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30 Days of Giving

30 Days Of Giving 2017 – Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University-Assisted Community Schools

Binghamton University students play with scrabble pieces at a table.

Binghamton University is on a mission to build the United States’ first county-wide system of university-assisted community schools. This system is designed to bring the resources of universities to bear in supporting children outside of the classroom so they are better equipped for learning inside of the classroom. To bring this vision to fruition, Binghamton University’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Broome County Promise Zone — an initiative spearheaded by Binghamton University, Broome-Tioga BOCES and the Broome County Mental Health Department — partner with six area school districts, connecting them with Binghamton University students, faculty and resources to address needs set forth by teachers and administrations. University students volunteer and intern as tutors and mentors in the classroom, provide lunchtime anti-bullying programs and facilitate after-school programming and family engagement events.

During the 2016–2017 academic year, 345 Binghamton University student volunteers and interns contributed 5,546 hours of service to 120 teachers and 5,225 community members through the Community Schools initiative.

Binghamton University student Miranda Currier in front of TeachForAmerica text sign.

Binghamton University student Miranda Currier.

One of these students was Miranda Currier, a junior majoring in math and economics, who volunteered as a mentor to middle schoolers at Windsor Central School District, a rural community about twenty miles east of Binghamton. In addition to mentoring two students, Currier immersed herself in the local community, volunteering to chaperone school dances and coaching teams in local volleyball and dodgeball tournaments. The benefits she received from the experience were twofold, she says. “It was cool to be so welcomed into an environment that I was a stranger in. And it reinforced that I want to be a teacher, because I had started to doubt it.”

​​​​The Windsor administration was so impressed by Currier that they encouraged her to apply to substitute teach this year, as she finishes out her senior year at Binghamton. “I told her she was not allowed to leave the district without filling out an application,” says Toby Youngs, associate principal at Windsor Middle School, “because one, I think she would be a great substitute teacher, and two, I think it would help her grow in her profession.” After graduation, Currier will move to Tulsa, Okla., to teach high school through the Teach for America program.


30 Days of Giving 2017:

  1. Day 1: Shopping with a Smile
  2. Day 2: Erie Community College Cook-Off for Kidneys
  3. Day 3: Stony Brook Medicine Helps in Puerto Rico
  4. Day 4: A Day of Service at Onondaga CC
  5. Day 5: New Paltz Students Make a Difference
  6. Day 6: Buffalo State College Dares to Care
  7. Day 7: Niagara County CC Students Lend A Hand for Thanksgiving
  8. Day 8: Old Westbury Helps Haiti
  9. Day 9: A Day of Service at SUNY Potsdam
  10. Day 10: Helping Animals at Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Day 11: FIT Students Help the Homeless
  12. Day 12: Morrisville Athletes Go Local For Service
  13. Day 13: SUNY Poly Gives Back Throughout the Region
  14. Day 14: SUNY Oswego Honors Those Battling Ovarian Cancer
  15. Day 15: Brockport Students Volunteer at Thanksgiving
  16. Day 16: SUNY ESF Sends Acorns to Action
  17. Day 17: Doors Open at the Columbia-Greene Community College Giving Closet
  18. Day 18: Monroe Community College Helps Walk for Water
  19. Day 19: SUNY Cortland Supports Crop Hunger Walk
  20. Day 20: Making Music at Farmingdale State to Help the Hungry
  21. Day 21: Increasing Food Security at Dutchess Community College
  22. Day 22: Addressing Food Insecurity On and Around SUNY Geneseo
  23. Day 23: Westchester Community College Plays the UnHunger Games
  24. Day 24: Binghamton University Builds University Assisted Community Schools
  25. Day 25: Mohawk Valley Community College Gives Back To Their Community
  26. Day 26: SUNY Oneonta Students Help Area Children Learn
  27. Day 27: Rockland Community College Comes Together to Aid Puerto Rico
  28. Day 28: Empire State College Donates to Caribbean Relief
  29. Day 29: Schenectady County Community College Students Provide Support to Foster Families
  30. Day 30: Raising Guiding Eyes at SUNY Delhi
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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.




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