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ECU students to spend spring break helping others


ECU News Service

Friday, March 3, 2017

Spring break starts today for ECU students, but many won’t head out for traditional fun in the sun.

East Carolina University’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement is giving students an opportunity to spend spring break helping others in Greenville, near the North Carolina shore and in other states through its alternative spring break program.

In Greenville on a “staycation,” ECU students will work Saturday through Wednesday with community partners focused on youth and nutrition. Students will stay at Community Crossroads Center emergency homeless shelter for the week, where they will serve meals and assist in cleanup projects.

They also will tutor and mentor youth at Third Street Education Center, South Greenville Elementary School and will assist with several community gardens in west Greenville. Students also will facilitate a Campus Kitchen at ECU nutrition lesson at Operation Sunshine.

Also, this is the seventh year that ECU students will travel to Carteret County and Atlantic Beach. From Sunday to Thursday students will clean and paint cabins at Camp Albemarle, where they will bunk for the week. Students also will work with the N.C. Coastal Federation. Service will consist of mainly environmental work including oyster habitat restoration, rain water gardens with a local elementary school, beach and camp cleanup, and project maintenance as needed.

Other students will travel to Baltimore, Md., to work on projects addressing poverty and homelessness; to Roanoke, Va., for community health-related service projects; to Haysi, Va., to work on masonry and landscaping projects; to Pilot Mountain, Boone and Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia, where they will partner with local, state and national parks on trail maintenance, camp and river cleanups; to Columbia, S.C., to work with youth in the juvenile justice system; and Atlanta, to work with the LGBT community and homeless youth.

Also sophomore EC Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will attend a presentation at the Pentagon hosted by ECU alumni and participate in a local service project.

Alternative break experiences are offered throughout the year to create student learning opportunities in diverse environments that address social, economic, political, environmental, spiritual and cultural issues.

ECU students learn through the exchange of ideas, personal reflection, critical thinking and by applying academic concepts outside the classroom, said Nichelle Shuck, associate director in the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Approximately 70 ECU students and staff are participating this year, Shuck said.