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12/22/2014

Winthrop Named to Presidential Community Service Honor Roll for Ninth Time

Quick Facts

 The designation is one of the highest honors a college or university may receive for its dedication to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
 This marks the ninth time Winthrop has been selected for inclusion in the honor roll.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University is once again recognized as an institution that values civic engagement with its recent naming to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for a notable commitment to bettering their communities through service. The designation is one of the highest honors a college or university may receive for its dedication to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

This is the ninth time Winthrop has been selected for inclusion in the honor roll.

“Our faculty and staff are teaching community service and its importance from the students’ very first day of class,” said Debra Boyd, Winthrop’s acting president. “Our students gain exposure to a variety of ways to support communities during their time here, through service learning in classes or as participants in student organizations. As a result, they are more likely to spend their lives contributing to their professions and communities in meaningful ways.”

During the 2012-13 academic year, Winthrop students’ work stood out for their efforts with literacy, a Martin Luther King Jr. day of service, and a homework project for at-risk students in a nearby neighborhood.

Here’s more on each project:

1) Through ACAD 101, Winthrop’s first-year seminar course, freshmen participated in “The Reading Tent Project,” a shared community service project aimed at increasing reading habits among elementary-age children. In 2013, the Reading Tent Project involved 56 faculty members, 56 peer mentors and the freshman class of 1,301 students who partnered with area elementary schools. Next year will be its fourth year as students have distributed thousands of books to area children to keep and treasure. Winthrop has become an important member of Rock Hill Reads, a collaboration among the city of Rock Hill, York County Library, Rock Hill schools and local agencies to improve literacy.

2) Winthrop has celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day since 1986 when Congress designated MLK Day as a national day of service. In 2013, the university broadened its MLK Day of Service, by inviting students from local colleges – York Technical College and Clinton College - to participate. Dozens of students were assigned to one of 32 service sites in York County. They assisted senior citizens, picked up trash, did community gardening, led children’s activities, performed handy work and more. Participants returned to campus afterwards to reflect and share their experiences over a meal.

3) A student initiative called Students Challenging Others to Pursue Excellence (SCOPE) has grown in three years to a 20-student volunteer team at a nearby recreation center. The SCOPE program serves elementary-age children with after-school homework tutoring and mentoring. During the 2012-13 academic year, the SCOPE student team documented 743 volunteer hours to the Boyd Hill community and has worked to leverage SCOPE’s relationship with the community and expand opportunities for service to the Boyd Hill neighborhood. Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols presented SCOPE with the Julia Post Activities Award for its service last year at the City of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism 30th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration.

Winthrop also houses the office for S.C. Campus Compact, a coalition of 17 South Carolina colleges and universities working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service, has administered the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll award since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country — a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

More information about Winthrop's community service efforts may be found at the Center for Career & Civic Engagement website


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