College for Living Spotlights Student Groups

by J. R. Enderle

Student organizations are getting a chance to show what they do in a very unique format this year at Transylvania. Traditionally, College for Living brings developmentally delayed adults to campus for educational and recreational experiences for several weeks in the fall and spring.

College for Living, a program of the office of community service and civic engagement, has been partnering with Connections, a local agency with the Bluegrass Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board, for over ten years at Transy and continues to do so into 2011.

But the program is experiencing some changes this year.

Becky Cochran, Transy’s AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) said that in the past the program has had six classes each evening, three in the first half-hour and three in the second half-hour. Student volunteers taught the classes, which have included sports, dancing and world cultures.

“This semester instead of classes we will spotlight groups on campus and show the participants what the groups do,” said Cochran.

She said that some of the first groups will be the Phi Mu sorority and the volleyball team. One of the goals is, Cochran said, to bring in new volunteers who might not have worked with the program before.

Junior Annie Jones finds the program to be a very rewarding one.

“The College for Living program is personally rewarding in one sense that I am creating an experience for these children at heart that is new, exciting and fun,” Jones said. “Playing these games, or any kind of games really, provides more than just physical activities for two hours, but bonding experiences in which participants are able to interact with each other and the volunteers, who gladly devote their time to … a wonderful cause.”

Transylvania’s campus has proved to be uniquely capable of hosting the program.

Part of the reason the program started was, Cochran said, “because the campus was equipped for it. We have a campus for people with wheelchairs to access buildings.”

She said that it would be more difficult for participants to get around at larger campuses with more foot traffic than Transylvania has.

College for Living starts Tuesday, March 22, at 6:30 and culminates with a party for volunteers and participants.

Cochran said that, although the format has changed, all students are still encouraged to come and volunteer for a rewarding experience, even if they are not members of the group sponsoring the program that evening.


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