First-year students with a passion for volunteering took part this week in S.P.A.R.C. (Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community), a Wake Forest program to introduce incoming students to volunteer opportunities and community agencies in the Winston-Salem area.
Forty-eight first-year students, along with 14 upperclass student leaders, got a hands-on introduction to a wide variety of community agencies and services such as Crisis Control Ministry, the Forsyth Humane Society and Meals on Wheels.
S.P.A.R.C. participants spent Aug. 23 working on Habitat for Humanity houses. On Aug. 24, the students were broken up into small groups and assigned to different community-service agencies in the morning and afternoon. At the end of each day the entire group met to reflect on their volunteer experiences and then enjoy a fun social activity in the city.
They picked up boxes from an on-campus canned food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank and hosted an ice cream social for the residents of Independence Village, a local retirement home. The group also worked on trail maintenance and new trail construction at Hanging Rock State Park.
S.P.A.R.C. is one of several pre-orientation programs offered to incoming students each year. Participants move into their residence hall rooms early, giving them a head start meeting other first-year students.