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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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S2S: Connecting you to Arcadia Volunteer Corps



Often times when people think of volunteering in the Arcadia community here in Spartanburg, they automatically associate it with taking the Spanish 303 course in the modern languages department or having to have some ability to speak the Spanish language in order to volunteer. But fear not; don’t worry about having to either frantically enroll in the 300-level course next fall or brushing up on your Spanish in order to serve. Take part in volunteering with the Arcadia Volunteer Corps (AVC), a Wofford service organization geared toward helping in the Arcadia community, just down the street from campus. I sat down with volunteer coordinator – sophomore Rebecca McGregor – to talk more about Arcadia Volunteer Corps and what impact the organization has on the greater community of Spartanburg.

Could you give us a little background as to what AVC is and what you all do in regards to service?

AVC stands for Arcadia Volunteer Corps, which is an organization that coordinates all of the volunteering in the Arcadia community. Arcadia is about 10-15 minutes from Wofford, and it’s an area within Spartanburg that is very under privileged. We focus in the area around Arcadia Elementary School where over 90 percent of students are on free or reduced lunch. A lot of our volunteering is either in Arcadia Elementary or in ARCH, which is a first grade after school program located down the street from the elementary school. The kids go to ARCH after school where they have a snack, go outside, do homework and come back for dinner then leave to go home. We are doing work there where we are spending time with the kids, working on their reading skills and tutoring them in other subjects.

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How long have you been involved with AVC?

My first semester of freshman year, I was in Spanish 303, a course that required a service-learning component. We were talking about the Hispanic community, so we spent time either at Arcadia Elementary School or ARCH, the first grade after-school program down the street. I fell in love with the kids at ARCH pretty quickly, and I continued volunteering there after the course was over. After that, I found out about Arcadia Volunteer Corps, which was started about three years ago by Wofford students Laura Kate Gamble and Lindsey Perret. I joined the leadership team because it gave me a way to help others connect to the Arcadia community, and I now serve as the Membership Coordinator.

What upcoming projects do you all have planned?

We just had a Wofford and Me event where we partnered with Alpha Phi Omega during their rush week. During Wofford and Me, the 40 ARCH kids come to Wofford and we have different activities around campus and remind them that college (specifically “Waffle College” as they call it) is something to which they can aspire. We are having a party at ARCH on March 27 where we will go to ARCH and have games and crafts around a theme. In addition, we are developing a new program now called Nutrition Now where we will fund and prepare healthy dinner for the kids at ARCH.

Do you have to know or understand the Spanish language to participate in AVC

Absolutely not! This is a huge misconception because of our link to the Spanish department, but you do not have to speak Spanish. All of the children know English and will speak to you in English.

If you could describe AVC in one word, what would that be and why?

Dedication. AVC volunteers give up several hours of their afternoons to go work with low-income children who need academic assistance, but also simple love and support. We always have students who jump in whenever we need someone to lead a game or craft or help cook dinner at the last minute. In the hectic life of college, it means a lot that these students are willing to give up their time to serve others.

Do you all take volunteers on a rolling basis during the semester or do you have to wait until the fall to serve?

We take volunteers whenever volunteers come to us. We will have our first AVC meeting of the semester on March 8 at 6 p.m. so anyone is welcome to come if they are interested in finding out more. We have people that go into the community every day and would love to provide a ride if you need one!

If you have any questions about Arcadia Volunteer Corps, feel free to reach out to Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca McGregor via email, [email protected].

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    Arcadia landJan 12, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I like it ok