Springfield College Marks 10th Anniversary of Humanics in Action Day; Students, Faculty and Staff Devote Day to Community Service
September 20, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 20, 2007 – Springfield College celebrated its 10th Annual Humanics in Action Day today. The College cancelled classes so that its students, faculty, and staff could devote a day to concentrated community service.
Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn welcomed about 1,800 campus volunteers at Blake Track on the campus at 9:30 this morning before the volunteers embarked on about 80 projects, mostly in the surrounding neighborhoods.
College work groups wearing maroon shirts provided services to more than 75 schools, shelters, churches, senior citizens facilities, city agencies, community organizations, and individual neighbors. They helped neighbors with clean-up/fix-it projects, planted landscaping, painted games on school playgrounds, removed graffiti, conducted educational projects, and performed indoor and outdoor services.
New to the event this year was the Porch Light Project. College volunteers delivered compact fluorescent light bulbs to 750 homes in the Upper Hill and Old Hill neighborhoods. Included was information on the safety benefits of porch lighting, and the environmental health and cost savings benefits of lighting with energy efficient bulbs.
Also new to Humanics in Action Day this year, college volunteers supported the Read for the Record Program, a nationwide effort on September 20 to break the world record for the largest shared reading experience. College volunteers read aloud to students in Grades K through three in Springfield public schools.
The College then hosted a cookout for its volunteers, participating neighborhood residents, and members of cooperating community organizations and city departments.
Springfield College initiated Humanics in Action Day in September, 1998. It was the idea of Distinguished Professor of Humanics Peter Polito and leaders of the New Student Orientation program to revive and expand an event described in the 1918 Springfield College yearbook by which students worked to improve the developing campus.
“I wanted to have the entire college participate in a day to strengthen a true sense of community that would extend into the local neighborhood,” Polito said. “Students, faculty, staff, trustees, and members of the community worked side by side and shoulder to shoulder to do something good, something that would improve quality of life. That day, we began the year by reminding ourselves what it means that our institution is focused upon a philosophy we call Humanics – the education of the total person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to humanity,” he added.
In subsequent years, Springfield College regional campuses and alumni groups in other parts of the country also organized local Humanics in Action Day projects. In Springfield, Humanics in Action Day augments the college’s year-round service programs in which students perform projects related to their studies in schools, neighborhood organizations, and city programs.