CCE Blog 2017

Welcome back everyone to the 2017-2018 academic year! The CCE (Center for Community Engagement) is full of opportunities for students of any year. They run many programs through the year including Covenant Soup Kitchen and the Food Recovery Program. They are volunteer based, so if you’re interested, stop by! They’re located at 333 Prospect Street, down the street from Nutmeg Hall and Laurel Hall.

One of the more popular programs they run is called Jumpstart. Jumpstart is a program for students to get involved with teaching basic language skills to young children in Willimantic. It is almost like a sneak peek at teaching. It’s a great program to get into if you’re an education major focused in early childhood.

I was lucky enough to sit down with the site director of Jumpstart, Meaghan Penrod, and ask her a few questions. She first became a part of Jumpstart in August of 2016. Jumpstart struck her interest when she realized she liked working with kids and college students, so Jumpstart was a perfect blend. For Meaghan, Jumpstart means a lot because she gets to see her team members bond with the kids. Most of the children at the preschool come from low income families. Jumpstart’s mission is to help close the kindergarten readiness gap for children living in low income areas, as Meaghan describes. Seeing all of the college students there for them inspires them to learn. Meaghan recalls one child who spoke only Spanish at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, he was able to speak sentences in English and participate in all aspects of the program. That is what Jumpstart is all about!

I also spoke with Samantha Carman, a student who was involved with Jumpstart last year. She saw a booth for Jumpstart at Eastern’s Club Fair, received information on it, and was immediately intrigued. By participating in Jumpstart, you can earn many priority points and an academic award if you do 300 hours of work. She expressed her love for the students and her fellow Jumpstart friends. “It’s more than just the kids. You form a bond with your team. It’s one that will last for a very long time.”

If you want to know more about Jumpstart, stop by the club fair which is Wednesday, September 6th from 5:00pm-7:00pm on Webb lawn. Look out for flyer of events from the CCE. All registration for events and programs for the CCE (except Jumpstart) is done via eweb. Everyone is welcome!

CCE Blog Post September 18, 2017—published in Campus Lantern

By Brooke Cochrane, CCE Communication Intern

A student leader encourages abilities in themselves and others in order to make an impact on campus or in the larger community. As a student leader, it is important to be able to lead and inform. It is also important to have experience in management or some work in which they have led and managed a group of people. At Eastern Connecticut State University, the Center for Community Engagement has many student leaders in charge of students and programs they run.

Sarah Tricario is a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University. She started out at the Center for Community Engagement at Jumpstart, a program run by the CCE, and saw there was an opening for a student leader and was immediately intrigued. She is a social work major, but is interested in community organization.

Sarah is in charge of a few events. One is the Covenant Soup Kitchen which is on Mondays from 10:00am-2:00pm on Valley Street. At the Soup Kitchen, Sarah works with volunteers to prep the food and organizes the cans in the pantry area.

Jillian Lode, another student leader, is a Junior with a major in social work and a minor in criminology. She runs two programs every week, one of them being Journey House. Journey House is a residential treatment program for young women ages 14-17 at Natchaug Hospital. A volunteer’s duty is to attend once a week for an hour. Jillian plans activities for them such as decorating cookies, creating beaded bracelets, and sometimes even play volleyball. “My goal is to be a positive role model and show the girls there is more to life and college is always an option,” Jillian expressed to me. She attends this event every Thursday from 4:00pm-5:00pm.

She also runs another event at North Windham elementary school where she helps young students with their homework. Her goal is to get them excited to do homework and enjoy it. She goes for two hours every week in hopes of inspiring them. Jillian is currently creating educational, fun activities to do with the students. She attends this program every Wednesday from 3:45pm-6:00pm.

There are many other programs available for students through the CCE. You can sign up via eweb. It’s a great way to get involved with campus and to make lifelong friends.

CCE Blog Post September 28, 2017—published in Campus Lantern

By Brooke Cochrane, CCE Communication Intern