Month of Service 2018

Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017
by Gwen McNamara, Communications Coordinator

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement invites Princeton University staff, faculty, students and alumni to come together for Month of Service 2018. Month of Service is designed to create space for all members of the Princeton University community to celebrate and showcase the many ways we work with communities to make a meaningful and positive impact.

From January 2, 2018 through February 2, 2018, staff, faculty, students and alumni can serve in the community, build skills, knowledge and understanding, and reflect together about the impact of service and civic engagement. 

"Whether you'd like to engage as an individual or come together with a group of your colleagues and friends, there are literally hundreds of opportunities for the Princeton campus community to serve, learn and reflect," said Charlotte Collins, Pace Center associate director. "Month of Service not only helps our partners in the community who need additional support in January, but also serves to inspire us to make service and civic engagement a part of our lives, in January and all year through."

This year, the Alumni Council Committee on Community Service is launching “Tigers in Service," a companion initiative to Month of Service for January and February 2018. The Committee invites each regional area, class and affiliate alumni association to plan a community service event or project on a date of their choosing during the January/February time-frame. The goal of "Tigers in Service" is to encourage alumni to learn and engage through service opportunities.

Month of Service 2018 is coordinated by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement and co-sponsored by the Office of Community & Regional Affairs and Community Works, an educational conference providing training for nonprofit boards, staff, and volunteers.  

To sign up for any of the service experiences, workshops, or reflection opportunities below, please use the 2018 Month of Service WASE calendar. When logging into the WASE calendar, participants will need to use their NetID (Month of Service is open to Princeton University staff, faculty, students and alumni). Volunteers will need to provide their own transportation to off-campus activities. Staff time spent volunteering at the University-coordinated service opportunities for Month of Service is considered productive or work time.  As operational needs must be considered, please speak with your supervisor for permission to participate.

The campus community is encouraged to use #PrincetonServes to be a part of the Month of Service story on social media.

Service

January 8-February 2

Month of Service provides members of the University community the opportunity to participate in service with community organizations that partner with the Pace Center and have expressed an increased need for volunteers during the month of January. Each service opportunity includes preparation before the service activity, as well as reflection afterwards. For Month of Service 2018, opportunities include partnerships with the following organizations:

Community House

Volunteer to support Community House’s after school programs. Community House works with families to close the achievement gap in Princeton by offering support in the areas of academic success and social-emotional literacy for underrepresented area youth. Volunteers will provide homework support, help students prepare for exams, and facilitate enrichment activities.

Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County and Greater Trenton-Princeton

Support Habitat for Humanity's work in the local community. Volunteers will assist with basic home construction. Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County and Greater Trenton-Princeton partners with families in need and volunteers to transform lives through decent and affordable housing.

HomeFront

Volunteer to support HomeFront's food pantry, warehouse, Sewing Space and Free Store. HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community. 

Mercer Street Friends

Read with preschool children or assist at the organization's food bank. Mercer Street Friends provides a range of integrated services that build community, nurture self-worth and independence, and offer resources for children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and its lasting effects.

Princeton Nursery School

Assist teachers and staff at Princeton Nursery School with cleaning up around the classroom, office work related to data organization and social media, assist teachers in the classrooms, and facilitate free play with children. 

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen

Support the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) as it seeks to feed those who are hungry in the Trenton area. TASK offers programs to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons.

Trenton Digital Initiative

Refurbish donated computers with TDI Connect to support the Trenton, NJ school district’s computer-assisted reading program. TDI Connect is a local nonprofit that refurbishes donated computers and laptops and distributes the computers to local nonprofits, many of them schools. 

Learning

January 2-February 2

Learning is an important part of service. During Month of Service, staff, faculty, students and alumni can participate in workshops and events that foster an awareness of the social issues our community partners address and illuminate the historical context surrounding these issues. There will also be preparatory workshops that elevate best practices for doing service well. Facilitated by Pace Center staff and community partners, offerings in this area will include: 

    Volunteer 101 Workshop 

    Designed for students, staff or faculty who are beginning a new service opportunity, this training will equip participants with the knowledge and skills they need to have a powerful and impactful service experience. Through conversation and interactive activities, workshop participants will explore what motivates them to serve and how to do service well.

    Field Guide to Service Workshop 

    Learn how to use the Field Guide to Service, a hands-on guide that can help you prepare for service, engage effectively and learn from service through reflection. 

    Coalition Building Through Service Training 

    Often, student leaders, community organizers, and professionals encounter issues on their campus or in their community that are difficult to address with one organization or club alone. This workshop teaches participants through group exercises and demonstrations to combine their understanding of service, activism, and politics into a comprehensive and effective vision for social change.

    Strength & Struggles: Trenton Tour

    Get to know our capital city on a small-group tour with David Brown, Assistant Director at the Pace Center and a native Trentonian. This will be a small van tour with stops sharing some key aspects of Trenton’s rich history and how it has informed the city’s current strengths and struggles. Participants will see the effects of decades of brilliant to bungling interventions and have an opportunity to discuss why they were so. There will be some walking involved (weather permitting) so please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. The stops - and perspectives - will range from a street outreach center to the Trenton Coffee House and Vinyl.

    Community Works Conference

    Each year, the Community Works Conference hosts about 25 workshops to support nonprofit staff, leaders and volunteers in their effort to achieve their mission. The 2018 theme is "Accentuate the Positive!" Registration is now open.

    Allyship Through Service Workshop

    Join us for a training workshop to gain the skills, knowledge, and tools to be able to practice and model forms of good allyship within your service experiences and beyond.

      Additional opportunities will be added throughout the month, including historical tours of Trenton, NJ and programming on the history of African American life in Princeton, NJ.   

      Reflection

      January 8-February 2 

      Recognizing that reflection is a critical component of every service experience, the Pace Center will provide regular opportunities for Month of Service participants to gather and reflect on their experiences and central elements of service and civic engagement. 

      Month of Service Reflection Lunches 

      Please share a meal with us as we reflect on our shared direct service experiences and all that we learned from our community partners and peers. We will also lift up ways to remain involved in civic engagement and critical discourse.

      Questions about Month of Service may be directed to Pace Center Associate Director Charlotte Collins or Program Coordinator Eliza Blades