Service First, Washington University in St. Louis’ largest annual community service project, invites incoming students to get involved in the St. Louis community and challenges them to give back.
More than 1,200 freshmen of a class of nearly 1,500 are expected to participate in this year’s 13th annual Service First event on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 12 St. Louis-area schools.
Approximately 100 students will head to each school to complete creative projects developed by the school principals and staff members, including painting playground maps and indoor and outdoor murals, creating bulletin boards, and assisting teachers in preparing classrooms for the new school year.
“The goal of Service First is to introduce new students to the St. Louis community and to the many ongoing community service opportunities that are available during their time at the university,” says Stephanie Kurtzman, director of WUSTL’s community service office and associate director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service.
“In addition to offering a meaningful activity over Labor Day weekend, the event also helps new students build friendships with peers who live both on and off their residence hall floor.”
Volunteers will work at the schools from approximately 12:30 to 5 p.m. They then will return to the university for a community service fair from 4 to 7 p.m. on the clock tower patio on the South 40, where they will learn more about the myriad community service opportunities in which they can get involved during their time at WUSTL.
Service First began in 1999 with about 600 student volunteers helping to clean and beautify scenic trails. It has grown and flourished each year, with more than 1,000 students, staff and faculty volunteers participating.
Schools to be visited this year are Central Visual and Performing Arts, Fanning, Ford, Gateway IT, Henry, Jefferson, Long, Mallinckrodt and Sumner in the Saint Louis Public School District; Brittany Woods and Flynn Park in the School District of University City; and KIPP: Inspire Academy charter school.
Service First is funded by the university and numerous generous donors, including the Washington University Women’s Society and local and national businesses.
For more information, contact Kurtzman at (314) 935-5599 or email@example.com.