September 22, 2010
Last week, Dave's Down Under was transformed into a tropical Fijian Island where students could travel toward the destination of community service and engagement. The College's annual Service Fair, hosted by the Office of Community Engagement (OCE) featured 30 community partners from Central Florida gathered amidst a sea of students, staff and faculty. Organization booths were divided into four sections - children, health and wellness, hunger and homelessness, and the arts - and students could walk around learning about ways to get involved within the Central Florida community.
“Part of our job is to make sure we connect the passion of the students with opportunities in the community," Suzy Plott, community and office coordinator in the Office of Community Engagement, said.
The Second Harvest Food Bank, Florida SPCA, The Ronald McDonald House, the Maitland Art and History Association, were but a few organizations in attendance. The event was heavy with peer mentors and RCC groups looking for more service opportunities, encouraged by recent SPARC day events. Crummer and Holt students were also heavily involved in the fair.
"Events such as these give students the opportunities to enrich themselves through community partnerships that facilitate service learning," said Zach Baldwin (Class of 2014).
The event was turned into a type of game in order to encourage more student participation. Dave's Down Under was decorated as a tropical Fijian island complete with fake palm trees, beads and paper birds, and students travelled around the different sections with their "passports," collecting colored stickers from each section of service partners. Stickers were earned by speaking with community partners from every section and learning about ways to get involved. At the end of their tour around the "Island" Down Under, participants turned in their completed passports and entered themselves in a raffle for a chance to win gift cards, DVDs, etc. The event was a fun and effective way to reward students and faculty for benefitting themselves and the community.
Sarah Hartman (Class of 2011)