URI receives national recognition for community service

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University honored for distinguished community service

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 27, 2008 — The University of Rhode Island has been named to the “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction” by the federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service. The award honors the University for its exemplary service efforts and specifically its service to disadvantaged youth. URI is one of just three public universities in New England to receive this distinguished designation. The other two are UMASS and Keene State College of New Hampshire.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

In fact, the University is among the top schools in the nation involving its students in community service. This fact is one that contributed to the designation of the University as a “college with a conscience” two years ago. In addition, after graduating, many URI students continue their community service activities by joining such organizations as the Peace Corps. Last year, the Peace Corps took notice of the increasing number of URI alumni volunteers and ranked the University in the top 25 of its annual rankings. URI received the 2006 community service “Honor Roll with Distinction” award in recognition of its efforts to support the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans.

For this year’s application, URI’s Feinstein Center for Service Learning submitted information about the University’s work with Jumpstart, a national non-profit organization that engages college students in efforts to help prepare young children for success in school. At URI, 70 Jumpstart Corps volunteers were recruited and provided more than 19,000 hours of community service focused on early childhood education to three R.I. school districts, Providence, South Kingstown, and Westerly.

The 2007 Community Service Honor Roll recognized 528 colleges and universities nationwide. Six schools received “Presidential Awards,” four received “Special Achievement” awards, 127 were listed as “Honor Roll With Distinction” members and 391 are “Honor Roll” members.

“College students like those at URI are tackling the toughest problems in America, demonstrating their compassion, commitment, and creativity in by serving as mentors, tutors, health workers, and even engineers,” said David Eisner, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Federal Agency that oversees America’s service and volunteering programs. “They represent a renewed spirit of civic engagement fostered by outstanding leadership on caring campuses.”

A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.