Peacocks for Progress honored for distinguished community service
FAYETTE, Iowa (February 15, 2008) - The Corporation for National and Community Service named Upper Iowa University to the 2007 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.
"Upper Iowa University is committed to civic engagement, service learning and community involvement," said UIU President Dr. Alan Walker. "We recognize there is a close symbiotic relationship between the University and our surrounding area." Walker added, "Everywhere you look across this fine institution, you can find many examples of faculty, staff and students making significant contributions in service to others outside the institution. It is simply part of the culture at UIU."
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
Upper Iowa University was recognized for its service organization known as Peacocks for Progress. It was developed by Daryl Grove, director of UIU's Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) in 2004 in response to student interest in making Fayette a better place to go to school and live. Residents can actually call in requests for assistance to Grove's office, such as yard cleanup, trash removal, mowing, or larger projects that improve the community as a whole, and students respond by helping out.
Peacocks for Progress's mission is to unite the Fayette and UIU communities by working together for a common interest in order to create an amicable, safe, and beautiful living environment. It also gives students the opportunity to fulfill community service requirements. All organizations on UIU's campus require members to perform a minimum of 10 hours of community service each year. These hours can be satisfied by participation in a single activity or a combination of approved activities; as a result, many choose Peacocks for Progress.
Other projects sponsored by Upper Iowa's OSLA are the annual Fayette Appreciation Day (that resulted in 17 community projects in a single day in 2007), or by electing to go on the annual Alternative Spring Break service trip.
In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, "Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country."
"There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded," said American Council on Education President David Ward. "Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor."
The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The complete list of honorees is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.