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 24, 2018.

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 

Paint Branch Elementary School

Meeting time and location: 9:30 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. 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: http://www1.pgcps.org/paintbranch/

Thomas Stone Elementary School

Meeting time and location: 9:30 a.m. in front of Bel Air Hall

Thomas Stone Elementary, located in Mt. Ranier, Md., is 4 miles from downtown Washington, DC, and serves as the gateway community for Prince George's County along the Historic Route 1 corridor.  A vibrant and pedestrian friendly community of 8,000 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: http://www1.pgcps.org/thomasstone/

Riverdale Elementary School

Meeting time and location: 9:30 a.m. in front of Bel Air Hall

Located in Riverdale, Md., Riverdale Elementary serves more than 600 Pre-K to 6th grade students in Prince George's County.

Arts Scholars will be doing some artwork at the exterior of the Pre-K entrance to the school to invoke an inviting and community-affirming visual presence for students (and parents) when they enter that wing of the school. In addition, students may assist teachers with setting up their classrooms.

Learn more: http://www.pgcps.org/riverdale/

A Wider Circle

Meeting time and location: 9:00 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: https://agresearch.umd.edu/cmrec/upper-marlboro-facility

Lyme disease is increasingly prevalent in Maryland. During Service Day, we will be in areas where ticks are found; we encourage you to take precautions. These may include wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. You can tuck shirts into 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.

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

Lyme disease is increasingly prevalent in Maryland. During Service Day, we will be in areas where ticks are found; we encourage you to take precautions. These may include wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. You can tuck shirts into 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.

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:

  • NEED to bring a full water bottle
  • Long pants
  • Closed-toe shoes 

Second Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides people, materials and the environment with a second chance. The organization deconstructs buildings and homes, salvage usable materials and make those available to the public through their over 200,000 square feet of retail space.  With the revenue generated, they 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 they do is environmentally sound, socially responsible, and financially viable.

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

Patuxent River Park

Meeting time and location: 8:15 a.m. at the main entrance to Eppley Recreation Center

Additional items to bring:

  • Water
  • Insect Repellent
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Outdoors appropriate attire

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 1111

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/

Capital Area Food Bank

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

Additional items to bring: 

  • Wear closed-toed shoes (for safety reasons, open-toed shoes and sandals are prohibited in both our DC and NOVA distribution centers).
  • Wear comfortable clothing you don't mind getting a little dirty.
  • Anything that dangles could be a safety risk, so please plan to keep larger earrings, necklaces or similar items at home or stored in a locker.
  • Volunteering at the food bank is a family-friendly experience, so please avoid attire with curse words or suggestive language and/or pictures.
  • Feel free to bring your own lock & key. 
  • If you'd like to add extra impact to your day, one great way to do that is to bring one or more shelf-stable food items. Most-wanted items for the food bank include: canned vegetables, soup, stew, tuna, canned fruit, rice, beans, pasta, pasta sauce, shelf-stable milk, peanut butter and jelly. 

Service Activity: Pack and sort donations.

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

 

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. 

Students should bring reusable water bottles. Hats, sunscreen and closed-toe shoes are encouraged.

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

DC Central Kitchen

Meeting time and location: 7:45 a.m. in the 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/

Interfaith Works Clothing Center

Meeting time and location: 7:45 a.m. in the Cambridge Community Center, Room 1205

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/

Central Union Mission

Meeting time and location: 7:45 a.m. in the Cambridge Community Center, Room 1205

Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with six locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area. In addition to its family ministries, the mission operates an emergency shelter program; a rehabilitation program for men with life-controlling issues; a food, clothing and furniture distribution center; a retreat and recreation center with a camp for underprivileged children; programs for isolated seniors; computer and job training; and transitional and low-cost housing.

Learn more: www.missiondc.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 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

DC Diaper Bank

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

In October 2009, Corinne Cannon and her husband Jay welcomed a beautiful baby boy named Jack who turned out to be quite the challenge, and she began to think about other mothers less fortunate than she, and how they might be dealing with the same stress she felt. After extensive research and many phone calls, Cannon learned diapers weren’t covered by food stamps or WIC funds, and that social service organizations in the Washington metro area were in desperate need of diapers. After reading about diaper banks in cities across the country that filled this void, Cannon planned to volunteer at a diaper bank in DC—only to find out the closest one was in Pennsylvania.

In October 2010, Cannon established DC Diaper Bank, which provides diapers to social service organizations that are already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services. Diapers act as a “gateway” to introduce hard to reach families to social services and other vital resources. Volunteers sort, pack and stack diapers, sort inventory, and organize the Baby Pantry.

Learn more: http://www.dcdiaperbank.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

University of Maryland Astronomy Observatory

Meeting time and location: 8:45 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.

Port Towns Community Health Partnership

Meeting time and location: 8:45 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The Port Towns Community Health Partnership works to provide access for the residents of Bladensburg, Edmonston, Cottage City and Colmar Manor to healthy food, recreation and information on thriving within the four communities. The Port Towns are linked by the Anacostia River, and we will be removing brush to ensure that those who walk or bike the Anacostia Trail are able to move safely throughout the day and night to their home or job.

Dinosaur Park

Meeting time and location: 8:45 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The Dinosaur Park in Laurel, Md., contains the fossil record of a 112 million-year-old world. Dinosaur Park is currently the only known Early Cretaceous fossil locality to produce dinosaur fossils. Some of the earliest American paleontologists used these fossils to describe the first record of dinosaurs in our nation. Dinosaurs found at this park include a large meat-eating dinosaur similar to Acrocanthosaurus, a large raptorial dinosaur like Deinonychus, a large armored herbivore called Priconodon and the largest dinosaur found on the East Coast Astrodon—a long-necked herbivore and Maryland’s state dinosaur. Aside from dinosaurs, Dinosaur Park also has produced the fossils of ancient trees, clams, snails, sharks, bony fish, a variety of turtle and crocodile species, and some of the oldest mammals found on the Atlantic coast. Dinosaur Park has been a citizen science project 9 years running, which allows visitors to help paleontologists recover fossils from this unique and historic site. 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.

Howard B. Owens Science Center

Meeting time and location: 8:45 a.m. Centreville Hall basement

The Howard B. Owens Science Center, a 27,500-sq.-ft. facility owned and operated by the Prince George's County Public Schools, has as its mission to provide excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through student-centered programs and services. The center seeks to provide students in grades pre-K through 12 with opportunities to participate in unique activity-based instruction related to physics, chemistry, physiology, biology, space science education, paleontology, meteorology, optics, nutrition, computer science and astronomy. Students will be weeding, cutting back growth, doing trash pickup and more to help maintain the grounds around the center.

Community Forklift

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

Community Forklift is like a thrift store crossed with a hardware store—the organization lifts up communities with low-cost building materials. At its very large warehouse, people can donate new and used building materials to receive a tax deduction; they can also purchase materials at prices that are priced 40 percent to 80 percent below retail. STS students will be helping with a variety of tasks both in the warehouse and outdoors in the courtyard. Possible activities will involve measuring and pricing doors, granite and glass shelves; mixing and testing paint, sorting and organizing, or general tidying up of certain departments in the warehouse, such as the Tile Aisle.

Items to bring/wear:

  • Your Scholars t-shirt
  • Clothes that can get dirty or possibly a little painted
  • Sneakers or work boots
  • Water bottle

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

Eco City Farms

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

Eco City Farms is a local educational, nonprofit urban farm that resides in the Riverdale community near College Park. It seeks “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.

Items to bring/wear:

  • Your Scholars t-shirt
  • Clothes that can get dirty 
  • Sneakers or work boots
  • Water bottle

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

Lake Artemesia

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

Lake Artemesia is a local public park that consists of a 38-acre lake, a handicapped-accessible fishing pier and aquatic gardens. It is managed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The park receives hundreds of local visitors a day from surrounding neighborhoods seeking recreation, including bird watching, walking, cycling and fishing. More than 2 miles of hiker-biker trails surround and connect the lake with Calvert Road Park and College Park Airport and Aviation Museum.

STS students will help remove invasive species to help preserve the natural area and remove trash to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the park.

Items to bring/wear:

  • Your Scholars t-shirt
  • Clothes that can get dirty (long pants)
  • Sneakers or work boots
  • Water bottle