that campus focuses on serving. Knowing those services would then allow someone to identify a hands-on activity that could engage students in the residence hall community. The next step would then be to build around that activity, both promotionally and physically. The staff for this activity strategically designed the layout of the event to have the blanket making at the center and all other happenings set up around those tables with the blankets. This allowed the RAs to both draw students to the event through those additional activities and keep those students at the event in between making blankets. Identifying activities and/or food options that can draw students in and keep them from leaving quickly are important aspects to keeping them engaged around the central activity.

Word Count: 158

Date of entry into database: 2019-05-08 17:56:40

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