CNR Receives Presidential Community Service Award, Third Year in a Row

MediaLibrary#5013The President’s Higher Education Community Service 2012 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 94th Annual Meeting, Ahead of the Curve, in Los Angeles, California. For the third year in a row, The College of New Rochelle has been named to the Honor Roll. It is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.  

Over 2400 CNR students completed service in the 2010-2011 academic year, which comes to 164,397 hours of service.

The College of New Rochelle was recognized for three specific programs:

  1. The undergraduate Chemistry Department at The College of New Rochelle (CNR) collaborated with Westchester County Department of Planning and the Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont, New York in monitoring the Westchester County Watershed. Data was collected by CNR students in order to create a baseline of water quality data throughout the county to educate its residents about the protection of water resources. This service provided analyses for studies which are an important part of the county’s comprehensive water quality protection program.
  2. Through CNR’s undergraduate Education and Environmental Studies programs, the College partnered with Trinity Elementary School, a K-5 public school in the New Rochelle School District facilitating a Science in the Garden program for 35 second-grade students. CNR students, as mentors, helped the children plant vegetable seedlings in transparent containers in order for them to observe root growth in their classroom during the semester. Science in the Garden reinforced several New York State science learning standards and the school district’s wellness policy as it encouraged healthy eating and physical activity. This program is clearly a reflection of CNR’s commitment to education for service. CNR was able to offer those second graders a unique opportunity to engage in science in a less formal, yet highly interactive, way. Although no government support was received for this program, participating faculty were instrumental in training CNR students for the service component of this course. The College provided all supplies for this program: pots, tools, seedlings, soil, etc.
  3. The College hosted a Special Olympics Afternoon Competition in April 2011, partnering with the Public School Sports League through the Hudson Valley Special Olympics. Eighty Special Olympic athletes on six teams from Westchester and Putnam counties in New York competed in three rounds of basketball games. As only four teams could compete at one time, CNR undergraduate and graduate education majors facilitated arts and crafts activities, and nursing students set up a health station where student athletes were checked for heart rate and blood pressure.

Each year CNR students participate in numerous service activities. Among them are Midnight Runs to New York City to help the homeless, serving meals at HOPE Soup Kitchen, working with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, teaching ESL at the Adult Learning Center, volunteering with seniors in assisted living programs in New Rochelle In addition, CNR students take annual service trips on which they spend a week serving those in need. On this year’s trip, students traveled to Joplin, MO, to aid in relief efforts after the May 2011 tornadoes almost leveled the city. CNR volunteers collaborated with Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri in the rebuilding efforts in and around Joplin.