Monday, April 02, 2007

Syracuse Salutes Athletics' Comunity Outreach

From the Syracuse official athletic website:

The Syracuse athletics department’s ‘Cuse Cares Community Outreach program and senior football student-athlete Kelvin Smith will be recognized for their commitment to engagement with the community and Scholarship in Action with the 2007 Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship in a March 26 celebration dinner in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center's Goldstein Auditorium. It marks the 10th consecutive year that Orange student-athletes have earned the CAPS Award.

“We ask our student-athletes to be extraordinary on and off the field,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “Community service is an area in which we strive to be the best. There are numerous hours and substantive areas that our coaches and student-athletes commit to yearly. We are proud of their service and their commitment to this community and beyond.”

The ‘Cuse Cares program is one of 14 University programs that will be recognized for service in the community. SU student-athletes participated in more than 1,200 hours of community service projects since the start of the 2006-2007 academic year in a variety of activities that enriched the lives of children, elderly, homeless, and many more individuals.

Smith, a four-year starting linebacker for the Orange football squad, developed and implemented a leadership skills group at Dr. King Elementary School with eight African-American boys. Smith designed and conducted the workshops with the children in the areas of creating leaders, leadership and health, leadership in sports and the rhythm of leaders.

Throughout the year, Syracuse student-athletes dedicated time to school fundraisers, youth clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs activities, preparing gifts during the holiday time for children, and Winterfest activities for kids. Student-athletes also spent many hours reaching out to young refugees in the area.

At the annual SUccess By Six kickoff at the Dome student-athletes from six teams collected 400 books and more than $300 for area children before a basketball game. Ten Orange teams participated in the annual Dollar Days at the Dome and raised more than $7,100 for the United Way.

Student-athletes also participated in many fundraising events, including the Breast Cancer walk-a-thon, a walk for kidney disease, and the Relay for Life at the Carrier Dome, and assisted in projects that benefit underprivileged individuals, including serving breakfast at the Rescue Mission and volunteering at the Oxford Homeless shelter. In addition, student-athletes visted with residents at The Oaks retirement center, the Ida Benderson Senior Center and the pediatric units at local hospitals, and participated in the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics and cheering on the athletes competing in their winter game events. Other activities include participation in Take Back the Night, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, activities at Head Start, and reading books for a reading awareness program at a local middle school. The annual Shooting for A’s program, an academic enrichment program which features opportunities to participate in group sports and meet student-athletes, begins next month.

“This year's nominations are remarkable, clearly demonstrating that civic engagement is not simply something students do, but has become an essential part of who we, and SU, are,” said Pamela Kirwin Heintz, the director of the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.

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