March 07, 2013
Above, Knox students help clean the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, one of the activities cited in the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award.
For the fourth time in five years, Knox College has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, in recognition of community service, service learning and civic engagement.
This year, for the first time, Knox was selected for the Honor Roll with Distinction. While the Honor Roll recognizes 690 colleges this year, only 113 received the award with Distinction. Knox is one of only three colleges in Illinois selected for the Honor Roll with Distinction.
The award also highlights a number of achievements and service initiatives that involve Knox College students, faculty and staff with the community:
• Knox students engaged in more than 29,000 hours of community service in 2011-12. 360 students engaged in service as part of an academic course, and more than 400 performed at least two hours a week of community service.
• Days of Service send hundreds of Knox student volunteers to work on short-term projects throughout the community. Days of Service focus on activities such as interior and exterior clean-up tasks that can be completed in a single day. The first Day of Service was held in May 2012 to coincide with the installation of Knox President Teresa Amott, and they are now held three times a year, in each of the College's academic terms.
• Knox Prairie Community Kitchen was founded by volunteers from Knox College and the Galesburg community. Now a non-profit organization, KPCK serves free meals twice a month through collaboration with Central Congregational Church. At each event, nearly 200 meals are prepared by approximately 30 volunteers. In all, some 225 Knox students and 15 faculty and staff have worked at a KPCK event this past year.
• Blessings in a Backpack is a student club that works with members of First Presbyterian Church in Galesburg to provide food for weekend meals to children in grades K-5 at Cooke Elementary School who qualify for reduced-price school lunches. Since the award nomination was submitted, the program now also serves students at Steele Elementary School. The program involves 30 students, 2 faculty and 2 staff from Knox College and 15 members of First Presbyterian Church, which also donated $10,000.
"I am delighted to see Knox on the Honor Roll once again," said Knox College President Teresa Amott. "This year's additional honor of 'with Distinction' recognizes that Knox and Galesburg are working together even more closely to make our community stronger."
"Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in announcing the awards. "Civic engagement should be a key component of every student's education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."
Many of the volunteer service activities at Knox are organized by Community Service Coordinator Kathleen Ridlon, Government and Community Relations Director Karrie Heartlein, and the Mark and Jeanette Kleine Center for Community Service. In September 2012, Knox was ranked among the top colleges in the nation in its commitment to community service by Washington Monthly magazine.
Created in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes the contributions that colleges and their students make to their local communities and the nation through volunteer service. The award also spotlights model community service programs and practices in higher education. The Corporation for National and Community Service manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
Photos from Blessings in a Backpack, Day of Service and Knox Prairie Community Kitchen