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Class of 2010 builds community at annual CityDays festival

Freshman Jeff Xing of Maryland chops through weeds growing along the banks of the Charles River as part of the City Days volunteer effort on Sept. 1. Many freshmen, assisted by some upperclassmen, did a variety of projects including carpentry jobs, landscaping, pruning,  gardening and putting together welcome baskets for newborns.
Caption:
Freshman Jeff Xing of Maryland chops through weeds growing along the banks of the Charles River as part of the City Days volunteer effort on Sept. 1. Many freshmen, assisted by some upperclassmen, did a variety of projects including carpentry jobs, landscaping, pruning, gardening and putting together welcome baskets for newborns.
Credits:
Photo / Donna Coveney
Freshman Geoffrey Thomas of Louisiana mounts a shelf at a local preschool along with fellow freshman Justine Li (right) of Baltimore, Md., during the City Days volunteer effort.
Caption:
Freshman Geoffrey Thomas of Louisiana mounts a shelf at a local preschool along with fellow freshman Justine Li (right) of Baltimore, Md., during the City Days volunteer effort.
Credits:
Photo / Donna Coveney
Freshman Tish Scolnik of Katonah, N.Y., scrubs a jungle gym as part of the City Days playground clean-up effort at the Cambridgeport Children's Center in Cambridge.
Caption:
Freshman Tish Scolnik of Katonah, N.Y., scrubs a jungle gym as part of the City Days playground clean-up effort at the Cambridgeport Children's Center in Cambridge.
Credits:
Photo / Donna Coveney
Students work together to prune the weeds along the Charles River near the B.U. Bridge during the annual City Days volunteer effort on Sept. 1.  This year, more than 700 freshmen participated.
Caption:
Students work together to prune the weeds along the Charles River near the B.U. Bridge during the annual City Days volunteer effort on Sept. 1. This year, more than 700 freshmen participated.
Credits:
Photo / Donna Coveney

More than 700 freshmen volunteered at dozens of community agencies in the Cambridge and Boston area on Sept. 1 as part of the 15th annual campus-wide CityDays Festival sponsored by the MIT Public Service Center.

"Traditionally, this event kicks off the school year at MIT," said Heather Trickett, volunteer and outreach coordinator in the Public Service Center (PSC). "It is a great opportunity for students to 'give back' while learning about the community beyond campus."

Some of this year's service projects include carpentry work at a local children's center, landscaping at the Stone Zoo, yard work at a senior center, making sleeping bags and blankets for a homeless shelter, trail maintenance for the Boston Parks Department, and assisting with a pre-school graduation.

"CityDays provides service agencies with volunteers and with the opportunity to inform participating students about issues facing the community at large," said Trickett. "With the energy, creativity and determination of the student volunteers, tasks of all sizes can be accomplished. Organizations and students have the chance to establish strong initial bonds leading to future service commitments."

CityDays 2006 was coordinated by Daniel Mokrauer-Madden, a junior in mathematics.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 2006 (download PDF).

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