4:24 p.m., Oct. 5, 2010----Some University of Delaware students are already making plans for spring break. But instead of a trip to the tropics, they're deciding if they want to build a house for hurricane victims in New Orleans, serve up lunch at a soup kitchen in Boston or help maintain a hiking trail in coastal South Carolina.
Starting this spring, from March 25 to April 3, 2011, University of Delaware students will be able to put their knowledge and skills to work for others through UD's new Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. Applications to participate are due by Oct. 15 and are available on this website.
“The University's Alternative Spring Break is designed to engage students in community service and learning as a way to increase their knowledge of social justice issues and to foster a lifetime of active citizenship,” said Sue Serra, coordinator of the Office of Service Learning at UD.
“These programs represent an expansion of alternative spring break opportunities for UD students that began years ago through the efforts of faith-based organizations and the Center for Black Culture at UD,” Serra noted. “During the past year, we began working collaboratively with these organizations and other groups to help support the training of student leaders and to expand alternative break opportunities to an even larger student audience.”
UD is now a member of Break Away, a national organization that supports alternative spring break programs at colleges across the nation. During the summer, seven UD students received training as site leaders with Break Away, learning how to organize and manage ASB programs.
The following ASB programs are available to UD students this spring. Costs will be dependent on the trip. All programs are substance-free and participants must abide by all University policies, be a fully engaged and enthusiastic participant, and realize that participation encompasses fundraising, pre- and post-service activities, and pre-trip meetings and training sessions, Serra said.
Interested students can learn more at recruitment sessions at Trabant University Center on Wednesday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Also, an interest meeting will be held on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. in 109 Memorial Hall. For more information, send an email to [firstname.lastname@example.org].
A flyer on the UD's Alternative Spring Break program is available in PDF format.
UD's Alternative Spring Break Programs
Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge: Spend your spring break working to help eliminate poverty housing with Habitat for Humanity. This trip will focus on improving existing housing structures, helping to build a new house or volunteering on other projects.
Disaster Relief: Partner with the National Relief Network, whose goal is to help communities and families located in disaster areas. This trip will go to New Orleans to provide the city with continued recovery assistance from Hurricane Katrina through projects ranging from rebuilding homes to planting cypress trees.
Flow of Food -- Boston's Hunger, Food and Poverty: Starting from where the seeds are planted to when the food ends up on someone's plate, this trip is an exploration of hunger and poverty in today's society. You'll get your fingers dirty at Urban Farms, then wash up and use your hands to serve the food throughout the Boston Community at local soup kitchens and food banks.
Children and Youth in Urban Poverty: Partner with Camp Vacamas and the Newark, N.J., school district to provide a breath of fresh air for both participants and students of Newark's urban schools. Live simply, work hard and make a difference in children's lives. This is a chance to experience New Jersey like never before.
Francis Marion National Forest -- Jericho Hiking Trail: Partner with the American Hiking Society to aid in the maintenance of an environmentally sustainable hiking trail in the Francis Marion National Forest on the beautiful coast of South Carolina. Alternative Breakers will also take a boat tour of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, which has beautiful beaches, barrier islands and tidal creeks.
Article by Tracey Bryant
Photo by Ambre Alexander