With a new service requirement for every co-curricular group, the community service program will hold a more prominent presence on campus this fall. Bernie Baker, director of community service, who has been coordinating this new service plan for the past year, said the program’s goal is for “every co-curricular to be doing a service project each term, in addition to the existing community service programs.”
Over the summer, Mr. Baker assembled a menu of service projects from which faculty members may choose for their teams or groups to complete. Some of these projects will occur on campus, but the majority will take place off-campus in Franklin County.
Fall term activities are largely outdoors and include such opportunities as gleaning local farm fields for food harvests to be delivered to Rachel’s Table, an organization that distributes food to the needy; cleaning up Montague Plains, the 1600-acre conservation rescue in Turners Falls; and identifying and mapping the location of deceased U.S. veterans’ graves in a South Deerfield Cemetery.
Mr. Baker explained, “After the faculty member selects from the menu, he or she will notify the service office, and we will set up a date and work out transportation, as well as gather the necessary materials.”
The Community Service Board hopes this extension of the program is merely a step in an even greater broadening of service at Deerfield to take place over the next few years as a part of the Imagine Deerfield plan.
For now, Mr. Baker believes co-curricular service requirement will provide “community team-building activities,” the opportunity for “faculty members and students to work together,” and a chance “to learn about Franklin County beyond the borders of our campus.”