Spartans were spread across the City of Greensboro last weekend cleaning bikes, painting classrooms, removing invasive weeds and everything in between. Spartan Service Day, in its 11th year at UNC Greensboro, had 170 students participate in community service projects at 14 local organizations.
“Spartan Service Day serves as the first step for students engaging with the community and reaffirms our university motto ‘Service’ anew each year,” said Kristina Gage, UNCG Assistant Director for Community Engagement.
The annual day of service, offered through UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement, has come a long way since its beginnings in 2007 with 50 students and just four service projects. The event serves as a stepping stone for students interested in leadership, service and civic engagement.
“As students of UNC Greensboro, we should be engaging in the community and find ways to make the city that we live in a better place,” said Antoine’ Cunningham, a junior sociology major who volunteered at Lindley Elementary School. “The kids at Lindley are our future, and we were able to make sure they have a more suitable learning environment.”
Service projects – which included setting up classrooms at Lindley Elementary School, gardening at Peacehaven Farm, voter registration and cleaning donated bikes for individuals facing homelessness – are led by trained student site leaders who lead a reflection after students return to campus.
“It’s always fulfilling for me as an organizer to hear students making connections with each other, discussing the social and environmental issues they learned about at their sites and talking about other ways they want to engage both on and off campus,” Gage said.
Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications