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Calvin's president to join more than 1,000 students for 20th annual StreetFest


Contact: Service-Learning Center


On Thursday, August 30, about 1,080 first-year and transfer students will be participating in the 20th-annual StreetFest program, a service-learning opportunity that introduces students to a commitment to service and learning that is central to a Calvin education.
"In welcoming students, to send them out the first day into the city gives them a context to this place," said Anna Casto, a student organizer for StreetFest. "It gives students a vision of where they are in the context of a larger community."
This year, students will be doing service-learning projects from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 70 sites throughout the greater Grand Rapids area--everything from cleaning up graffiti to weeding in community gardens to disassembling computers for recycling purposes.
One of the organizations that students will be serving and learning at is Cook Library Center. Cook is one of 11 partnerships maintained by Calvin residence halls with local organizations. During the academic year, students from Boer-Bennink residence hall visit the library twice a week, helping with homework and hanging out with the kids who represent grades Kindergarten through college.
President Michael Le Roy and his wife Andrea will be joining students on Thursday to learn about Cook Library Center and then to help wash windows, organize bookshelves and cleanup trash in the neighborhood. Following the service projects each group will have a time for reflection.
Casto chose the theme for this year's StreetFest to be 'Discover: Respond' (James 1:19, 23-24). She's hoping that students will use this opportunity as a starting point of discovery into the city and they will continue to nurture a healthy engagement with the community as they study at Calvin.
"We discover something through looking in the mirror and reflecting on experiences in life and in service-learning," said Casto. "The response follows from the discovery. We discover, reflect on it, respond, and that happens again and again throughout life."
For more information on StreetFest, contact the Service-Learning Center at 616-526-6455.

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