Service Day

All freshmen in College Park Scholars begin their college experience by completing a day of community service near campus, a Scholars tradition that is more than 20 years old. You will bond with your new classmates and faculty and staff in your Scholars program while making a difference in nearby communities.

Service Day is Friday, August 25, 2017.

Service Day Meals

Pick up your breakfast and lunch on the morning of Service Day before you meet your group. 

  • If you are a student living in a residence hall, you will pick up a breakfast and boxed lunch at the North Campus Diner, unless you pre-ordered a kosher meal. 
  • If you are a commuter or you ordered a kosher meal, you will pick up a breakfast and boxed lunch outside of Cumberland Hall, at the check-in tables on the Cambridge Community quad.

General Things to Bring (Check site-specific details below) 

  • Wear your Scholars t-shirt (which you will get at Convocation) and clothes that can get dirty
  • Water in reusable water bottle 
  • Closed-toe shoes are mandatory (no sandals, flip flops, high heels, or crocs)
  • No sleeveless shirts, tank tops, or shirts that expose midriff
  • Allergy or other medications, if appropriate
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant, if your site is outdoors
  • Backpack to keep lunch and water (recommended)

Program Sites and Details 

World Arts Focus and Joe's Movement Emporium

Meeting time and location: 9.00 a.m. in front of Bel Air Hall

Joe's Movement Emporium is the community performing arts center of World Arts Focus, a 501(c)(3) charitable arts organization whose mission is to promote participation and practice in dance, movement, and performing arts traditions from around the world, using the arts as a tool for revitalizing community. Scholars will be divided into groups to tackle a variety of projects. Some students will be assisting with the clean up, decoration and organization of the Arts Education Center in preparation for Club Joe's, an after school arts program for children. Other projects may include some landscape revitalization and beautification work around the facility grounds.

Paint Branch Elementary School

Meeting time and location: 9.00 a.m. in front of Bel Air Hall

Paint Branch Elementary School is located in the Lakeland Community near campus and is part of the Prince George's County Public School System (www.pgcps.org). The Lakeland Community is an economically diverse community of approximately 400 households within the City of College Park. It is considered to be one of the oldest African-American communities in Prince George's County.

Arts Scholars will participate in a variety of projects under the guidance of the Paint Branch Elementary staff. These projects will likely include the creation of painted murals or enhancements to existing artwork throughout the school facility.

Learn more here: http://www1.pgcps.org/paintbranch/

Thomas Stone Elementary School

Meeting time and location: 9.00 a.m. in front of Bel Air Hall

Thomas Stone Elementary, located in Mt. Ranier, MD is 4 miles from downtown Washington D.C. and serves as the gateway community for Prince George's County along the Historic Route 1 corridor.  A vibrant and pedestrian friendly community of 8000 residents, Mt. Ranier is home to local businesses and a thriving arts and culture center as part of the Gateway Arts District.

Arts Scholars will participate in a variety of projects under the guidance of the Thomas Stone Elementary staff. These projects will likely include efforts to beautify the school grounds and facilities to enhance the learning environment for its students.

Learn more here: http://www1.pgcps.org/thomasstone/

A Wider Circle

Meeting time and location: 10:00 a.m. Cambridge Community Center, Room 1100

The mission of A Wider Circle is simple: to end poverty for one individual and one family after another. We work in partnership with those we serve and with those seeking to help to ensure that every child and adult has the chance to succeed and the opportunity to live well. Volunteers may sort and fold clothing, household items and furniture, children’s school supplies, toys; file books, clean items (if needed); accept donations as they arrive, etc. There are many separate areas of the facility and volunteers can work in small groups in the area of their choosing, or agree to be assigned to an area.

Learn more here: http://awidercircle.org/

Upper Marlboro Research and Education Center 

Meeting time and location: 8.00 a.m. in front of Chestertown Hall

Additional items to bring:

  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Shorts or pants are appropriate
  • Bandana or small towel (recommended)

This 202-acre area known as the Upper Marlboro facility is located in Prince George's County. This facility focuses on the development of alternative crops to replace the declining tobacco crop in Maryland. We will work with researchers on site to help them with ongoing research projects. Each group will get more details about their specific projects on Service Day.

Learn more here: https://agresearch.umd.edu/cmrec/upper-marlboro-facility

Lyme disease is increasingly prevalent in Maryland and this year is forecast to be a particularly active one, due to the mild winter. We will be in areas where ticks are found during Service Day. We encourage you to take precautions. These may include wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts. You can tuck shirts into pants and pants and pants into socks, which results in questionable fashion, but keeps ticks on the outside of clothing. You may also apply tick repellent products to your clothes. Be sure to shower and change your clothes immediately after returning from Service Day. It is expected to be hot, so you will probably want to do this anyway.

More information is available at https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/Pages/lyme-disease.aspx 

Clagett Farm

Meeting time and location: 8.00 a.m. in front of Chestertown Hall

Additional items to bring:  

  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Shorts or pants are appropriate
  • Bandana or small towel (recommended)

Our ultimate goal is to use farming methods that are truly sustainable—both economically and environmentally. We serve as a demonstration that sustainable agriculture methods can work and maintain an economically viable working farm and as an outdoor classroom to educate the public about our mission. We will work with farm staff to assist them with ongoing projects on site. Each group will get more details about their specific projects on Service Day.

Learn more here: http://www.cbf.org/about-cbf/offices-operations/clagett-farm

Lyme disease is increasingly prevalent in Maryland and this year is forecast to be a particularly active one, due to the mild winter. We will be in areas where ticks are found during Service Day. We encourage you to take precautions. These may include wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts. You can tuck shirts into pants and pants and pants into socks, which results in questionable fashion, but keeps ticks on the outside of clothing. You may also apply tick repellent products to your clothes. Be sure to shower and change your clothes immediately after returning from Service Day. It is expected to be hot, so you will probably want to do this anyway.

More information is available at https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/Pages/lyme-disease.aspx

Second Chance

Meeting time and location: 8:30 a.m., front steps of School of Public Health

Additional things to bring:

  • Long pants
  • A long-sleeved shirt

Second Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides people, materials and the environment with a second chance.  We deconstruct buildings and homes, salvage usable materials and make those available to the public through our 200,000 square feet of retail space.  With the revenue generated, we provide job training and workforce development for those with employment obstacles in the Baltimore region. Second Chance is a social enterprise with a true triple-bottom-line focus.  That means everything we do is environmentally sound, socially responsible, and financially viable.

Learn more here: http://www.secondchanceinc.org/

Patuxent River Park

Meeting time and location: 8:00 a.m. at the main entrance to Eppley Recreation Center

Additional items to bring:

  • Water
  • Insect Repellent

Since the 1960s, Patuxent River has been declared a valuable natural resource and designated as one of Maryland’s most scenic rivers. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission preserves and protects this very unique natural and historical resource while providing recreational activities for the public.Students will be separated into large groups for a variety of cleanup and volunteer projects in the park.

Learn more here: http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Nature/Patuxent_River_Park.htm

 

Maryland Food Bank

Meeting time and location: 7:15 AM in Cambridge Community Center, Room 1100

Additional items to bring: 

  • For safety reasons, all volunteers must wear closed toes shoes. 
  • Also, the temperature in our facility fluctuates so we suggest you bring a jacket or sweatshirt.

Service Activity: Repacking dry goods on their conveyor system as well as packing produce, frozen meats, and assorted kits.

Learn more here: https://www.mdfoodbank.org/

Central Union Mission

Meeting time and location: 7:30 AM in Cumberland Hall, Room 1140

What to wear: Please dress modestly when volunteering. We help a variety of men and women with various social vulnerabilities, thus it is important to observe a conservative dress code. Long or short sleeve shirts are permitted. T-shirts are acceptable but should not contain vulgar language, sexual innuendos or advertisements for alcohol and cigarette products. Please do not wear sleeveless tops, halter tops, bare midriffs or anything tight or revealing. Shorts or skirts should be knee length or longer. For safety, volunteers should not wear open toed shoes, especially in kitchen area or where food is being prepared or served. 

Service Activity:  Shelter upkeep (make beds, sweep, laundry and other housekeeping tasks as needed in the shelter that day); prepare and serve lunch to shelter residents and program participants; and clean dining hall.

Learn more here: www.missiondc.org

Sarah’s House

Meeting time and location: 7:30 AM in the Cambridge Community Center, Room 1105

Additional items to bring:

  • Sunscreen (optional)

Sarah's House is a supportive housing program offering emergency and transitional housing with an array of other services for homeless families in Anne Arundel County. Students will take part in a variety of tasks to help maintain the grounds and aid those who are served by Sarah’s House.

Learn more here: http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/sarahs- house/

Interfaith Works Clothing Center

Meeting time and location: 7:30 AM in the Cambridge Community Center, Room 1200

The Interfaith Clothing Center in Rockville provides low-income families with clothing and home goods free of charge, allowing them to use more of their resources on food, rent, utilities, medicine, and other basic needs. Students will help with sorting and distributing donations as well as organizing the warehouse where patrons select donations as they need.

Learn more here: www.iworksmc.org/interfaith-clothing- center/

Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Meeting time and location: 8:30 a.m. at LaPlata Beach

Bladensburg was established in 1742 and served as a vibrant commercial port for 50+ years. Due to flooding in some areas and shallow waters in others, the port declined until a major transformation by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in the mid-1990’s. You will now find a picturesque park in the urban setting including a paved riverside walk, picnic pavilion, public fishing pier, free boat ramp, free pontoon boat tours, community boat storage, and canoe, kayak, paddleboat and rowboat rentals. 

Our Life Sciences team will be busy helping with a variety of outdoor activities on both land and water. The scope of our service will include but not be limited to invasive species removal and trash pick-up in the park and while canoeing the Anacostia River. Our goal is to help protect the natural habitat in the park area while helping sustain a safe and clean environment for the many park visitors. 

Learn more here: http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Nature/Bladensburg_Waterfront_Park.htm

Martha's Table

Meeting time and location: 8:30 a.m. in Cambridge Community Center, room 1205

Additional items to bring:

  • Long pants, closed toe shoes

For over 37 years, Martha’s Table has worked to support stronger children, stronger families, and stronger communities by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food, and family supports. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity for their brightest future, and a deeply engaged family and community committed to their success.

Learn more here: http://marthastable.org/

D.C. Central Kitchen

Meeting time and location: 7:30 a.m. in Cambridge Community Center, room 1205

Additional items to bring: 

  • Long pants, closed toe shoes
  • Do not wear loose jewelry such as watches, bracelets, dangling earrings, and rings
  • *Shoes with high-grip soles are strongly recommended

DC Central Kitchen is America's leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise. Students will take part in food preparation to help feed those served by DC Central Kitchen.

Learn more here: http://dccentralkitchen.org/

So Other Might Eat (SOME)

Meeting time and location: 8.30 a.m. Cambridge Community Center, room 1205

Additional things to bring:

  • Long pants, closed toe shoes.
  • A hat/hairnet is required for any volunteer handling food. Baseball hats may be brought from home or a hairnet will be provided.  

So Others Might Eat (SOME) has served Washington, DC for over 40 years, working to feed and clothe DC’s homeless and poor, treat ill, homeless people at our medical, dental and mental health programs, train people for jobs and house homeless families and single adults.  Over the years, SOME has helped thousands of people get off the streets, transform their lives, and live independently. Volunteers will help serve lunch in the main Dining Room. Also a small group will be working to sort out donations of clothing etc.

Learn more at: http://some.org/

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Meeting time and location: 11 a.m. outside of Cumberland Hall

Throughout 90 plus years of service, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has endeavored to improve the quality of life for all of the citizens of the bi-county area it serves and of the communities in which these citizens live, work and raise their families. Students will participate in a trail beautification project with the guidance of several Prince George's County park rangers. Students will learn about invasive species removal and help clean up a section of Paint Branch Trail located near UMD's campus. Students should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. 

Learn more here: http://www.mncppc.org/ 

A Wider Circle

Meeting time and location: 11 a.m. outside of Cumberland Hall

The mission of A Wider Circle is simple: to end poverty for one individual and one family after another. We work in partnership with those we serve and with those seeking to help to ensure that every child and adult has the chance to succeed and the opportunity to live well. At A Wider Circle, students will will participate in our Neighbor-to- Neighbor Program, where we fully furnish the homes of families living in poverty.

Learn more here: http://awidercircle.org

Leveling the Playing Field

Meeting time and location: 11 a.m. outside of Cumberland Hall

Leveling the Playing Field gives underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of athletic involvement. Studies show that students who participate in athletics have higher grade point averages, attendance rates, standardized test scores, educational aspirations and healthier habits.

At Leveling the Playing Field, students will work to help sort and inventory donations of athletic equipment in the warehouse and help prepare sports equipment to be distributed across the Washington, D.C. area.

Learn more here: http://www.levelingtheplayingfield.org

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Meeting time and location: 8:15 a.m. in Centreville Hall, North Lobby

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens makes up some 700 acres in northeast Washington, D.C. near the Maryland boundary along the tidal Anacostia River and includes the Gardens and Kenilworth Marsh. Begun in the 1880s and incorporated into the National Park system in 1938, the gardens are the only National Park Service site devoted to the propagation and display of aquatic plants.

Scholars typically assist in outdoor habitat maintenance, thin out over-crowded water lilies and lotuses, and the control of invasive weeds in the aquatic gardens. Because most work involves wading in the ponds, the site provides chest-waders and boots.

Learn more here:  https://www.nps.gov/keaq/index.htm

Additional items to bring for all SDU sites: 

  • Long pants are preferred over shorts
  • Baseball cap (recommended)
  • Sunscreen (we'll bring extra if you forget)
  • Insect repellent (we'll bring extra if you forget)
  • A long sleeve shirt is recommended for all sites; may be worn under or over your Scholars t-shirt

The Howard B. Owens Science Center

Meeting time and location: 8.50 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The Howard B. Owens Science Center provides activity-based science instruction to K-12 students attending the Prince George's County PublicSchools. Science instruction taught in the regular classroom setting is enhanced through a planetarium, Challenger Learning Center, nature trail, computer labs, and classroom laboratories. The primary service project will involve maintenance and enhancement of the nature trail. Some gardening maintenance and grounds-keeping assignments such as clearing brush in the parking lot, putting up a fence, tilling, transplanting flowers, and compost bin maintenance. The purpose is to prepare outdoor instructional areas for fall programs. Learn more here: http://www1.pgcps.org/howardbowens/

University of Maryland Astronomy Observatory

Meeting time and location: 8.50 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The goal at the University of Maryland Astronomy Observatory is to provide educational experiences for both University of Maryland students and the general public. A number of classes are taught using observatory equipment. There is an Open House program for the public on the 5th and 20th of each month and an ongoing service project with local high school students. Being over a mile from the center of campus means that upkeep of the grounds is often low on the University Plant's schedule. Scholars will be working on some basic beautification projects around the observatory, including some trash pickup, some minor painting, gardening and landscaping, as well as some organizational and sorting work. Students will assist in a general housecleaning of the facility as well as help to inventory and organize equipment.

City of Edmonston

Meeting time and location: 8.50 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

In November 2009, Edmonston, Maryland broke ground on its "Green Street" in a ceremony attended by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson. The completed project was dedicated in November 2010 with significant national attention for pioneering the combination of low impact development and complete street principles. The street features LED streetlights, a green power purchase agreement, elevated crosswalks, traffic calming bump-out rain gardens and permeable pavement bike lanes that together capture nearly 100% of storm water runoff. Students will be furthering the town's "complete street" goals by creating a rain garden in Veteran's Park by placing paving stones, clearing ground, and layering mulch and soil. Last year we also helped with yard cleanup at some homes of disabled seniors, and painted "No dumping - Drains to Chesapeake" signs on the cities storm drains.
 

Dinosaur Park

Meeting time and location: 8.50 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The Dinosaur Park in Laurel, MD remains one of the most productive sites for early Cretaceous dinosaur and early mammal bones east of the Mississippi. The geologic layer which just happens to be at the surface in this location continues to provide a treasure trove of fossils. Unlike most PG County parks, Dinosaur Park is only open to the public twice a month (or by group reservation) and Maryland and Prince Georges County have designated this a preservation site to ensure its usefulness to current and future paleontologists! Students will be clearing weeds and brush and exposing the clay outcropping as much as possible and performing some minor landscaping. This allows rainfall to gently erode away the dirt, revealing the fossils beneath with minimal damage.

Takoma Park

Meeting time and location: 9:00 a.m. Cambridge Hall, quad side

Takoma Park environmental managers have the multipurpose mission of maintaining green space in the city in aesthetically appealing form, for recreational activities, and as viable habitats for many species of plants and animals. STS will assist environmental managers of Takoma Park’s natural areas with park clean-up activities, invasive species removal, and planting native and ornamental species.

Learn more here: https://takomaparkmd.gov/government/recreation/

Casa de Maryland - Silver Spring Welcome Center

Meeting time and location: 9:00 a.m. Cambridge Hall, quad side

Casa de Maryland is a non-profit that provides a number of services such as work-readiness and vocational training for low-income immigrant communities. Their mission is, “To create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities.” STS students will help with a variety of tasks to improve the upkeep of the Silver Spring Welcome Center, which could include painting, landscaping, and building repairs.

Learn more here: http://wearecasa.org/

Eco City Farms

Meeting time and location: 9:00 a.m. Cambridge Hall, quad side

Eco City Farms is a local educational, non-profit urban farm that resides in the Riverdale community near College Park. They seek “to enhance food security, safety and access, to improve nutrition and health, to preserve cultural and ecological diversity, and to accelerate the transition to an economy based on preservation, recycling and restoration.” STS students will help Eco City Farm staff with day-to-day operations of the farm, which could include tasks such as harvesting, transporting food to local markets, maintenance of farm infrastructure, and general upkeep of the farm.

 Learn more here: http://www.ecoffshoots.org/