Campus: San Francisco State University -- March 17, 2003

SFSU Students To Spend Spring Break Volunteering In Community

Students to clean Justin Herman Plaza, lead social activities with children, seniors March 17-21

While many college students will enjoy spring break as a time to relax and travel, about 30 San Francisco State University students will spend their weeklong vacation volunteering in the community by cleaning a park, leading trust and leadership-building games with children and teenagers, and leading social activities with senior citizens between Monday, March 17, and Friday, March 21.

Students in a class dubbed “Care Break” offered in SFSU’s Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, along with additional student volunteers, will restore, clean, donate and tutor throughout San Francisco and Daly City.

“I want to give my time to somebody else, somebody who needs the use of my time more than I do,” said Care Break student Erika Leon-Guerrero, a 19-year-old freshman. “All that partying is really overrated.”

The Care Break class aims to introduce students to volunteerism, civic engagement, community leadership and advocacy through community service learning experiences. Each student is required to volunteer 40 hours during spring break.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between academics and the real world,” said Erik Rosegard, Care Break instructor and assistant professor of recreation and leisure studies. “Students are building a strong sense of community and learning firsthand the concepts we discuss in class.”
It is the second year that SFSU is offering Care Break, joining a growing number of colleges and universities nationwide that provide opportunities for community service work during spring break as an alternative to partying. “A Matter of Degree,” a program administered by the American Medical Association, began last year to encourage colleges and universities to curb binge drinking and offer drug- and alcohol-free activities for students during spring break and throughout the year.

Care Break’s schedule for the week is as follows:

  • Monday, March 17: Toy drive for terminally ill children. Location: San Francisco General Hospital Pediatric Unit.
  • Tuesday, March 18: Cleanup of Justin Herman Plaza. Location: Justin Herman Plaza, Clay Street and The Embarcadero, San Francisco. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 19: SFSU students facilitate games that build trust, leadership and problem-solving skills with students from Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School. Location: Speedway Meadow, John F. Kennedy Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 20: SFSU students facilitate emotional, physical, intellectual and social activities with residents at Hampton Court, an assisted living senior center. Location: Hampton Court, 995 East Marleet St., Daly City. 10 a.m. – noon and 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, March 21: A range of volunteer activities with children and teachers at Sunnyside Elementary School, including tutoring, games and classroom maintenance. Location: 250 Foerster St., San Francisco. 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 2 p.m.

NOTE: Erik Rosegard, assistant professor of recreation and leisure studies, can be reached at (415) 405-0911 (office) or rosegard@sfsu.edu.

Contact: Matt Itelson (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665; matti@sfsu.edu


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