August 28, 2014 | Matt Kucinski

Nearly 1,200 students, faculty and staff will serve and learn in GR on Thursday.

Just a day after moving in, all first-year students are being sent back off-campus.

“It’s about recognizing that Calvin is a place within a community, and that community matters,” said sophomore Maaike Mudde.

A broader community

Mudde is the student coordinator for StreetFest—a one-day service-learning opportunity that takes place on Thursday, August 28. StreetFest introduces all first-year and transfer students to a commitment to service and learning that is central to a Calvin education. Including faculty and staff mentors and student leaders, nearly 1,200 people from the Calvin community are expected to participate.

The theme for the 22nd edition of StreetFest is ‘PLACE: Presence, Listening, Action, Commitment, Everyday.’

“If we’re not serving a place, we are committed to serving ourselves,” said Mudde.

An on-ramp

Calvin is partnering with 53 organizations for the one-day event, which will see students touring neighborhoods, gardening public spaces and organizing food pantries. Mudde hopes that the students who participate will see this as an on-ramp into service-learning like many Calvin students have in the past. The Service-Learning Center’s recently released statistical report shows that 2,030 Calvin students participated in service-learning in 2013-2014, logging almost 55,000 hours. In addition, 117 course sections incorporated service-learning.

The report also shows that the college has 205 active agency partners, which includes the 53 organizations that are participating in StreetFest.

“We choose organizations that understand what we’re doing, those organizations that are committed to doing God’s Work in God’s World,” said Kruis. “We see ourselves as co-educators teaching students about neighbors, what they do, their purpose in the community and why it takes all these different organizations and missions to create a healthy community.”

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