Alternative Spring Break
Some Millikin University students spent their spring break volunteering for service projects throughout the Decatur community. The projects were part of Millikin's Alternative Spring Break, organized through Millikin's Career Center and AmeriCorps VISTA.
Millikin students spent the day on Tuesday, March 22, working on the Dennis-Millikin Community Garden to help clean up the prairie grass ecosystem.
"Alternative Spring Break is an opportunity for Millikin students to get involved in the community," said Tyler McLean '15, student engagement coordinator at Millikin. "We reached out to some of our community partners to see who would be willing to host a few students. It's a good opportunity for students to see what's going on in Decatur."
The Community Garden is a product of the partnership between Dennis Laboratory School and Millikin University. The partnership creates a university-affiliated lab school that enhances 21st century project-based, real-world learning for Dennis students and provides collaborative learning opportunities for Millikin students.
The community garden is located slightly south of the northwest corner of the Wood Street and Fairview Avenue intersection in Decatur.
"The weather is getting nicer, so some of the students will be coming back out and doing their science experiments," says McLean. "We were cleaning up the prairie grass ecosystem. It's great for the students to see what the needs of the community are and what they can do to meet those needs."
Other Millikin students volunteered at the Primrose Retirement Community of Decatur. The students spent time with residents, focusing on games and leading exercise activities.
Angela Benford, a senior nursing major from Lynwood, Ill., said she could think of no better way to spend her spring break then by giving back and helping.
"I really wanted to get out and help because I wanted to show my appreciation for Millikin and the local community," said Benford. "As a nursing major, it was exciting to work with the residents at the Primrose Retirement Center."
Benford also volunteers for service projects back in her hometown of Lynwood.
"I feel very proud of helping and I hope the community feels the same way," said Benford.