Berks students to help clean up Baer Park in Reading on Oct. 14

Baer Park cleanup
Credit: Penn State

READING, Pa. — The Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research at Penn State Berks is partnering with the city of Reading and the Olivet Boys and Girls Club to host a litter reduction and clean up event in Baer Park from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. The Baer Park clean up is the first event in the litter reduction pilot program, an initiative that aims to educate children about the harmful effects of littering in parks and playgrounds and to implement litter-reduction strategies.

Penn State Berks students and members of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club will participate in a one-day litter removal at Baer Park. Volunteers will participate in a “litter scavenger hunt” in which they will learn about different types of litter and be assigned to collect a designated type of trash. The event includes children’s activities, such as face painting, arts and crafts, and pumpkin painting. All tools and supplies will be provided by Penn State Berks and the city of Reading, including pizza, snacks and beverages for those involved in the clean-up.

Laurie Grobman, coordinator of the Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research, believes that student involvement in these types of projects is beneficial for both students and the communities they serve.

“I am excited by the opportunities this partnership with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club and the city of Reading offers for collaboration, cross-cultural communication, and finding new ways to work together to decrease the amount of litter in our parks,” said Grobman. “It's important for our students at Penn State Berks to apply learning in real-world situations, and when doing so can be combined with attending to real-world problems together with individuals and groups they might not otherwise meet, it's a win-win for everyone.”

The Penn State Berks Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research executes partnerships that simultaneously enrich student learning, build on a community’s assets, and contribute to a community's well-being. These instructional strategies enable students to apply new concepts to real-world situations, while working side-by-side with community members.

For the second part of the litter reduction program, Penn State Berks will host an educational event on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Olivet Boys and Girls Club.