UT Service Scholars: Connecting with the Community on Earth Day

May 11, 2012

Written by Hali Hoyt, AmeriCorps VISTA Member/ Student Leadership Coordinator

When the students of Reilly Elementary School arrived on the Monday after the Earth Day weekend they were in for quite a treat. Over the weekend their empty outdoor space had been transformed into a garden wonderland!

On Saturday, April 21st, the UT Service Scholars (UTSS) conducted their first annual Signature Community Service Event at Reilly Elementary School. The Signature Community Service Event is the annual opportunity for the service scholars to work as a team to do a major community service project in Austin.

earth day pic


This year’s event featured over 30 UT Service Scholars building an outdoor classroom to serve as a mechanism to encourage students and teachers to embrace outdoor learning. As the day went on, the Reilly Elementary School staff, parents, and students helped out in building the outdoor classroom. The final event of the day was the Earth Day lesson conducted by the Sustainable Food Center, in conjunction with school staff. During this first lesson, students learned the importance of plants and were able to plant their own seedlings to take home. Everyone enjoyed the fun and fellowship of this event and Reilly Elementary School third grade teacher, Eliza Gordon remarked “this is one of the best things to happen to Reilly Elementary School!”

The UT Service Scholars program is an initiative between the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and the LBJ School of Public Affairs focused on molding community service-oriented college students into the community service leaders of tomorrow through leadership development and service. For more information on the UT Service Scholars program, contact Hali Hoyt at hhoyt@austin.utexas.edu.



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