Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Fair to highlight community service

Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — Social service agencies will tout their missions at Miami University Middletown's annual Community Service Fair on Wednesday.

        About 15 organizations will be on hand to share their dreams and recruit student volunteers. Fair participants include Middletown Habitat for Humanity, the Willow Knoll Retirement Community and the Feed the Hungry Project.

        “This is their chance to hook up with students to get their involvement, but the public is welcome to come also,” said Jan Toennisson, public relations staffer for the Middletown campus.

        Volunteerism is good both for the agencies and for the students, campus officials say.

        “It's a win-win situation,” said Linda Watkins, coordina tor of counseling and disability services, who organized the annual event. “The agencies benefit, and the students gain problem-solving and teamwork experience that helps them in job interviews and makes them more attractive to prospective employers.”

        Ms. Watkins cited a national trend toward increased service learning opportunities for college students.

        “I believe in experiential education,” she said. “For students, learning about their communities, being mentored by professionals, helps them expand their world. Lots of times they don't understand how pieces of the community fit together. Volunteer projects also provide good camaraderie for the students.”

        The Community Service Fair will run 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Johnston Hall. Information: (513) 727-3431.


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