WCU students plan Day of Service on Saturday

Western Carolina University’s Academic Success Program and representatives of the Walmart Supercenter in Sylva will partner for a Day of Service on Saturday, July 14, to benefit community-based programs.

The Day of Service will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot and the public is invited. The event will feature food and games; emergency vehicles and a bass boat on display; booths for on-campus and community organizations; and free energy drink samples.

Proceeds from the Day of Service will benefit the Community Table, an organization that helps provide food to those who need it in and around Sylva; Communities in Schools, an organization that assists students and their families by providing school supplies and more; and the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center, a Western North Carolina organization that offers counseling and information on pregnancy. Last year’s event raised more than $1,800 in cash and much-needed items for two Jackson County charitable organizations.

Students in WCU’s Academic Success Program begin their college experience early by participating in a six-week summer session prior to the fall semester of their freshman year. The program assists students in making a successful transition to the university and includes opportunities for students to become engaged as members of the university and the local community. More than 150 volunteers are expected for this year’s project.

ASP has incorporated service projects into the summer session for several years, said ASP coordinator Janina DeHart. “It is important for the students to become engaged in the community early in their college careers at WCU,” DeHart said. “We hope this annual event continues to grow and expands to include additional constituents throughout the community.”

In addition to Walmart and the ASP, the Day of Service is sponsored by WCU’s First Year Experience, Center for Service Learning and Quality Enhancement Plan and by Ryan’s and Bojangles’ restaurants.

For more information about the ASP Day of Service, contact WCU’s Center for Service Learning at 828-227-7184 or servicelearning@wcu.edu, or the Academic Success Program at 828-227-3882 or asp@wcu.edu.

Beth Tyson Lofquist, interim provost at Western Carolina University, hula hoops with young participants at the 2011 Academic Success Program Day of Service while ASP assistant Joe Pruett looks on. This year’s event is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 14, in the Walmart parking lot in Sylva.