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Tony Creecy receiving Sparks Award

Tony Creecy is the inaugural recipient of the Sparks Award for his contributions to the College Bound program.

Service learning embodies NC State’s commitment to its land grant mandate, as well as PRTM’s core belief, that parks and recreation should enrich the quality of lives within communities and improve the health and well-being of society.

In 2012, NC State University was one of five universities nation-wide to earn recognition on The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management was one of three campus programs highlighted in the university’s application for this award. We believe community engagement is a powerful and effective learning tool for students while providing meaningful service to the community.

Community engagement opportunities may be short-term in duration (a one-time experience that lasts a few hours), a full-immersion, semester-long service-learning course, class projects, or be one aspect of a study abroad experience.

Check out these highlights from some of our community engagement experiences:

College Bound Day at Bugg Elementary School

College Bound had a significant impact not only on our students and faculty at NCSU, but also on the students and staff at Bugg Elementary School. This collaborative effort was successful in promoting the idea of college to elementary students from a Title I School. Mr. Tata superintendent of Wake County Schools and State Superintendent, June Atkinson attended the event.In March of 2012, student volunteers from NCSU, the majority from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, joined students from Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College at Bugg Elementary School. This event called “College Bound”, is a day filled with mentoring in the arts, academics and athletics. There were three main goals with regard to diversity: 1. Enhance the quality of teaching and learning about diversity. 2. Enrich the diversity experiences for all students. 3. Improve recruitment, retention and graduation of students from historically underrepresented groups.

PRT 358 Recreation Program Planning

Partnering agencies include area community centers, senior adult centers, local and county parks, and nonprofit youth serving agencies.Students get hands-on, practical experience in recreation program planning through this full-immersion service-learning course. For much of the semester, students in small groups are partnered with community agencies where they design and deliver recreation programs for the agency’s clientele.

While all of these benefits contribute to a richer learning experience, most service learning students report that the civic engagement lessons provided them with a greater appreciation of the critical role parks and recreation play when it comes to creating and linking local communities, in an otherwise global and, often, impersonal world.

Check out our Student Profiles for comments from PRTM and SMT students.

For more information contact: Candace Goode Vick