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Max A Shacknai COVE News


Student-Community Partnerships Experience Success

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

The Max A. Shacknai COVE advises 39 student-led, community-based volunteer teams. These teams cover a wide range of issues and help students build an abundance of skills. Approximately 650 students — representing about 23 percent of the Colgate population — participate regularly on a volunteer team. This year, volunteer teams performed a total of more than 23,000 hours of service in the local community.

Service outcomes of ongoing projects include:

  • Tutored more than 250 local school children at all grade levels
  • Mentored more than 195 school-aged children
  • Provided after-school enrichment activities to an additional 75 local children
  • Improved academic and social confidence of children they tutored and mentored
  • Improved SAT scores of 60 local high school students by 100 points on average
  • Assisted more than 150 elderly and low-income adults
  • Served more than 800 individuals at the soup kitchen and food cupboard
  • Assisted in responding to more than 800 fire and EMS emergency calls
  • Contributed more than 500 hours responding to the Victims of Violence hotline
  • Provided care to more than 800 shelter animals
  • Contributed to a cohesive, caring community

Teams reported success in:

  • Creating team reflection time
  • Practicing regular and open communication with their community partner
  • Articulating the root causes of social inequity related to the team’s issue areas
  • Formulating action steps to impact the relevant social issue
  • Reaching the team’s direct service goal
  • Reaching the team’s social change goal

This year, we brought on two new volunteer teams:

Circle K – Circle K is a campus chapter of the national Kiwanis organization. The mission of the organization is to develop college students into a global network of responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to service. The organization seeks to accomplish this by lending volunteers to one-time and short-term service projects in the local community that often struggle to find enough volunteers to complete the project.

Madison Mentors – Madison Mentors works with 4th graders at Madison Central School providing in-school mentoring for students whom the school has identified as needing extra support and encouragement to be successful in the classroom.

In addition to regular volunteer service, volunteer teams plan a number of complementary events to increase the work and impact of the team. Here’s a sampling of events volunteer teams planned this year in addition to their ongoing direct service work:

  • The Colgate Hunger Outreach Program raised funds that were used to fill holiday stockings with hygiene products. These stockings were distributed to families in need during the local Mid York Interfaith Holiday distribution.
  • Our education-related teams sponsored two brown bag presentations: one on Rural Education in Upstate NY and one on Standardized Testing Standards in America.
  • Sidekicks and Madison Mentors partnered with the Blue Diamond Society to host the annual Gate Town Connection Carnival in which children from around the community, including many youth involved with numerous COVE Teams, were invited to attend.
  • Student volunteers from SOMAC hosted many community awareness events, including an event at Hamilton Elementary School and with the Girl Scouts. Children were invited into the ambulance and taught some basic skills on what to do in an emergency.
  • Pet Pals held a blanket making night, during which students gathered to make pet bedding that was donated to local animal shelters.
  • SOMAC and Hamilton Firefighters partnered to hold a car wash fundraiser to benefit emergency response agencies in Hamilton.
  • Our annual Celebration of Service event recognized the work of our student volunteers and the community organizations that host them.
  • The American Heart Association team sponsored a Spin-A-Thon and a Burrito Run fundraiser.
  • The Network sponsored a Take Back the Night March and Speak Out, offering a safe and supportive opportunity for sexual violence survivors and the people who love them to publicly affirm their transition from victim to survivor.
  • The Network partnered with the Haven, Colgate’s survivor support center, to train more than 20 volunteers for the local sexual violence hotline.

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