The Office of Community Engagement
If you are interested in participating in ANY opportunities, please contact
Eveily Freeman email@example.com or
Beth Halpern at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-665-3657
Please click on programs that interest you for more information.
Students facilitate and create groups to reinforce conversational English skills that adults in local communities would like to enhance
As part of a national program aimed at improving reading amongst kindergarten through 3rd grade, Muhlenberg students collaborate with teachers to reinforce literacy lessons. Small group and one on one time allows for Berg students to integrate into the classroom throughout the course of the semester in this 2 hour/week minimum program.
Art Day takes place every week rotating between Cleveland and Roosevelt Elementary Schools. Muhlenberg volunteers work with elementary students to create a variety of different art pieces focusing on different techniques or artists each visit. From pointillism to Van Gogh, the kids and students love working together to create masterpieces.
The Caring Place is an after school youth development program where Berg students create 2 lessons per week for middle and elementary school kids respectively. Volunteers coordinate art projects, science experiments, writing activities and more with the kids as they learn from one another.
Casa Guadalupe is a community center in the 1st Ward of Allentown that has worked with primarily Latino residents since 1969. Students work with the Pa’Lante Education program 3 days a week and in multiple ways. Students also oversee conversation groups with adults who have interest in learning English.
Muhlenberg students have volunteered both through the drop-in after-school program time at Bike Works and as volunteers through the Earn-A-Bike program. Contrary to what the name might imply, you don’t need to know about bicycles to volunteer at Bike Works!
Daybreak is a drop-in program for adults who are in treatment for mental health concerns, experiencing homelessness or have HIV/AIDS. Students form supportive relationships with Daybreak members and are able to learn from one another.
Frisbee Fridays @ Roosevelt
Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
Students create relationships with patients who have terminal illnesses and their families. They spend time reading, talking and playing games with patients.
Berg students connect with kids at Jefferson to engage in a variety of different activities within the arts. Music, theatre, dance, visual arts and craft activities round out the experience as students form connections with the kids.
Muhlenberg students assist with food sorting and distribution at the pantry housed within the school.
Berg students engage elementary school kids in theatre games and techniques through this after-school program.
Students of the month from Jefferson Elementary visit the campus to celebrate achieving their goals and support the school’s mission of “Dream, Believe, Achieve.” New in 2015-2016, 4th graders are also coming to experience a science experience at the College and 5th graders will come to learn more about the circus.
Manito Horse Farm
Focused on decreasing the impact of bullying, this program connects people who identify as female in ways that support one another.
The Pen Pal Program is a partnership between Muhlenberg College multiple area schools. The program pairs Muhlenberg college students with a student from each participating elementary and/or middle schools to be pen pals for the academic year. One letter is written and received each month, with the hopes of promoting literacy, encouraging proper grammar and letter writing etiquette. In addition, Muhlenberg pen pals are asked to promote higher education opportunities to their pen pals by writing about their college experiences and serving as a positive role model.
The Second Mile challenges young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing opportunities for them to develop positive life skills and self-esteem as well as by providing education and support for parents and professionals addressing the needs of youth. Muhlenberg collaborates with Cedar Crest College in sponsoring a Second Mile College Friend Program. The College Friend program is designed to provide a context for school-aged youth to consistently engage and connect with positive adult role models. More specifically, this early intervention program pairs "College Friends," collegiate volunteers recruited by The Second Mile, with "Young Friends," K-6th grade students in need of additional support, to participate together in recreational and educational events. To promote the development of healthy self-esteem and personal responsibility, College Friend and Young Friend pairs work together on goals targeting academic and social success, with the Young Friends submitting documentation (i.e., report cards; information from parents, teachers, counselors, or the College Friends themselves; certificates) to verify their progress toward achieving such goals at year-end. As well as volunteering as friends, Muhlenberg student leaders organize the events and recruit fellow volunteers; one leader has consistently been from the football team.
Students connect with kids 3 days a week through this program focused on the importance of physical fitness and nutrition. Collaborative games encourage teamwork and support amongst the kids and Muhlenberg students.
Through the collaboration of dedication student volunteers and the Health Bureau staff, Shape It Up expanded to an on-school site in the fall of 2010. Shape It Up! At Jefferson Elementary brings this energy packed, non-competitive curriculum to school allowing increased program access to younger students. Shape It Up! at Jefferson works with approximately 30, 3rd-5th graders each semester.
Student volunteers at The Sanctuary connect with cats and dogs who are looking for new homes. Cleaning, walking animals, and playing create a beneficial experience for all.
The following clubs are recognized independent organizations that work in collaboration with the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement.
Adopt-a-Grandparent Engages students and elders in inter-generational dialogue through interactive social events and continued conversation.
Berg Votes register students to vote, engage in the electoral process, host issue-based forums and more!
Adopt-a-Grandparent is an interactive group that brings together Muhlenberg students and residents of the local Phoebe Home. Students are paired up with a "grandparent" from the Phoebe Home and are encouraged to spend time together, getting to know one another. There are fun organized group activities that volunteers can attend with their grandparent and are additionally encouraged to spend 2 - 3 hours with their grandparent a month, doing things like playing cards, board games, knitting, reading, chatting, anything of common interest. In the past, we have had ice cream socials, student performers, movie and popcorn event, and a trip to the zoo with our grandparents. The club is a great way to meet other Muhlenberg students and have fun while getting to know local Allentown residents!
Enhances the lives of people with developmental disabilities through one-on-one friendships with college students.
Best Buddies is an international organization that pairs people with and without intellectual disabilities in one-on-one friendships. The colleges program pairs college students in friendships with people in the local community who are referred by the ARC. Our campus chapter is large (50 members) and involves the most students of any campus in the Lehigh Valley. The chapter hosts around 4 events per semester for the buddy pairs, and the pairs are expected to call one another every week and see each other 2 times a month.
Colleges Against Cancer
Seeks to increase community cancer awareness while fundraising and participating in advocacy work including the organization of an on campus Relay for Life
One of the most active and robust organizations on campus, Colleges Against Cancer at Muhlenberg has received national recognition for their activities. Each month they are charged with hosting 4 different types of activities related to survivorship, awareness, fundraising and advocacy. The scope of these activities differs depending upon the month and the motivation of the group's members, but the group is able to come together regularly to work on issues related to cancer. The culminating Relay for Life at the end of the spring semester brings together a huge amount of campus clubs and organizations and has historically risen over $50,000.
Muhlenberg students collect gently used formal wear from the Muhlenberg community and other venues. They raise funds to purchase accessories such as jewelry and shoes and host an event in the spring for young women in the community to come and select a dress. This event provides dresses and accessories so that young women in the community can attend formal dances such as prom and reduces waste from throwing out unwanted dresses. The event takes place at William Allen High School, right here in Allentown, PA.
Habitat for Humanity
Seeks to eliminate homelessness and substandard housing through affordable homeownership
These events & programs are sponsored through the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement. They are annual events which mobilize large groups of student volunteers.
These regular events bring local elementary school students on to campus for a day in the life of a college student. Children learn about sports, library resources, science activities and the arts throughout their Friday at Muhlenberg. Student volunteers serve as classroom leaders, event planners and station workers.
Pinebrook Family Answers/Diakon Winter Spectacular
This event is held once a semester. Students from all the after-school programs with which we partner come to campus!
Kids who participate in Muhlenberg partnership activities come to the College to engage with the Berg students they know in a different space.
Miller Keystone Blood Center
Each year we host 2 campus blood drives, receiving 100-140 donors each.
Jefferson Field Day
Jefferson Elementary School comes to Muhlenberg to participate in games and activities.
Muhlenberg College partnered with Allentown's Jefferson Elementary School in 1990 to encourage the academic persistence and achievement of Jefferson students and enhance the education of Muhlenberg students. The partnership extends from teachers, students and parents at Jefferson to Muhlenberg faculty, staff and students. The relationship between Jefferson and Muhlenberg familiarized the elementary students with a college campus early in life and according to Jefferson administrators has increased student attendance and performance. The partnership has come to include a variety of programs and events throughout the academic year, and the programs continue to develop based on needs and interests, one of these programs in Jefferson Field Day.
Every spring over 600 Jefferson students travel to Muhlenberg for their annual Field Day. Each class of Jefferson kids rotates through 8 different stations where Muhlenberg students run physical fitness activities and get to know the children. Field Day is a favorite day of the year for both Muhlenberg and Jefferson students. As one third grader states: "I want to go to Muhlenberg when I grow up."
The basketball team visits Jefferson Elementary in early January to read to the first graders and reinforce lessons in the stories.
A committee of students plans a day of raising awareness about various mental health issues including depression. They raise money for local mental health agencies, pass out information throughout the day, and organize an evening event. Usually the event features a mental health professional and a student who has dealt with mental health issues.
In 1972, students at Villanova University in Pennsylvania recognized the power of education and held the first Hunger Week. This week of coordinated activities has since become the most widely organized hunger and homelessness event on campuses nationwide. Co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and held the week prior to Thanksgiving, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week consists of a series of events designed to educate the campus community, increase community service, and build campus and community coalitions. More than 500 campuses and communities participate during this week each year by organizing educational programs, fasts and sleep outs, community service events, letter-writing campaigns, and congressional call-in days. A committee of Muhlenberg students forms at the beginning of the fall semester and plans events for the week. The events vary from year to year, but have included Faces of Homelessness Panels, Oxfam Hunger Banquets, food drives, volunteer events at local community kitchens, and days of community action.
Intensive Engagement Opportunities
The following are community engagement opportunities facilitated by the Office of Community Engagement and intentionally designed to engage students with reflection of what service means to them, its impacts and its challenges.
Funded by the Trexler Trust and Air Products, the community internship program allows students to work in paid internships with local community non-profit organizations and schools. In the spring semester, students can apply for a 120 hour internship and receive a stipend of $1000 while in the summer the requirement is 350 hours for $2600. Community partner organizations apply to host students as interns, and students apply to those internships they feel best fit their skills and interests. The Career Center accepts student applications through the Berg Career Vault
“Connect with Communities” occurs 3-4 days prior to the official orientation program for first year students. This trip allows students to get to know their new home in Allentown Pennsylvania and exposes them to the various community organizations with which they might want to connect in their time at Berg.
The program is structured to provide student participants a community leadership experience that expands upon their current involvement and allows them to create deeper engagement opportunities for other students. Student participants in Civic Fellows will each work with a community-based organization on a weekly basis. Civic Fellows will also participate in a weekly non-credit course that encourages them to think critically about community engagement, engage with other student leaders and gain skills needed to work effectively in community.
The Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement at Muhlenberg College is excited to announce the second year of the Summer Service Fellows Program*. This program matches interested students to work with community organizations in Allentown during the summer months (May-August).
Each spring the Office receives phone calls from community partners interested in student participation over the summer. However, most students need to work over the summer in order to pay for their education or related college costs during the school year. In an effort to bridge this gap in service and student involvement, the Office has procured funds to provide a monetary stipend ($2,600) and housing for students matched with participating organizations.
*A congressionally-directed grant allows us to offer the program this year. However, this does not necessarily mean that the program is endorsed by the Federal Government.
Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania is an AmeriCorps Education Award Only program (Ed Award). This means that participating students enroll as AmeriCorps members on a part-time basis and receive a partial Education Award at the end of their term. Students who apply and are accepted to the Muhlenberg program will enroll as "minimum-time" members making a commitment to complete 300 hours of service in one year from August to August. Students who complete 300 hours of service during their one year term can earn a $1,132 education award. The award can be used to pay for any legitimate educational expense at your current undergraduate institution or to pay for future educational expenses, as well as to re-pay student loans. Currently, only two AmeriCorps educational awards may be earned be any individual participant.
*A congressionally-directed grant allows us to offer the program this year. However, this does not necessarily mean that the program is endorsed by the Federal Government.
Scholars in Service to PA at Muhlenberg College will be encouraged to partner with a primary non-profit organization/agency in hopes that student Scholars will have the opportunity to get a feel for the diversity and complexity of the site's work. The chosen Scholars will also participate in bi-weekly (sometimes monthly) group discussions and training sessions focused on the impacts of volunteerism and social justice issues more broadly. All training hours are reported as part of the 300 hour goal.
*Funding for this program is distributed and managed by PHENND. Program support is conditional and subject to change.
Service Council is facilitated by the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement and meets monthly to bring together student leaders from all community-based and social justice oriented groups on campus to share ideas, collaborate and become more aware of what is happening on campus and in the community. This group seeks to involve all of the student clubs, student-lead weekly programs, monthly programs and other clubs/organizations mentioned on this site. The council also included those groups the Office does not advise but which relate directly to our office mission and goals including: EnAct, College Republicans, College Democrats, Alpha Phi Omega, RRNOLA and Cystic Fibrosis on Campus, etc.
Students come together for a weekend of reflection and deep engagement with the work of social justice grounded in dialogue. AJAL is intended to encourage intentional conversations across, amongst and about communities of difference here at Muhlenberg College, in Allentown and in your future communities. The program mobilizes dialogue as a catalyst for reflection and a method of change movements. The conversations which are central to the program can bring up difficult questions about an individual’s personal identity, biases and stereotypes, as well as, delve into controversial topics and theme
The Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement oversees a significant number of work-study students each year. In any given semester we might have between 20 and 30 students employed through our office working in a variety of capacities. Work-study students all have to select 1-2 community-based organizations with which they want to work on a weekly basis. Students also select various projects/programs run through our office on which they would like to work and participate as part of planning committees and leadership teams for these programs. Work-study students also assist with office duties as assigned.
If you are interested in joining our student staff please contact Eveily Freeman (email@example.com) x3369. Hiring takes place at the start of each academic year. Applicants must be eligible to receive work study funds to be considered for the position.