Saturday Reserved For Service

The fall 2013 Saturdays of Service program will take place on Friday Oct. 18, Saturday,  Oct. 19, Saturday,  Nov. 16 and Tuesday Dec. 17.  The theme for the program this semester is “Feeding the Hudson Valley: Food Insecurity and Sustainability.”

The Saturdays of Service Program is modeled after the Alternative Spring Break program at SUNY New Paltz. The difference between the two programs is that the Saturday of Service Program is over the duration of the semester, while the Alternative Spring Break lasts for only a week.

The students chosen to take part in the program will work at the Queen’s Galley in Kingston, the Brook Farm Project in New Paltz and possibly the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-On-Hudson, according to the application.

Erica Wagner is the service learning coordinator and is charge of organizing the program.

“[I hope the students] make a difference and see the needs of within the community and then hopefully continue to volunteer at some of the sites in the future,” Wagner said.

Felice Castellano, the assistant director of Queen’s Galley, said they have worked with New Paltz students for many years.

The committee chooses students from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in the program, Wagner said.

“We try to pick a range of students with different backgrounds,  different class years, different majors, some students who have volunteered a whole bunch and those who haven’t before,” Wagner said.  “We really try to make it a diverse group of students.”

Castellano said she hopes students who participate will realize what actually occurs in their communities.

“I hope it encourages them to do more community service, whether it’s where they live or in the New Paltz area,” she said.

Ultimately, Wagner said she hopes the students will become better people from this program.

“[I hope they get] an understanding of what the needs of the community are and some friendships with new people,” Wagner said.  “Networking with different volunteer sites and leadership skills as well.”