March 15, 2013
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer
A group of students and staff members from Maryville College are making plans to do something a little different this Spring Break.
Through MC’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, the group of seven students and two staff members will spend the week of March 18-22 volunteering in Knoxville.
Throughout the week, students will participate in a variety of projects, including: maintenance projects and painting at Knox Area Rescue Ministries; trail maintenance and clean-up at Ijams Nature Center; working with YWCA Knoxville to deliver domestic violence victim advocacy materials to area urgent care facilities and libraries; and garden and outdoor maintenance at Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center.
Begun in 1996, Alternative Spring Break, or “ASB” as students refer to it, has become a tradition among Maryville College students. ASB is a unique service opportunity for students, faculty and staff and is intended to provide learning experiences for students while strengthening the communities in which they volunteer.
Past ASB trips have taken students to cities in need of assistance, including the Gulf to assist with relief projects following Hurricane Katrina; Tuscaloosa, Ala., to help with long-term recovery projects after the area was hit by a catastrophic F4 tornado; and Charlotte, N.C. to work on “urban rebuild” projects with Habitat for Humanity.
Diana Curtis, coordinator for service learning and ministry at Maryville College, said students decided to work locally because they recognize the importance of assisting local communities.
“Last year, when our group went to Tuscaloosa, Ala., we realized how important it is for people to serve their local communities before a disaster strikes,” Curtis said. “Many of the deaths from those tornadoes could have been prevented if people had access to adequate housing. Destination service trips are fun and useful, but it is also very important for people to realize the needs that exist in their own backyard – that’s why we decided to work locally this year.”
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 1,168.