Spartans were spread across the City of Greensboro last weekend cleaning bikes, painting classrooms, removing invasive weeds and everything in between. Spartan Service Day, in its 11th year at UNC Greensboro, had 170 students participate in community service projects at 14 local organizations.

“Spartan Service Day serves as the first step for students engaging with the community and reaffirms our university motto ‘Service’ anew each year,” said Kristina Gage, UNCG Assistant Director for Community Engagement.

Group photo of student volunteers wearing blue and gold in EUC ballroom.

This year’s Spartan Service Day had 170 students volunteering across the City of Greensboro. “I participate in Spartan Service Day because it is important to me that I serve my community,” said Chloe Velasquez, a junior psychology major. “When I do service in the Greensboro community, I know I am not only helping one community partner but helping the Greensboro community, and that is what matters.”

The annual day of service, offered through UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement, has come a long way since its beginnings in 2007 with 50 students and just four service projects. The event serves as a stepping stone for students interested in leadership, service and civic engagement.

“As students of UNC Greensboro, we should be engaging in the community and find ways to make the city that we live in a better place,” said Antoine’ Cunningham, a junior sociology major who volunteered at Lindley Elementary School. “The kids at Lindley are our future, and we were able to make sure they have a more suitable learning environment.”

Two students cutting out paper in a classroom.

Student volunteers helped prepare classrooms for the new school year at Lindley Elementary School in Greensboro.

Service projects – which included setting up classrooms at Lindley Elementary School, gardening at Peacehaven Farm, voter registration and cleaning donated bikes for individuals facing homelessness – are led by trained student site leaders who lead a reflection after students return to campus.

Students sitting at a table working on posters for the Girl Scouts.

Students put together 90 display boards for Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont for use at 71 Guilford County elementary school open houses.

“It’s always fulfilling for me as an organizer to hear students making connections with each other, discussing the social and environmental issues they learned about at their sites and talking about other ways they want to engage both on and off campus,” Gage said.

 

Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications