Paul Paddock (center) and friends paint a
at Asheville Middle School
Some 600 UNC Asheville freshmen brightened a
cloudy morning Tuesday, working across the city in sunny yellow
t-shirts during the University's 12th annual community service day.
UNC Asheville's Active Citizenship Together (ACT) in Asheville Day
brought together students, faculty and staff to tackle local
revitalization and beautification projects. Students lent a hand at
Asheville Middle and Vance Elementary schools, the South French
Broad neighborhood, the YWCA of Asheville and the Botanical Gardens
at Asheville. New this year, students also assisted the Asheville
Housing Authority's elderly residents with enrolling in the Vial of
Life Project, which provides easy-to-access and potentially
life-saving health information for emergency officials.
"ACT in Asheville day is an excellent excuse for bringing our campus
community together for one purpose," said Paul Paddock, 18, of
Williamsburg Va. "I think UNC Asheville is doing a marvelous job of
teaching us the importance of volunteering through this experience."
Students refresh the
Asheville Middle School sign
Jordan Goodwin, 19, of Asheville, agreed.
"ACT in Asheville Day provides a different learning environment than
sitting in the classroom. It's giving us a good start as freshmen,"
Goodwin said while taking a break from a painting project at
Asheville Middle School. "We're learning about the city, benefiting
local organizations, and focusing on the important priorities in
life, like giving back and helping others."
Local agencies are grateful for the help, said Susan Roderick of
Quality Forward, who was directing students as they trimmed and
mulched trees along South French Broad Ave.
"This is a wonderful program and I always look forward to working
with UNC Asheville students each fall," Roderick said. "It gets them
out into the community right at the beginning of their college
experience and provides a really big help to Quality Forward."
Volleyball player Lia Scott (right) wraps
up a painting
project at Asheville Middle School
ACT in Asheville Day is organized by UNC Asheville's Key Center for
Community Citizenship and Service-Learning. The Key Center seeks to
maximize the engagement of students with the community by
encouraging student to undertake service projects, reflect on what
they learned while volunteering, and to draw connections between
what they learn in the community and what they learn in the
"Anyone can learn about education inequity or hunger, but how many
of us actually take time to tutor a child or work at a food bank? To
me, service-learning is getting inspired in the classroom enough to
want to go out and make a difference," said UNC Asheville junior
Lauren Avots, who served as student coordinator of ACT in Asheville
Day. "Hopefully, through ACT in Asheville Day, the freshman class
will be inspired to serve throughout their college careers."
Rachel McLarty pulls weeds during ACT in
Freshman Rachel McLarty, 18, of Asheville, got the message.
"This work day sets the example for students," said McLarty as she
pulled weeds in front of Asheville Middle School. "In my first few
weeks here I've already learned that UNC Asheville is all about
bringing the campus and the city together."