Knox Receives National Award for Community Service

College named to President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

March 26, 2012

Reading Buddies Program
A Knox student in the Reading Buddies Program works with a student at Nielson School in Galesburg

Knox College's outstanding record of engaging students in community service -- more than 16,000 hours last year -- is being recognized with a national award, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012. This is the third time in the past four years that Knox has won the award from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

President's Higher Education Community Service Honor RollKnox was selected for the Honor Roll based on community service that totalled 16,546 hours last year, ranging from adult literacy tutoring to helping with in-school programs.

"Knox students have shown a strong commitment to making Galesburg a better community," said Kathleen Ridlon, coordinator of Knox's Center for Community Service, which works with students, student organizations, faculty, and staff on a wide range of volunteer service and charitable activities. "This honor encourages them to continue their service to the community and find new opportunities for volunteer work in the Galesburg area."

Among Knox's community service initiatives highlighted by the award are:

  • "School and Society," a course in the educational studies curriculum, which generates more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service annually in the Galesburg community. Educational Studies is one of four academic programs at Knox that have courses with substantial community service learning.
  • Student organization -- Success, Performance, Inspiration, Community and Education (S.P.I.C.E.) -- in which Knox students mentor teens in the Boys and Girls Club of Knox County. S.P.I.C.E. is among more than 25 Knox student organizations specifically focused on community service.
  • Partnership with Community Preschool in Galesburg, where Knox students volunteered more than 1,100 hours of service last year, allowing classroom teachers to focus on giving the preschool students more one-on-one attention.
  • The "Lunch Spot" Program in 2011, when Knox students donated more than 1,500 lunches to help feed children in need during an extended winter break in Galesburg School District 205.

Colleges named to the Honor Roll "are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community," said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. He announced the awards March 12 in Los Angeles, at the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

"Your selection to the Honor Roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government of your commitment to service and civic engagement on your campus and in our nation," Velasco said. "We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom."

Since the founding of Knox's Center for Community Service in 2006, the level of student activity in the Galesburg community has more than doubled -- from 7,000 hours to more than 16,000 hours in 2010-2011. The center was established with a grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation.