34 New UNH Students Help
Others the Week Before Classes Begin
Contact: Kim Billings
UNH Media Relations
Aug. 25, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. -- Thirty-four first-year students
will begin their college career at the University of New Hampshire
a week before
their classmates, as part of a service education program called
PrOVES Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service.
Now in its second year, the program is a collaboration of the
First-Year Programs Office and UNH’s Partnership for Social
Action. It was created last year to introduce community service
and leadership to first-year students. According to Program Coordinator
Elisa Hankenson, lasting friendships and continued volunteer activities
resulted from last year’s pilot program.
“The group really bonded during that first week, which was
important for many of them who were away from home for the first
time,” she explained. “And, more importantly, they
experienced firsthand the rewards of volunteering and helping others.”
Participants arrived yesterday, Aug. 24, and will live on campus
during the program and spend the week at area non-profit agencies
providing public service as diverse as landscaping with period
plant materials at the historic John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth
to organizing a Senior Olympics for the adult day care program
at the Homemakers of Strafford County to doing trail maintenance
at the Sandy Point Discovery Center in Stratham.
Students will work on a Durham cemetery project, logging names from gravestones
into a database which will be available online to residents of Durham. Another
group will assist the Durham Main Street project in painting murals depicting
the history of Durham.
Participants will work in teams of five, led by two upperclass
team leaders and take part in a day-long leadership and team-building
session at UNH's Browne Center.
For the remainder of the week, teams will visit a different site
each day to ensure a range of experiences. Evening adventures include
a movie and games night, a sightseeing trip to historic Portsmouth
and other group activities.
UNH PrOVES 2003
Reporters, for more information about when UNH students are scheduled
to be at these non-profits, please call Judy Spiller (firstname.lastname@example.org),
associate provost for academic achievement and support, 862-3488.
John Paul Jones House – Portsmouth Historic Society
Primary projects will be to remove most of a 100 year-old dirt
floor in the basement, giving the house more room for drainage
and new piping, digging up and replanting flowers and shrubs
throughout the garden/yard.
Adult Day Out Program – The Homemakers of Strafford
Linda Howard, the volunteer coordinator, has scheduled multiple
events to run all week.
Sandy Point Discovery Center
Trail maintenance, in addition to painting two children’s
(playground) boats and re-mulching the surrounding play area. The
Discovery Center staff are discussing the possibility of students
working inside on exhibits and/or helping them to get materials
ready for the school year.
Durham Main Street
The Main Street project is scheduled for downtown mural painting
and some cleanup as needed. The idea is to paint murals on the
walls outside of Hayden Sports and/or the Red Carpet flower shop.
Town Manager Todd Selig is hoping for stenciling on all of the
town drains, which would read “drains to river” with
a picture of a fish next to it.
Durham Cemetery Projects
Two different activities are planned. First, students will be logging
names into a database marking where town folks are buried. Second,
students are scheduled to take a digital camera out to some of
the cemetery sites and photograph or trace gravestones for the
same purpose. Durham officials are hoping to soon have a Web
site up and running where people can click on gravestone icons,
revealing detailed outlines of the deceased including living
Seacoast YMCA – Camp Gundalow
This will be the final project of the week. All of the students
and staff will be working together winterizing the camp. This
includes painting, trail maintenance, dry wall instillation,
canoe maintenance and storage, grounds work and really anything
else that fits into the six hours.
All of the sites are providing lunch and beverages for the students
during the volunteer week.