Alternative Spring Break
Each spring, SVC students are offered an opportunity to forgo traditional spring break activities and instead support a new community through service and civic engagement.
Students interested in Alternative Spring Break (ASB) apply for a spot in the fall of each academic year. After the ASB Team is selected, the group spends the entire year learning about the community they will be serving, the community partners they will be involved with, and fundraising for the trip. Upon returning from the trip, the ASB Team will present their experiences to the campus community.
ASB trip locations vary year to year. Below is a description of previous trips:
Spring 2015: Reading, Pennsylvania- With 26.1% of residents living below the poverty line (www.city-data.com), Reading, Pennsylvania has experienced the impacts of the economic downturn of the last five years. In Reading, nine students to two staff members will work with Opportunity House, an organization that provides services to individuals and families attempting to break out of the cycle of poverty, and Habitat for Humanity of Berks County, which provides affordable housing and care to residents in need.
Spring 2014 - Washington, DC - In our nation's capital, seven students and two staff members served along side Food and Friends, Washington Humane Society and KaBOOM!. With Food and Friends, students delivered meals and groceries to DC and Maryland residents with life-challenging illnesses while also taking time to help out in the kitchen. With KaBOOM!, students assisted in the Map of Play program by updating websites and reporting the quality of playgrounds throughout Northwest DC. Finally, at the Washington Humane Society, students cleaned and painted offices that commonly host prospective adoptive families while helping to socialize with dogs and cats.
Spring 2013 - Portland, Maine - In Portland, five students and one staff member served Rippling Waters Organic Farm in preparing green houses for winter. The ASB Team also sorted food products for Good Shepherd Food Bank and cooked dinner for the residents of the Portland Ronald McDonald House.
Spring 2011 - Burlington, Vermont - In Burlington, students and staff worked with Chandler Pond Farm, the Green Mountain Farm to School Alternative Energy Program with Coventry Village School and Vermont Soy.
Spring 2010 - Williamsburg, Virginia - In Virginia, six students and two staff members worked Housing Partnerships, Inc. (a United Way of Greater Williamsburg partner agency).
Spring 2009 - New York City, New York - Three students and one staff member worked with the Sylvia Rivera Food Pantry in New York City. They assisted with the transition of the food pantry set up.
If you are a student with questions about how to get involved in Alternative Spring Break or creating your own trip, or if you are a regional community partner interested in inviting a group of amazing students to your agency during spring break, contact Shannon Schmutz, Civic Engagement Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Michelle Deal, Assistant Professor, The Hunter Division of Humanities