Office of Service-Learning
& Volunteer Programs

West Chester University

Office Location: B 19 Killinger Hall
Mailing Address: 238 Sykes Union
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-3379

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Break is the perfect answer to, “what are you doing over Spring Break?” This program is geared towards students interested in making a difference in their community through meaningful volunteer work. The trips are organized by student leaders and usually focus around one specific social problem. Participants spend the week doing hands on volunteer work, traveling somewhere new, and making a difference.

Trip Leaders Wanted!

The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs and the Alternative Break Organization is currently seeking Trip Leaders for the 2014-2015 academic year. Alternative Break Trip Leaders will work with staff/ faculty/ and the Alternative Break Organization to coordinate logistics and help recruit students to participate in Alternative Breaks. Major Trip Leader responsibilities include:Promote Alternative Break Trips and the Alternative Breaks Program; assist in the recruitment and coordination of trip participants; expand upon your active citizenship and awareness of world issues; work closely and in partnership with the trip’s service site on all aspects of the trip; assist in the development and implementation of fundraising efforts; coordinate logistics for the trip’s daily schedule and attend trip; facilitate meetings and group reflections for trip participants; attend the Break Away Retreat fall semester; attend regular workshops, meetings, and trainings led by the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs; other tasks as assigned by your trip’s learning partner (faculty/staff support). To Apply: Go to the Trip Leader Application. Applications are due Wednesday, April 16, 2014. For more information, contact Jamie Williams.

New Alternative Break Organization

Currently a new Alternative Break Organization is forming on campus! An Executive Board of students, sophomores through seniors, have been meeting to create by-laws, coordinate the club logistics, and discuss the programs and services offered to the campus communty. The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs is the current home for Alternative Breaks, but we are excited about the program becoming student run and staff supported. For more information or to become a club member of the new Alternative Break Organization contact Mark Fala or Meghan Cox or call the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs at (610) 436-3379.

2014 Spring Break Trips

Trip 1: A Seed On Diamond: Reimagining a Vibrant City: Painting, Planting, and Participation

Roll up your sleeves for artwork preparation, mural painting, and neighborhood beautification. Join us for a cross-cultural experience in “Latino Philly,” with bilingual Spanish-English artists and community residents. Learn about the Porch Light Initiative of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Semilla Arts Initiative, whose purpose is to promote health and wellbeing across Philadelphia by bringing together the powerful forces of public, community, and health resources. Mural Arts believes deeply in the power of public art and its role in healing, resilience, and wellness ( Living Accommodations/ Travel: Students will be staying at Betsy Casañas’ home and gallery -  Diamond St., Norris Square, Philadelphia PA (near Fishtown and Northern Liberties). Hostel Style - communal sleeping spaces and shared bathrooms. Vans and a driver will be provided. For more information, contact the Trip Leader, Meghan Cox.

Trip 2: Exploring Issues of Affordable Housing in Pendleton County, West Virginia

Participants will be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge. Habitat for Humanity aims to alleviate poverty by assisting families to build affordable homes. West Chester University students will be building and repairing homes for families dealing with issues of poverty in a rural setting. Pendelton County is 3 hours from Washington DC and right in the heart of Appalachia. This Habitat for Humanity Chapter has built over 120 new homes and has performed over 500 repairs for families in need. Participants will be learning carpentry skills, while also learning about issues of affordable housing and generational poverty. Living Accommodations/ Travel:Our group will be staying in the Volunteer Center provided by Habitat for Humanity's affiliate organization, and we will have access to a kitchen to make group meals.The group will be taking WCU vans and drivers will be provided. For more information, contact the Trip Leaders, Mark Fala or Olivia Martin.

For more information about Alternative Breaks contact Jamie Williams or call the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs at (610) 436-3379.