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The Sum of Student Community Service

Appeared in the Spring 2012 Issue of IUP Magazine as “By the Numbers: Community Service”

IUP students contributed more than 145,000 hours and $1 million in free community service in 2010-2011. How’d they do it?

student reading with a small child in the library

Student reading with a child in the library

If IUP students were paid, even minimum wage, for their hours of community service, they would earn more than $1 million combined in an academic year.

 

Their efforts have resulted in IUP’s being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past four years. And that’s based just on the hours they report. Knowing students as she does, Diane Stipcak, coordinator of Service Learning, estimates the reported hours “only hit the tip of the iceberg.” While some areas have community-service mandates—for example, the Robert E. Cook Honors College requires students to complete 30 hours of service a semester—that’s not always the case. Stipcak ventures that most students volunteer just to gain experience, build their résumés, or help out in the community.

 The Office of Service Learning shared the following statistics to provide a snapshot of student community service: 

Student Community Service by Academic Year

  Student Participants Hours of Service Value Based
on Minimum Wage
2010-2011: 5,805 145,790 $1,056,980
2009-2010: 8,752 136,810 $991,870
2008-2009: 5,571 109,523 $783,090

Blood Drives Organized by Student Groups

  No. of Drives Blood Units Collected Estimated Lives Saved
2010-2011 16 967 2,901
2009-2010 10 483 1,449
2008-2009 9 314 942

The largest blood drive of 2010-2011 was during Greek Week, with 18 Greek chapters participating. The drive collected 156 units of blood, resulting in an estimated 458 lives saved.

KidsRead

Through this program, IUP student tutors meet with local elementary-school students on a weekly basis to work on reading skills.

  IUP Student Tutors Children Participating Estimated
Books Read
2010-2011 120 145 725
2009-2010 134 165 825
2008-2009 108 140 700

Number of children participating in program’s eight-year history: 1,219

Into the Streets

This program sends student volunteers to help local agencies over a designated weekend in the fall and in the spring.

  Student participants Agencies Served
2010-2011: 321 26
2009-2010: 178 23
2008-2009: 251 18

Alternative Spring Break

Through this program, students participate in an intensive week of service during Spring Break at locations across the country. Their service could involve trail building, animal rescue, home construction through Habitat for Humanity, or other tasks.

Student participants by year:

  • 2011: 120
  • 2010: 133
  • 2009: 103

Disaster Relief

Students raised funds to aid relief efforts in these worldwide disasters:

  • Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011): $2,606
  • Haiti earthquake (2010): $2,230

Clothes and More: Other Student Drives

  • Clothing items collected in Spring 2011: 1,300
  • Clothing items collected since 2004-2005: 8,800
  • Gifts collected for Salvation Army’s Treasures for Children program (Fall 2011): 180
  • Shoes collected for Soles4Souls, which sends new or gently worn pairs to more than 125 countries (2010-2011): 190
  • Collections for Indiana County Community Action Program (Spring 2011): food items, 489; cash, $330
  • Collections for U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, (Fall 2011): toys, 75; cash, $100

Service Learning

Through this program, students are paid with Federal Work-Study funds to work at local nonprofit agencies.

  Students Hours of Service Agencies Served Work-Study Funds Used
2010-2011: 95 18,675 36 $135,000
2009-2010 108 18,499 33 $134,116
2008-2009 137 23,690 35 $169,376

Years Service Learning program has been in existence: 23 

 

The Service Learning program expanded into the Punxsutawney campus for the first time in 2010-2011. Four students served three nonprofit agencies in Punxsutawney.

Scholarships for Service

Through Scholars for Service to Pennsylvania, an AmeriCorps scholarship program, students receive educational scholarships for commitments of 300 or 450 hours of community service per academic year.

  Student Participants Hours of Service Scholarship Dollars Earned
2010-2011 23 10,150 $29,150
2009-2010 15 6,750 $21,791
2008-2009 18 6,450 $25,470

IUP began offering a second AmeriCorps scholarship program, Community Fellows, during the 2010-2011 academic year. Seven students committed 300 or 450 hours of service, resulting in 2,800 hours and $7,924 in educational scholarships.

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