The South End Teen Center volunteer program got off to a great start this fall!

In October we partnered with the Colby-Waterville Alliance for our biannual “Kids on the Hill” event. A group of teens and two of the wonderful teen center staff drove up to Colby campus for an afternoon of fun and food. The teens divided up into teams and set off to complete a scavenger hunt that involved tasks such as making new friends in Pulver, finding a favorite piece of art in the museum, and finding a book on Colby history in Miller Library. At the end of the afternoon we all came back together to tally points and head over to Dana for some dinner. Endless pizza and ice cream was, as always, a huge hit!

As for what’s going on at the Teen Center itself, this fall we have excitedly welcomed two new volunteers, Jemarley McFarlane and Courtney Erskin, who have generously donated their time to help bring back a weekly boys group meeting. Each week, Courtney and Jemarley meet with a group of teens to talk about difficult topics that young men face in today’s society.

Another upcoming project is in the works with Colby’s Quilting Club. Following Thanksgiving, the teens will be working on a quilt with members of the Quilting Club. The teens will also be learning how to knit hats and scarves. The finished products will all be donated to help keep those in need warm during the winter months.

 


“Woodsmen would never say no to an opportunity to help…,” says Travis Gomez-Phillips.  A few weeks ago, Travis along with 3 other members of the Colby Woodsmen Team helped out a local Waterville resident named Deb by chopping a little over a chord of wood for her.  After working for around four hours, the four of them ate lunch with Deb.  We, in the CVC, wanted to thank all four of them for their help in the community.  We really appreciate it and we know Deb does too.


We have a great opportunity this week for you: gift wrapping at the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers in Waterville. We set aside two days, Thursday and Friday from 9am-12pm, so please sign up using this FORM if you can volunteer. You can indicate on the form what times you are able to help out if you cannot do the entire 3 hours. Thanks!


Best Buddies was full of events this October:

1. We had our monthly dinner in the Fairchild Room of Dana. Everybody enjoyed delicious pizza, pasta, burgers, french fries, and of course dessert.

2. We learned a lot about reptiles from Quarry Road expert John. He passed around the alligator head as he talked about his passion for reptiles. There was a great turnout of over 20 people in Lovejoy. Thank you to everyone who came to John’s reptile talk.

3. After piling the pumpkins into one car, we all headed down to Quarry Road to carve pumpkins with our Best Buddies. We carried our pumpkins to the facility’s common room and set them down and started carving. There were scary, funny, and delicately designed pumpkins. Everybody had a lot of fun!

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That’s it for October!


Educare Language Mentors is finally up and running! We have four mentors each working in different classrooms for a few hours every week. Some mentors play games with the children and find ways to integrate Spanish vocabulary into their conversations. While another mentor has worked to transform their classroom into the perfect setting to foster bilingual growth. The kids have been very receptive, and love the presence of a new face in the classroom. One of the teachers had laid out a foundation for the use of both Spanish and English in the classroom with the translation of a classic children’s song, “What’s the Weather?” So far, the goal has not been to single out the children who’s family members speak another language, but it has been to make all of the children in the classroom comfortable with the presence and use of a new language. We look forward to watching the progress of the classrooms and the development of the childrens’ language skills.

We are still looking for a mentor who speaks Mandarin to help out in a classroom! If anyone is interested, please contact Caitlin Sperzel at csperzel@colby.edu.

 


We are looking for someone to apply to be a CVC assistant director.  To access more information and the application, click here to visit the CVC’s hiring page.  Completed applications and resumes should be sent to the CVC (cvc@colby.edu) by Thursday, November 15. As always, if you have any questions feel free to email us at cvc@colby.edu.


By joining Paw Pals, you’ll have a chance to play with, walk, and snuggle with adorable animals like these ones at the Waterville Humane Society.  Volunteers from Colby can drive to the Humane Society any time they want for as long as they want and help out by socializing with the cats, walking the dogs, and cleaning the cages.  Volunteers also help out at influential events like spay and neuter clinics.  We as a team are currently brainstorming fundraising ideas to support the purchase of more comfortable beds for the dogs.  If you are a volunteer and have an idea, throw them at us!  If you’re not a volunteer, join us!  All students are welcome, so if you’d like to help these cuties live a better life or if you just miss your pet at home, join Paw Pals!

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The Colby Volunteer Center’s Hospice Volunteers of the Waterville Area (HVWA) program has really gotten up and running this semester. HVWA offers bereavement support to those in their final stages of life and grief support to those who have lost a loved one.  The partnership between the CVC and HVWA began last spring, and this semester, we have recruited eight new trainees for groups and direct care – this doubles the number of Colby volunteers at HVWA at present. This is a great accomplishment, and we are enthusiastic about Colby’s interest in these programs – be it through the eight new people who are now certified hospice volunteers, or through the twenty people interested in volunteering for HVWA in some way.

Hope’s Place, which runs support groups for grieving children, started up its eight-week fall session in late September, and now we are in the final two weeks of the session. This semester, we have five Colby facilitators working with eight members of the Waterville community running Hope’s Place. Hope’s Place’s next session will begin the first week of JanPlan. People are also volunteering weekly for the hospice direct care program.

We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be hosting a fundraiser for HVWA the week after Thanksgiving! HVWA puts all of its money directly towards helping those who need it, and as a result they are in dire need of many supplies for their organization as well as gas money and help paying their electric bill. We will be selling Colby Christmas ornaments the week after Thanksgiving to raise money for HVWA, and we are aiming to get monetary donations as well to help them through this holiday season. We are looking for volunteers to help us with preparation and tabling, so please contact either Priscilla McCelvey or Peggy Meyer if you are interested in helping!


This year’s Colby-lead Hardy Girls groups are finally off to a strong start! We have been working hard with Jackie Dupont, of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, to match co-facilitators (we call them “muses”) with different schools and age groups (from 4th-8th grade) throughout the greater Waterville area and beyond. Most of our muses have gone to two or three meetings with these groups so far. We loosely follow a curriculum that teaches media literacy, activism, and leadership development skills though discussion and activities. We have 20 groups, more than ever before, so it is looking to be a promising and busy year!

On October 27th, Hardy Girls Healthy Women held their annual fundraiser, the Freaky 5K! There was great turn-out, and the race itself was quite fun. This event is not directly connected to the Colby muses; however, we did help out by tabling to get sign-ups and participating in the race ourselves!

Throughout the semester, we hold check-in meetings for our muses. On November 5th, we held a continuing education style meeting where we discussed difficult situations that muses might encounter in group. We invited CCAK mentors with female mentees to join us because the information could be helpful to them too. We had a great turn out and was able to share some helpful ideas!