Montclair State Community Partner Day Gets Students Involved in Local Service Projects

First-time event to be held September 12, 2009

Montclair, NJ -- Nearly 200 Montclair State freshmen will lend a helping hand in the community and to local organizations September 12 during the University's first Community Partner Day. The event begins at 8 a.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms on campus. From there, the students will be transported to service sites in Montclair, Little Falls, Clifton, Newark, and Hillside where they will report for their project assignments.

Community partners for this event include the Hillside Food Bank, Montclair Citadel's Cornerstone House, Goodwill Rescue Mission, St. Peter's Haven Food Pantry, COPE of Montclair, United Way of Northeast Essex, the Ben Samuel's Children's Center at Montclair State, and the townships of Little Falls and Montclair, among others. Tasks range from general office work and sorting clothing to clean-up projects in the community.

Involving students in community service is not a new concept at Montclair State. Karen Pennington, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life explains, "For many years Montclair State University has been committed to educating our students about the importance of community service and providing them with opportunities to get first-hand experience in this area. This event, our first Community Partner Day, is just one more opportunity and is designed to get our newest students involved in the community as soon as they step onto campus. This will prove to be a worthwhile opportunity that they will be able to carry with them through their college experience and into their everyday lives."

In addition to the freshman participants, nearly 25 student leaders will help guide the students through the experience. Senior Frank Quinones, who is majoring in Family and Child Studies with a minor in Leadership Through Civic Engagement, is one of the team captains. "I think it is very important to get students involved in community service," he said. "It gives us the opportunity to change someone's life, as well as our own, and give back to the community. It is something I hold dear to my heart."

Julie Adams, executive director of Community Relations, said people could expect to see a greater presence of students in the community as Montclair State continues to explore partnerships that will benefit both the community and the University. "Building beneficial relationships with our local governments, private and non-profit organizations, the business community, and the community-at-large is an important part of Montclair State's mission," she said, "and our students are, of course, an integral part of that process."

Rick Brown, director of Student Leadership Programs, is excited to offer this opportunity for the first time to freshman students. "Today, students are coming to college already having significant involvement in service in their high schools and communities. We hope this day will be the start of an annual tradition of getting Montclair State students involved in service as soon as they set foot on our campus."

Community Partner Day is sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement with additional support from the First-Year Frenzy Committee, the Service-Learning Program, Bonner Leader AmeriCorps Program, the Human Relations Leadership Development Association, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Community Relations.

For more information about Montclair State University's Community Partner Day, call the Office of Student Leadership Programs at 972-655-7818.

Community Partner Day Activities, September 12, 2009

Clifton St. Peter's Haven - 380 Clifton Avenue
8-12 students will unload a food delivery truck for the food pantry

Hillside Hillside Food Bank - 31 Evans Terminal
80-100 students will assist with sorting and/or packing food donations

Little Falls Municipal Building - 225 Main Street
8-15 students will assist with cleanup of the property, parking area, and the nearby train station

Montclair Montclair Citadel - Salvation Army - Cornerstone House, 68 N. Fullerton Avenue
8-12 students will assist with cleaning the grounds of the Cornerstone House and surrounding street

COPE, Montclair Montclair Service Agency - 104 Bloomfield Avenue
2-3 students will assist with filing and unpacking after COPE's recent move into a new space.

Montclair Heights Train Station Normal Avenue/Upper Mountain Avenue
All 3 Montclair train stations will have between 8-15 students to conduct a general cleanup of the grounds, platform, and nearby bus shelters (where applicable)

Upper Montclair Train Station  Bellevue Avenue
In addition to cleanup, students will distribute Montclair Adult School catalogs to area businesses and fliers seeking Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and for the Goodwill Rescue Mission 5k run (held in Montclair)

Watchung Avenue Train Station Watchung Avenue/Park Street
In addition to cleanup, students will distribute Montclair Adult School catalogs to area businesses and fliers seeking Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and for the Goodwill Rescue Mission 5k run (held in Montclair)

Newark Goodwill Rescue Mission - 79 University Avenue
20-25 students will assist with the Saturday food service and in the Goodwill Thrift store (sorting and tagging incoming donations)

Montclair State University Ben Samuels Children's Center - Clove Road
8-12 students will clean the playground area and equipment, and make minor repairs to some equipment. A group will also move into the parking area and NJ Transit deck for litter pickup

Released: September 9, 2009