Sept. 19, 2001
CONTACT: Jane LeBlanc, 312-2505
EFFORT LINKS SUNY OSWEGO STUDENTS,
LOCAL AGENCIES TO MEET SERVICE NEEDS
OSWEGO -- Local not-for-profits agencies often need volunteers. Many SUNY Oswego students want to make a difference or are required to volunteer as part of their education. Volunteer Oswego County aims to make the connection.
Volunteer Oswego County is coordinated by the SUNY Oswego Center for Service Learning and Community Services and the Oswego County AmeriCorps Program. Recently, the partnership presented the Volunteer Oswego Fair in the Hewitt Union ballroom, with around 25 agencies from around Oswego County recruiting volunteers.
"The aim of the event was to unite students who want to or need to volunteer with agencies who need volunteers," said Lisa Essig, a graduate assistant in the Center for Service Learning and Community Services. "It's a good way of servicing everybody's needs."
The Center for Service Learning and Community Services formed recently as a professional office that continues the responsibilities of the student-run Community Services department while also helping students with service learning contracts.
"Service learning combines classroom experiences with volunteer activities outside the classroom," Essig explained.
Some students are required by professors to have this community service component as part of the college's mission to create a learner-centered campus that provides students with well-rounded college experiences.
The Volunteer Oswego Fair on Sept. 13 hosted organizations that included Oswego County Catholic Charities, the Oswego School District Public Library, American Cancer Society, St. Mary's Food Pantry in Mexico, the Hannibal Resource Center, Oswego County Opportunities and several area nursing homes among its cross-section of agencies.
Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County was among the groups aiming to work with students to bolster agency offerings. "I think it's a great thing," Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County Executive Director Diane Falise said of the volunteer program. "There are so many good kids, and they want to help."
Falise said Literacy Volunteers, which emphasizes reading and life skills for adults who need to improve their literacy, is actively seeking student volunteers and wants to establish a site on campus to train students to be tutors for the program.
"Many of the agencies that came were very pleased," Essig said of the first-time effort. "The students who did come were very interested and made a lot of good contacts."
For more information on the Volunteer Oswego County program, call the Center for Service Learning and Community Services at 312-5360 or the Oswego AmeriCorps Program at 349-3451.
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