One of 690 institutions of higher education to receive this honor
Berkshire Community College was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
In 2011-2012, 119 Service-Learning and 51 Community Service-Federal Work Study and SGA students performed a total of 3,939 hours of service in our community.
Service-Learning Project Highlights from BCC’s application to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll:
With the support of a Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer Berkshire Community College expanded and deepened our relationship with the Pittsfield Public School System. In 2011-2012 academic year BCC Service-Learning students reached and engaged 111 Pittsfield Public School students. These 26 students were in 12 different service-learning classes taught by 11 faculty. Another 30 Pittsfield Public School youth were tutored and mentored by two America Reads America Counts students under the supervision of two Community Service Federal Work Study staff.
Berkshire Community College Service-Learning also teamed up with Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) and the Tri-Town Health Department for a Healthy Food Drive in fall 2011 with proceeds going to the Salvation Army in Pittsfield. This interdisciplinary project included three service-learning faculty and 15 students from Math, Culinary Arts and Fine Arts departments. Together, faculty and students provided 127 hours of service and 400 meals to those in need.
BCC’s collaboration with the Harvest Table is in its second year. The Harvest Table is a weekly soup kitchen providing meals to an average of 110 people every Tuesday night at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Pittsfield. In 2011-2012 five BCC students volunteered a total of 282 hours of service and provided 4,000 meals to our neighbors in need.
“Congratulations to BCC, its faculty and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Through its work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.”
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, CNCS has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees, can be found at nationalservice.gov.
County lends backing to reading initiative
Letter to the Editor
Sunday February 17, 2013
Sincere thanks once again to Berkshire Health Systems’ (BHS) President and CEO David Phelps (“Berkshire Health Systems CEO lauded at annual meeting,” Eagle, January 24) for his leadership and support well beyond the walls of his award-winning organization. Led by Mr. Phelps, BHS contributed $10,000 to Pittsfield Promise, an early learning initiative led by Berkshire Priorities in partnership with Berkshire United Way, whose goal is to increase third-grade reading proficiency from 61 percent in 2011 to 90 percent by 2020.
BHS’s investment will fund technical assistance from Strategies for Children, a statewide advocacy group for early education and literacy, and the Massachusetts Reading Network it formed linking five cities (Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Holyoke and Pittsfield) to work collaboratively by sharing research, policy, and practice information to move the needle on third-grade reading proficiency, the first marker of childhood success.
On Feb. 7, Berkshire United Way and Strategies for Children held a luncheon with 85 educators, service providers, legislators, and community leaders to share information on the governor’s proposed budget and demonstrate a tool for gauging program effectiveness that targets groups with the greatest potential for improvement. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Other community leaders are stepping up as well. Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy has committed Service Learning Department professional Mary Parkman to help Pittsfield Promise train BCC student volunteers to administer surveys across the community to identify bright spots, access points, and catalog resources that will be used to build a map of opportunities to infuse literacy into the lives of children.
On Feb. 5, 45 families attended a parent focus group at Morningside Community School hosted by Gail Krumpholz and Shirley Edgerton, community leaders and members of Pittsfield Promise’s Family Engagement subcommittee. Parents discussed hopes and dreams for their children as well as barriers to fulfilling those dreams and participants considered ways to work together to ensure all our children have the tools and resources to ensure success.
My point in detailing these activities is to thank these individuals and organizations and at the same time demonstrate the range of resources, activities and expertise being brought to bear on a single, critical community issue. Without them our 90 percent reading proficiency goal would be out of reach. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved or Like Berkshire United Way on Facebook to stay updated.
The writer is Early Childhood Coordinator for Berkshire United Way and a member of Pittsfield Promise.
Wed., Feb. 6th (12:15-1:15 PM)
Thurs., Feb. 7th (12:15-1:15 PM)
Mon., Feb. 11th (4:15-5:15 PM)
Location: Field 202
(Computer lab on 2nd floor of Field Administration Building, next to TRIO.)
Bring with you:
2 forms of ID & a pen
Be part of the National Day of Service
President Obama believes that service should be a lifelong commitment—whether it’s at the school, community, city, state, or national level. That’s why the first family serves on a regular basis, and it’s why they’re continuing the tradition they started four years ago with a National Day of Service on January 19th, 2013. To honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the first family is asking Americans to find an event and serve with others in their community.
Click here to find an event near you! http://www.2013pic.org/service
We had a great group of new students attend our information session this morning! They were from all over Berkshire County and even one student from Franklin County, who is attending the college to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts. A thank you to Jade Rose, Service-Learning Student Leader who took this photo and shared her service-learning experience with new students. We are also thrilled to have Amanda Schuler on board to promote and support the Service-Learning program here on campus and in the community.
We look forward to an exciting fall semester of service-learning!
My name is Amanda Schuler and I am this year’s new Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer for BCC’s Service-Learning Office.
I am from Dalton, Massachusetts and I graduated this past spring from MCLA, cum laude, with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing and Management. While at MCLA I worked for the Student Development Office on orientation and events for my campus and our outside community, the Academic Affairs Office and Continuing Education. Throughout my four years, I was accepted into the Alpha Chi Honor Society and the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society. I served as Treasurer, choreographer, and member of the MCLA Dance Company and was elected as Co-President during my senior year where I was also elected the Class of 2012 Treasurer that was part of our Student Government Association (SGA). I also held the position of Vice President for the Cheer Club for two years and served my fellow students as a Peer Advisor. My dedication to service gave me the honor and privilege of winning the “Student Development Unsung Hero Award” in April 2012.
My college experience and knowledge that I have gained has really made me who I am today. I have learned a lot about myself and how I can and want to help others in my community to build and make it stronger. I believe my leadership skills and commitment to service will make me a great role model for the BCC students and an excellent representative of the college in the community.
The focus of my one-year tenure is on supporting BCC’s Service-Learning partnerships with the Pittsfield Public Schools and the Berkshire Immigrant Center. I will expand our existing tutor/mentor program with the schools to include English Language Learners K-12. I will also utilize resources from the Berkshire Immigrant Center to support the new ELL collaboration with the schools and the educational and economic aspirations of the broader immigrant population in the Berkshires.
Immediate opening for one full-time Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) to support Service-Learning initiatives at Berkshire Community College that strengthen campus-community partnerships in areas of diversity and public education.
Apply by Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Position Starts: August 3, 2012
♦ College Degree – A.A./A.S., B.A./B.S.
♦ Strong interest in service and working collaboratively with others to address community needs.
♦ Excellent communication skills and ability to manage multiple projects
♦ Bilingual skills (oral and written) a plus
♦ Post service educational award of $5,350
♦ Monthly living allowance
Send Cover Letter, Resume, and four (4) references to:
Mary Parkman, Service-Learning Coordinator
Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Application Deadline: May 30, 2012
Massachusetts Campus Compact is an Equal Opportunity Employer
More Info: http://ase.tufts.edu/MACC/VISTA.htm
On Thursday, May 10th BCC hosted a celebratory luncheon to honor and recognize 55 students, faculty members and community representatives who participated in Service-Learning during the spring 2012 semester. Students received certificates presented by Dean of Academic Affairs, Fran Feinerman. The group heard from appreciative and dedicated community partners and three students shared reflections on their service-learning experience.
(Click link to view video of student presentations.)