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Springfield College Marks Humanics in Action Day 10th Anniversary Students, Faculty, Staff to Devote Day to Community Service

September 14, 2007

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 14, 2007 – Springfield College will celebrate its 10th Humanics in Action Day this Thursday, Sept. 20, with its annual tradition of canceling classes so that its students, faculty and staff may devote a day to concentrated community service. Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn will welcome about 1,800 campus volunteers at Blake Track on the campus at 9:30 a.m. before they embark on about 80 projects, mostly in the surrounding neighborhood.

College work groups wearing maroon shirts will provide services for more than 75 schools, shelters, churches, senior citizens’ facilities, city agencies, community organizations, and individual neighbors. They will help neighbors with clean-up/fix-up projects, plant landscaping, paint games on school playgrounds, remove graffiti, conduct educational projects, and perform indoor and outdoor services.

New to the event this year will be the Porch Light Project. College volunteers will deliver compact fluorescent light bulbs to 750 homes in the Upper Hill and Old Hill neighborhoods. Included will be information on the safety benefits of porch lighting, and the environmental health and cost savings benefits of lighting with energy efficient bulbs.

Also new to Humanics in Action Day this year, college volunteers will support the national Read for the Record program, a nationwide effort on Sept. 20 to break the world record for the largest shared reading experience. College volunteers will read aloud to students in grades K through three in Springfield public schools.

The college will host a cookout for its volunteers, participating neighborhood residents, and members of cooperating community organizations and city departments beginning at noon at Blake Track.

Springfield College initiated Humanics in Action Day in September 1998. It was the idea of Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics Peter Polito and leaders of the New Student Orientation program to revive and expand an event described in the 1918 Springfield College yearbook by which students worked to improve the developing campus.

“I wanted to have the entire college participate in a day to strengthen a true sense of community that would extend into the local neighborhood,” Polito said. “Students, faculty, staff, trustees, and members of the community worked side by side and shoulder to shoulder to do something good, something that would improve the quality of life. That day, we began the year by reminding ourselves what it means that our institution is focused upon a philosophy we call Humanics – the education of the total person in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to humanity,” he added.

In subsequent years, Springfield College regional campuses and alumni groups in other parts of the country also have organized local Humanics in Action Day projects. In Springfield, Humanics in Action Day augments the college’s year-round service programs in which students perform projects related to their studies in schools, neighborhood organizations, and city programs.

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