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The Waynesburg University Bonner Scholars will host Empty Bowls Greene County Sunday, April 6, from noon to 3 p.m., at the Greene County Fairgrounds Building 9. Lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $20 and includes a meal, handcrafted bowl and a donation to the Weekend Food Program. Ages 12 and under eat for free, but will not receive a handmade bowl.

Empty Bowls Greene County is a luncheon and fundraiser designed to help fight hunger. Attendants will enjoy soups provided by Dan Wagner, culinary arts instructor at the Greene County Career and Technology Center, and breads provided by Rising Creek Bakery. They will also have the opportunity to select from a variety of hand-crafted ceramic bowls, made by Waynesburg University students and the local Artbeat.

Hand-crafted items by local artisans will be up for bid during a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the Greene County Weekend Food Program. Tickets can be purchased at Artbeat and the Community Foundation of Greene County on High Street.

The event will host guest speaker Donna Dire, a Social Worker from Graysville Elementary School. Dire will share the ways in which she has seen the Weekend Food Program have a direct impact on young children and real life stories from parents and children.

Organizations such as Produce to People, Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, AmeriCorps VISTA and Urban League – SNAP will be in attendance to educate the local community about hunger.

For questions or additional information, please contact Steven Snow at: sno3316@student.waynesburg.edu.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DrGaryCuccia.jpgThe Waynesburg University Bonner Scholars will host a teen dating violence awareness program at Waynesburg Central High School auditorium Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m., and all community members are welcome to attend. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. 

University Bonner Scholars designed the program "Love Is Not..." to raise awareness about the signs of teen dating abuse and ways to address abusive relationships. The program will explain types of dating abuse through skits depicting dating scenarios. 

"Love Is Not..." will also include guest speaker Dr. Gary Cuccia, creator of the Demi Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization. Cuccia will share his personal experiences as a parent of a daughter who was involved in an abusive dating relationship.  

The Demi Brae Organization seeks “to educate our youth, parents, communities and educational system about the dangers of teen dating violence.” For more information about the organization, visit http://www.demibrae.com

Waynesburg Central High School is located at 30 Zimmerman Drive, Waynesburg, Pa. For more information, contact Kimber Blair at bla8078@student.waynesburg.edu or by phone at 724-614-0530.

The Bonner Scholarship prepares students for lives of service by requiring its scholars to perform 140 hours of community service each semester at a local service site of their choice, as well as two summers of service at a non-profit or community-based organization. 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Afterschool Champions are selected based on dedication, commitment and passion for creating and supporting high quality extracurricular activities for the youth in the local community. Sarah Brandstetter, coordinator of the Bonner Scholar Program, has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) as an Afterschool Champion.

“She holds the youth in our area near and dear to her heart,” Dave Calvario, dean of students and director of the Center for Service Leadership, said. “She challenges and plants seeds in the University students she mentors and teaches them to become champions in their own respect.”

Brandstetter, one of ten Afterschool Champions from Pennsylvania, was honored at PSAYDN's annual meeting in Pittsburgh March 7. Due to her incredible dedication to the Bonner Scholars Program, she was not able to attend the ceremony as she served with the Pittsburgh Project March 4 through March 10.

Waynesburg University is proud to have Brandstetter as the coordinator of the University's Bonner Scholars Program.

“We have 60 Bonner Scholars in the program,” Calvario said. “Sarah works closely with them in regard to their hours of service, meetings and reflections they need to attend, how they are doing both academically and personally by meeting with them in the fall and spring.”

Cathie Carpenter, pastor and owner of Kid's Café, an afterschool program for younger children, nominated Brandstetter for the award.

“I felt that Sarah was a strong candidate for the award,” Carpenter said. “She goes above and beyond what is expected of that program. She even teaches a class of students to make sure that we have enough tutors and makes sure there is always a freshman or sophomore working into a leadership role at Kid's Café so that when current leaders graduate, it will be a smooth transition.”

Waynesburg University is proud to be one of only 27 schools nationwide to offer the Bonner Scholars Program. Each student at Waynesburg is driven by a passion to serve the local and global community. Waynesburg University's community service efforts are blessed to be led by Brandstetter, who is truly dedicated to continuing God's work in the Waynesburg community.

PSAYDN promotes sustainable, high-quality out-of-school time youth development programs through advocacy and capacity building to enhance the welfare of Pennsylvania's children, youth and families.

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Maya Angelou once said that “Any book that helps a child form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Without encouragement to read, some children may grow up never knowing the joy of becoming lost in a good book. To foster this growth, the senior Waynesburg University Bonner Scholars recently donated 400 contemporary children's books to the Reading Clinic, an annual spring event hosted by the Department of Education for local children.

To complete the project required by each Bonner Scholar class, students must identify a need in the community by impacting and educating the members. For Leeann Danley, a senior Bonner Scholar and elementary special education major, the need was obvious.

Observing how empty the shelves were in the Reading Clinic, Danley proposed that for their project, the senior Bonner Scholars should raise money and purchase books to contribute to the cause. Her classmates were quick to agree, due to the impact of the donation.

“I was astonished by the response that I received for this project,” Danley said. “So many of the senior Bonners understood the need and took action.”

For several weekends in October and November 2011, the senior Bonner Scholars collected monetary donations from patrons at Walmart and Giant Eagle. As they were collecting the gifts, they were able to tell the community members about the need for a literacy program and the need for the books.

Through their efforts, more than $1,000 was raised. With this money, the group scattered to different libraries and book stores in the area to purchase a variety of books. They attempted to find multiple copies to give to children who participate in the clinic. In total, 400 books were added to the Reading Clinic library.

Dr. Fran Boyd, associate professor of education and director of the Reading Clinic, appreciates the additional books and the continued support of her dream.

“At the clinic, we give the children tutorial skills, but we also teach them to learn to love it,” Boyd said. “In a world of distractions, we want them to pick up a book.”

Each book is marked with a label indicating that it belongs to the Reading Clinic, but an additional insert was included to honor the students that worked diligently to provide for the community. A thank you to the senior Bonner class is visible to all who read the donated books.

Debra Clarke, chair of the department of education, thanked the students profusely for their generous support.

“Their generous donation of many, many new books for the clinic is a wonderful gift and legacy,” Clarke said. “Long after they leave Waynesburg University, children in this community will be reading the books that they have donated. The gifts will help others learn to teach and will help others learn to love to read.”


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As servants for God, we are called to continually give to others. In 1 Peter 4:10, the Bible states “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” At Waynesburg University, students are taught to provide assistance using their specific gifts and talents. Each semester, Community Impact Grants are awarded during Who's Your Neighbor Week to students who want to make a difference in the community. Since the fall of 2009, students have been able to see a need within the local community and apply for a grant to aid their choice of project.

This year, three organizations received a total of $3,000. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Freshman Bonner Scholars and the 2011 Vira Heinz recipients were selected by a committee consisting of university faculty, staff and administration based on the project's value to the community, the project's fundamental short- and long-term impact and its planning and implementation process.

Sarah Brandstetter, Bonner Scholar coordinator and a member of the selection committee, believes that these grants are a blessing to the community and the students through the application of Waynesburg University foundations.

“It is so exciting to see students connect faith, service and learning through civic engagement,” Brandstetter said. “All three organizations have researched our local community to find its needs and have come up with exciting ways to educate and excite the community about these issues.”

Individuals were able to apply for a $500 grant; classes, groups or organizations could apply for a $1,000 grant. Grant recipients are required to complete their project within the current semester and are eligible for one award per school year. Candidates were required to fill out an application that included a budget and a recommendation from a non-family member.

After being reactivated last fall, the Council for Exceptional Children sought to build relationships and a sense of community between local families with students with special needs and University students. The $1,000 grant received will support Activity Day on campus planned for April 21.

Shannon Bartley, junior elementary education major and CEC president, is grateful for the additional funds that will make this day a success.

“We hope this day we have planned not only provides a fun day for the children, but also shows others that people with disabilities are just like everyone else and deserve to be included,” Bartley said.

The University's freshman Bonner class received $1,000 for its Distractions While Driving project. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about the risks of distracted driving through the “Arrive Alive Tour.” The Arrive Alive Tour enables community members to climb into a vehicle and virtually experience distracted driving through a simulator.

Freshman Bonner Scholar and psychology major Kyle Digiandomenico anticipates the positive effects of the simulation.

“We believe if we can save one life by providing individuals with the experiences and information which enables them to rethink their choices, our mission was accomplished,” Digiandomenico said.

The 2011 Vira Heinz recipients received $1,000 for their Mondo Giusto and Garden: Ethical Consumerism and Sustainable Living project. Mondo Giusto will educate the community and campus about practices of fair trade, buying locally and living sustainably. In addition, the Vira Heinz recipients will hold a dedication ceremony for a garden which will serve as a beautiful and sustainable connection between the campus and community.

Megan Peebles, a 2011 recipient and junior interactive design major, hopes their event will showcase the importance of buying locally and cause community members to consider fair trade.


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