Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Western Carolina hosts 9/11 Day of Service

The Western Carolina University Center for Service Learning hosted its second annual 9/11 Day of Service on Saturday, September 8th.  Forty-four students, faculty and staff volunteered for a total of 174 hours at seven locations throughout Jackson and Haywood counties.  The day began at 8am and wrapped up at 3pm. 

Service sites included Appalachian Homestead Farm and Preserve, the WCU Campus Kitchen Garden, Catman2 cat shelter, the Cullowhee Fire Department, Full Spectrum Farms, Habitat for Humanity, and the Pathways Thrift Store. 

WCU students, faculty and staff remembered 9/11 with a day of service.
Volunteers assisted partner sites with various tasks, including picking beans and spreading fertilizer at the Appalachian Homestead Farm and Preserve, cleaning facilities and equipment at several locations, building with Habitat for Humanity, and garden clean up at Full Spectrum Farms, where participants also learned about Full Spectrum's work with autistic adults.  

Senior Julian Dunst, an exchange student from Germany, said he appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this area of the United States and that reflecting on his experience was a new and welcome change from service experience in his home country.

Lane Perry, director of the WCU Center for Service Learning, also reflected on the day of service experience. “Two of my mentors, Dr’s Billy O’Steen and Patti Clayton, have described service-learning like this: in class students do not get credit for reading the textbook, but they get a grade for further analysis of the book and how their analysis is presented,” Perry said. “Similarly, students do not get a grade for service, but they get a grade for the critical analysis and reflection on their experience.

“The 9/11 Day of Service allowed volunteers to have the opportunity to take a moment to remember the tragic event that occurred 11 years ago and to participate in service that can serve as a text they carry back with them into their classes at WCU,” said Perry.

VISTA member Derald "Banjo" Dryman helped coordinate community service placements for the event, as part of his work to support national days of service, including the 9/11 Day of Service.