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MCLA students volunteer in the community in 2012.

MCLA Recognized for Community Service

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In recognition of its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts recently was named to the 2016 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

MCLA President James F. Birge said the college is pleased to be recognized for the community service that students, faculty and staff engage in throughout the year.

"MCLA has a long history of volunteer service," Birge said. "Whether it's volunteer work, civic engagement or service-learning in the community, or even beyond the Berkshires, these efforts prepare our students to be future leaders as they continue to live lives of responsible citizenship."

According to Spencer Moser, director of MCLA's Center for Service and Citizenship, the college's inclusion on the 2016 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is a reflection of the thoughtful and strong partnerships that the campus has with organizations throughout the community.

"MCLA's civic engagement program addresses pressing local needs that range across the socio-economic spectrum," Moser said. "This acknowledgment by the Corporation for National and Community Service recognizes the powerful and passionate abilities of MCLA students to leverage their academic experience toward a larger, positive social good. It's also an external validation of the important and strong civic engagement accomplishments of MCLA. We are very proud of that."

The campus's continuum of service program includes its Community Day of Service, which started in 1992. Other annual events include service by LEAD Academy participants, First Days Service, Fall Day of Service and the MLK Day of Service. The students’ numerous efforts include volunteer work at the Louison House in Adams and the Friendship Center, a food distribution pantry in North Adams.

In addition, a group of students participate in an annual Alternative Spring Break through MCLA's Center for Service and Citizenship, which includes service work in other parts of the country and abroad. Last spring, 12 students provided service to a community in need when they traveled to Belize, where they helped to build walls inside a medical center in the small, rural village of Mahogany Heights.

Throughout the year, MCLA students also lend their time and skills to work with the local community youth in a variety of programs. These programs include the Write Stuff, a mentoring program through which MCLA students help middle school youth to improve their writing. In addition, MCLA students support youth in enrichment programs at the Adams Youth Center.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

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