Campus: San Francisco State University -- March 22, 2004

SFSU Students To Spend Spring Break Volunteering Throughout Bay Area

Students to make art with seniors, lead kids on Marin bike ride, remove invasive habitat in S.F.

A group of 15 to 20 San Francisco State University students will forgo opportunities to travel, relax and party during spring break to participate in various volunteer activities throughout the Bay Area.

From Monday, March 22, to Friday, March 26, students in a Recreation and Leisure Studies class dubbed "Care Break" will spend each day participating in a different volunteer activity, from making arts and crafts with seniors at Alameda Hospital to removing non-native habitat at Lake Merced in San Francisco and leading at-risk fifth and sixth graders on a bicycle ride in Marin County.

”This is an opportunity to help the community during a time of budget cuts and setbacks," said Kelly Klein, a 23-year-old junior who lives in San Leandro. "It allows me to get my feet wet in community service and promote a healthy, active lifestyle to children."

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 participate full time during spring break.

”Education is more than preparing students for careers; it is a process of creating critical thinkers and informed decision makers," said Erik Rosegard, Care Break instructor and assistant professor of recreation and leisure studies. "Students taking time to give back to their community are creating community and being an active member with an investment in strengthening that community."

This is the third 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 in 2002 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 22: Arts and crafts with senior citizens in the pulmonary subunit of Alameda Hospital, 2070 Clinton Ave. in Alameda, in partnership with San Francisco-based nonprofit Arts for Elders. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 23: Therapeutic social interaction and activities with residents of Mission Villa, an assisted living center located at 995 East Market St. in Daly City. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 24: Habitat restoration at Lake Merced, in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. The group will remove non-native, invasive habitat from the area and learn about environmental issues involving the lake. The group will be near the Bufano Statue parking lot, located on Lake Merced Boulevard just south of Brotherhood Way. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday, March 25: Bicycling in China Camp with 19 at-risk fifth- and sixth-grade children from Sausalitos Willow Creek Academy, in partnership with Trips for Kids, a Marin-based nonprofit. The group meets at the China Camp trailhead, located less than 5 miles east of the San Pedro Road exit from Highway 101 in San Rafael. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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


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