More than 155 UC San Diego volunteers got their hands dirty painting, gardening and cleaning at Bayside Elementary School in Imperial Beach Sunday as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Afterward, the volunteers joined fellow students, staff, faculty and alumni to represent the university in San Diego’s 34th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade downtown.
The parade is a longstanding tradition for UC San Diego; the campus has been involved for more than 20 years, with participation growing each year. This year, some 500 campus members marched behind a banner declaring “Freedom Through Education,” cheering and waving as they made their way along the parade route.
UC San Diego Volunteer50 encourages the entire campus to participate in community service throughout the year. Individuals can volunteer as much or as little as they like—every hour counts, whether it’s five or 50. To get involved with Volunteer50:
“I am pleased to see so many UC San Diego campus members participating in this tradition celebrating Dr. King and his legacy,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are deeply committed to values he embodied and upheld—community, social justice, equality—through our mission as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.”
At Bayside Elementary, volunteers led by UC San Diego’s Center for Student Involvement and Volunteer50 quickly tackled a multitude of projects. Volunteers planted new seedlings in the student garden and constructed a pathway of stepping stones, painted with themes of peace. On the playground, students from the elementary school helped paint murals illustrating a map of the United States and more.
The service project grew out of an existing partnership between UC San Diego and Bayside Elementary School. Warren College already had a close relationship with Bayside, particularly through the Warren Association of Volunteer Enthusiasts (WAVE), a student organization that has organized clothing and supply drives for the local school.
“The relationship with Warren College, and now the Day of Service, has been instrumental in raising college-going enthusiasm amongst the students here at Bayside Elementary,” said sixth grade teacher Kymberly Nichols. “My students have become much more focused in the classroom because they are determined to go to UC San Diego one day.”
Tiveeda Stovall of the UC San Diego Center for Student Involvement added, “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a great opportunity to educate our students on how they can make an impact in the local community. For many, it’s an inspiring experience that motivates them to continue service with the legacy of Dr. King throughout the year.”
Already, WAVE and the UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors have planned volunteer events at the school to follow up with the work done on the Day of Service and continue the partnership with Bayside Elementary.
Ranked No. 1 in the nation for public service by the Washington Monthly, UC San Diego provides numerous ways for campus members to give back to the community. The Center for Student Involvement serves as a one-stop-shop for getting involved with student organizations, campus-wide events and leadership and service opportunities. UC San Diego Volunteer50 facilitates community service projects open to all students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends throughout the year.
In addition to the Center for Student Involvement and Volunteer50, the following UC San Diego departments helped make possible the 2014 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: Alumni Affairs, Associated Students, Athletics, Recreation, John Muir College Student Life, Warren College Provost Office, Warren College Student Life Office, Warren College Student Council, Warren College Residential Life, Warren Association for Volunteer Enthusiasts (WAVE) and Volunteer Connection. Community partners included Home Depot, Nosh Delicatessen, Rubio’s, Starbucks and Bayside Elementary School.
For more information about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Day of Service, visit mlkday.ucsd.edu.
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