Redlands Gets Honors Again for its Service Efforts
Feb. 9, 2009 -
The University of Redlands is again garnering national recognition for its community service programs.
The Corporation for National and Community Service has named the university to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with distinction, recognizing its service to children from disadvantaged circumstances. The awards were announced Monday at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
Last year, Redlands was one of three schools in the nation to receive the prestigious President's Award, the top recognition in the Honor Roll, in the category of service to children from disadvantaged circumstances.
"We are again grateful for the recognition from Washington D.C., but our most telling reward is in the attendance of our child-centered programs. The fact that so many families enroll in our programs and that area schools and non-profit agencies partner with our faculty and students, is a true testament to all of us building a healthier community," said Tony Mueller, director of community service learning at Redlands.
"That may be what Washington sees in Redlands – a reciprocated relationship that's mutually beneficial for college students and local children. I fully appreciate that sentiment. Our university is proud of it."
Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
The university has a number of community service learning efforts aimed at children and teens, and has been named to the honor roll each year since it was established.
Redlands' Big Buddies program serves area children between the ages of 6 and 10. A similar program, Middle Buddies, is designed for youth ages 11 to 14.
Children in those programs and their mentors meet in groups once a week. A typical night begins with about 45 minutes devoted to tutoring and homework assistance. The next hour is spent in organized games and other activities designed to involve both the children and mentors. The last 30 minutes are designed free time, where students typically have a snack and then interact with their mentors, as well as other students.
The Buddies programs are designed to provide children and teens with positive college role models, to emphasize the importance of a well-rounded education, to provide tutoring, to stress the importance of appropriate behavior and to strengthen social skills.
A similar program, CHAMPS, provides mentoring and tutoring to area high school students. University of Redlands students also staff Jasper's Corner Homework Club, a program that provides free homework and reading assistance to area students. The club operates Monday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In another nod to its community service efforts, the university earned in 2008 a classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a community engaged university for its collaboration with the larger community in two categories: curricular engagement and outreach and partnership.
"In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges," said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll.
"We salute the University of Redlands for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others."
Overall, the Corporation honored six schools this year with Presidential Awards. Eighty three were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov/.
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