Belmont held its annual Family Literacy Day at Rose Park on April 6. Nearly 200 volunteers came together for a total of 596 service hours in order to make the day a success.
Book’em, one of the event’s 19 sponsors, donated 500 books and packets of parent resource literature. Children had the opportunity to select a certain number of books based on their participation in day’s events.
Inside of the Easley Community Center, snacks and crafts were available for the children. There, participants were also able to register and receive a gift bag which included a free book. Resources were parents were also available.
Outdoors, on the softball field, the children were able to participate in games and reading circles. In the reading circles, students read to children and also encouraged the children to read to them. Each child was awarded one sticker for every circle they participated in and was able to redeem his stickers for up to two more books. Each of the 25 reading circles was unique with its own theme, which included dragons, princesses, and Dr. Seuss.
The event also included a raffle and an award ceremony. Prior to the event, elementary school students from local area schools were encouraged to participate in Family Literacy Day’s 4th Annual poetry contest. The submitted poems were judged by the English Club and faculty, which select the top five. Each of the finalists worked with local songwriters to write and record a song based on their poem. The songs are then played on Family Literacy Day, and a final winner was selected through participant voting.
Over 150 children and parents, participated in the event. They were encouraged to continue reading outside of school, in order to foster stronger learning and relationships.
The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education today announced Belmont University is among the nation’s leading colleges, universities, students, faculty and staff for its commitment to bettering Nashville through service.
Belmont University was admitted to the Honor Roll with Distinction for its students’ and employees’ support of volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
“Being recognized now on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for a third consecutive time now is very affirming of the great work that so many folks at Belmont are doing with the community. The honor recognizes not only the breadth of our work, but the depth of it, and the fact that we’ve sustained our efforts over a number of years,” said Belmont University Director of Service-Learning Tim Stewart.
A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Belmont is among the 113 institutions that earned the recognition of Honor Roll with Distinction.
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.
“Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a news release. “Civic engagement should be a key component of every student’s education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens.”
More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees, can be found at nationalservice.gov.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Through the agency’s Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program, CNCS gives education institutions access to tens of thousands of AmeriCorps alumni with millions of dollars in Segal Education Awards for tuitions and fees. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,650 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students served more than 60,000 hours of community service (valued at $450,000) during the last academic year. Belmont is also home to the World Cup champion Enactus team, a group of 42 student leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. With more than 80 areas of study, 23 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual’s horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.
Belmont, Lipscomb, TSU students join together for MLK Day of Service on Jan. 19
In celebration of the Jan. 15 anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth date, Belmont University will hold a week of special events. The University’s theme for 2013 is A Stone of Hope as a reflection on King’s lyric “With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope,” from his “I Have A Dream” speech. The University’s commitment to Martin Luther King Jr. Week through classroom and special events began in 1997 and continues to grow today.
“A dynamic interplay between head and heart has always been central to the black homiletic tradition that Dr. King brought with him into the public square, so we hope that this year’s events at Belmont will reflect the best of this tradition, with an aim toward realizing the beloved community at least in our own small way. We know how hard this work can be and how ephemeral our gains can sometimes appear, so in the spirit of Dr. King’s brand of prophetic Christianity we chose a theme we thought appropriate for a Christian community of learning and service, namely ‘A Stone of Hope,’” said Peter Kuryla, assistant professor of history and chairman of Belmont’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee.
Courtney Covert’s first phone call was a tough one: 29 minutes working through three long-division problems with a fifth grade student whose first language is Spanish; but the junior from Cumming, Ga. said she learned just as much as she taught.
“She taught me a memory trick to remember the order of long division. She remembered ‘dad, mother, sister, brother, rose’ from class, and I helped her understand it meant ‘divide, multiply, subtract, bring down, remainder’ and how to apply it,” Covert said. “She felt accomplished in the end, and it made me so proud because it is like a Good Samaritan gesture since we don’t use names.”
Dozens of calls just like Covert’s ring the third floor of the Lila D. Bunch Library on weeknights. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade call the Homework Hotline at Belmont at (615) 298-6636 between 4 and 8 p.m. for free tutoring on any academic subject.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday, marking the one-month anniversary of the satellite hotline, which is funded by the Frist Foundation and Joe C. Davis Foundation. Mayor Karl Dean, State Rep. Gary Odom, Joe C. Davis Foundation Trustee Bill DeLoache, Frist Foundation President Pete Bird and Metro Nashville Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Fred Carr cut the blue ribbon alongside Belmont Provost Thomas Burns.
The hotline is averaging 85 calls a week. Three in every four calls are about middle-school math, and one out of three calls is from parents or grandparents, said Homework Hotline at Belmont Director Sammy Swor.
“It is very unique for a university to be involved in this. There are only three partnerships like this in the country,” Swor said. “I see the students getting more and more involved because it is already very popular with Metro and Belmont students, and I am worried that our four phone lines may not be enough.” (more…)
Belmont held a “Unity Through Service Week” coordinating with the campus theme, E Pluribus Unum, to offer convocations and volunteer opportunities to students. Tim Stewart, director of service learning, and student Gabrielle Hampton were the driving forces behind the week.
The week began with an opening convocation on Sept. 17 featuring Caroline Blackwell, executive director of the Metro Human Relations Commission. Later in the day, students and faculty had a “mix-it-up” luncheon in the cafeteria. As they entered the cafeteria, they each drew a colored card from the bowl, and sat at tables coordinating with their color. At each event, the first 40 students to arrive received a single ticket, which could be exchanged for a single free meal from one of the food trucks on during the Unity Rally on Sept. 23.
“The crowds started small, and grew as the week went on. Some of the later events were very heavily attended,” he said. One of the most well attended events of the entire week was the one concerning homelessness. “There were about 80 students that came to homelessness program and that was great to see.”
Another one of the most successful events of the week was a field day held for adults with disabilities. Several Belmont athletes came to volunteer for the event. (more…)