Last spring, students helped build a storage shed for a local Habitat for Humanity housing project as part of a new co-curricular that offers students more opportunities to serve in the local community.
Keith Moon, instructor in English and history, kicked off the program in the fall. Dave Thompson, director of international programs, took over leading Community Service co-curricular last winter, which continued in the spring under the leadership of Jared Hall, dean of academic life, and Carlina Perna, instructor in Spanish. Students participated in different service projects each day of the week, including tutoring. As a co-curricular, students have time dedicated to the program every afternoon, which differs from The St. Luke's Society, a service club in which students volunteer when they have free time.
Caroline McCann ’21 and Sydney Kosoy ’21, who worked on the storage shed project, explained that one of the first activities they did was conduct a community survey to identify some of the areas of the local community that residents thought could be improved. After interviewing many people at three different locations in the area, they determined that affordable housing and education were the most pressing issues for families living in the area. From there, they decided they wanted to work on a Habitat for Humanity project.
After meeting with a coordinator for Habitat for Humanity for the state’s northwest region and discussing the organization’s goals, the students decided to build a storage shed for Habitat house that was under construction in Salisbury.
Students met with Ken Hall, Habitat’s local site coordinator, who helped students plan and learn construction skills. Within a few weeks, the shed was completed — and students had a lot of fun in the process.
They also developed an appreciation for construction and the hard work that goes into building something as simple as a shed.
Said Isabella Yoo ’21: “Going into it I thought I wouldn’t like it, but after a few sessions, I started to have a lot of fun and looked forward to the work. I learned a lot, like the right way to swing a hammer, and I grew closer to our community service team.”