Students adopt a block and make a difference

Analicia Haynes, Staff Reporter

Registered Student Organizations and Eastern students will have the opportunity to “Adopt a Block” for the 2015-16 academic school year.

Adopt a block is a way for students to take ownership over a selected area and clean and maintain that area twice a month.

Rachel Fisher, the director of student community services, said adopt a block is a chance for RSOs and other students to come together as one collective body to give back to the community and make Charleston a beautiful place.

“It’s a great way for students and student organizations to give back to the community in a way that allows volunteers to pick up trash and get to know neighbors,” Fisher said.

Ariannah Lambert, the chairwoman for the student university enhancement committee and Fisher worked together to build a partnership between Student Government and Student Community Services to kick off adopt a block.

“I was excited,” Lambert said. “I wanted to do community service and I was so nervous at first, but Rachel was awesome.”

Fisher said adopt a block has been going on for a couple of years in different pilot situations that were meant to work out the kinks and figure out what works best.

Adopt a block will consist of two block sets containing a total of seven different areas.

The first block set consists of an area that ranges from Division Street to Fourth Street and from Lincoln Avenue to Grant Avenue and the second block set covers Ninth Street to 12th St. and from Lincoln Avenue to Cleveland Avenue.

Trash bags and gloves will be provided to the students and there are designated areas for students to leave the trash and the city will pick it up.

“I’m looking forward to students being aware of the messes in the community and see people willing to help clean these messes,” Lambert said.

Adopt a block will also incorporate recycling methods by including separate trash bags for recyclable goods and trash, Lambert said.

Fisher said adopt a block is a model of a “communiversity,” which is a collaboration between the students, the community, the institution and the city.

“It’s people willing to make a difference working on our city that we didn’t have last year,” Lambert said.

Currently, there are five RSOs that signed up for adopt a block, which is a total of about 25 to 30 people; however, that number is expected to change, said Fisher.

“We can certainly take more people because we need key players to come join us,” Fisher said. “It doesn’t have to be a large organization, anyone can come and be a part of the project.”

Fisher said adopt a block is not only a great connector between students and community members, but it would give students a better appreciation for the neighborhood.

“This is a reminder that anything we do creates ripples which in the end will create great waves of change,” Fisher said.

The registration deadline will be Friday, Nov. 6th and students can contact the student community service office at (217) 581-3967 or at [email protected] for more information.

Students will also have the opportunity to renew their adoption papers over the summer for the 2016-17 school year.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]