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Service-Learning Center celebrates 10 years of university-community partnership


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2005 – The Virginia Tech Service-Learning Center will celebrate 10 years of helping faculty and students put knowledge to work through community service with a banquet from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center, Otey Street, on Virginia Tech's campus. Tickets are $35 per person with proceeds benefiting the Service-Learning Center.

The Service-Learning Center is a division of Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, and Service-Learning is an experiential program incorporating community service into course work to teach class concepts through civic participation.

The 10th anniversary event also will mark the formal beginning of the center’s Student Success Endowed Fund, founded by Rachel Parker-Gwin and Louis Gwin, former Virginia Tech faculty and friends of the Service-Learning Center. This fund will provide scholarships and financial support to outstanding students who have made community service a part of their educational experience. The first student recipient of the award will be announced.

A $10 for 10 Campaign in which the Service-Learning Center has asked 1,000 people to give $10 has boosted the fund’s assets. Local businesses and organizations have matched donations at $1,000 milestones. Additional contributions will be accepted at the banquet.

The event will begin with a silent auction from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30. Items in the silent auction may be previewed on the Service-Learning Center website at http://www.vtserves.vt.edu/dd/home.asp".

Banquet reservations may be made online at http://www.conted.vt.edu/slcab/. For additional information, contact the center at (540) 231-6947.

This semester, more than 500 students from classes in a variety of disciplines at Virginia Tech are taking an active role working at non-profit agencies, schools, and on community projects across the New River Valley and in Roanoke. The Service-Learning Center facilitates and supports these student experiences.

For the past decade, the center has worked to be a catalyst for community and university partnerships that strengthen local communities and enhance students’ academic and civic education to add breadth and depth to their classroom experiences. Students devote their semesters to projects such as working with senior adult programs, tutoring and mentoring, providing staffing assistance to non-profits, and collecting and delivering household items to families in need.

Service-Learning also has assisted in the creation of various programs, such as “Crossing the Border,” which pairs Spanish students with new immigrant Latino families. Other Service-Learning programs include the Literacy Corps and VTOPS, which provide support to local school programs, and the Hometown Corps program in which students work on community improvement projects in various rural towns and counties throughout the area.

For more information contact the Service-Learning Center at Virginia Tech, (540) 231-6964, or e-mail at utprosim@vt.edu.