Elementary school students playing at Muhlenberg

If you are interested in participating in any opportunities, please contact Eveily Freeman efreeman@muhlenberg.edu or
Beth Halpern at bhalpern@muhlenberg.edu or call 484-665-3657.

Interested in volunteering? Check out the days and times of the weekly programs on the Spring 2020 Weekly Program Grid. Programs are weekly unless otherwise noted.

Community Access 


Adult ELL Conversation Groups (South Mountain, St. Luke’s)

Students facilitate and create groups to reinforce conversational English skills that adults in local communities would like to enhance


Community Bike Works

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!


 

Education Access 


America Reads (Jefferson, Roosevelt & Cleveland Elementary Schools)

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 groups and one-on-one time allow for Muhlenberg students to integrate into the classroom throughout the course of the semester in this two-hour/week minimum program.


Casa Guadalupe

Casa Guadalupe is a community center in the 1st Ward of Allentown that has worked with primarily Latinx residents since 1969. Students work with the Pa’Lante Education program two days a week and in multiple ways. 


Jefferson Visits

Students from each grade level visit the College for different, focused, lessons. Second grade does a literacy visit, third grade does College Connect, fourth grade does a science visit and fifth grade does a circus visit. 


JCC of the Lehigh Valley- Early Childhood Education

Work with teachers and kids from pre-toddler (approx one year) to preschool.


Bow Tie Club (men of color preferred)

Pairs Muhlenberg students who identify as men with children at Roosevelt Elementary school who identify as boys in a mentoring program intended to build supportive relationships to support children's success.


 

Arts Access 


Art Day at Cleveland & Roosevelt Elementary Schools

Art Day takes place every week rotating between Roosevelt (Fall semester) and Cleveland (Spring semester) Elementary Schools. Muhlenberg volunteers work with elementary students to create a variety of different art pieces focusing on different techniques and artists from around the globe each visit. From pointillism to Van Gogh, the kids and students love working together to create masterpieces.


Jefferson Theatre Arts

Berg students engage elementary school kids in theatre games and techniques through this after-school program.


Jefferson Mixed Media Arts

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.


 

Healthy Communities 


Daybreak

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.


Shape it Up! (Jefferson & Cleveland Elementary Schools)

Students connect with kids through this program focused on the importance of physical fitness and nutrition. Collaborative games encourage teamwork and support amongst the kids and Muhlenberg students.


The Sanctuary

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.


Yo-Ga Moves

Connect with elementary school students at Jefferson through a fusion of action-packed aerobic dance (think Zumba) and calming, centering yoga.


Manito Horse Farm

Support both the traditional and therapeutic riding school by assisting with cleaning and animal care.


 

Housing & Food Access


Food Recovery Network

Students partner with Muhlenberg Dining and Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley to reduce catering food waste at the college and support individuals and families at Turning Point. 


Habitat for Humanity Re-Store

Assist with various tasks at this re-use store benefiting Habitat for Humanity.


Jefferson Elementary Food Pantry (biweekly)

Muhlenberg students assist with food sorting and distribution at the pantry housed within the school. 


 

Programs

The following clubs are recognized independent organizations that work in collaboration with the Office of Community Engagement.


Adopt-a-Grandparent

Muhlenberg students are paired with senior citizens who reside at Phoebe Home just down the road from the College. They connect in reciprocal relationships intended to support one another and the whole group comes together several times per semester for fun, social activities. 


Berg Votes

Register students to vote, engage in the electoral process, host issue-based forums and more!


Best Buddies

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.


Food Recovery Network

Students partner with Muhlenberg Dining and Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley to reduce catering food waste at the college and support individuals and families at Turning Point. 


Habitat for Humanity

Seeks to eliminate homelessness and substandard housing through affordable homeownership.


Magical Memories

Volunteers dress as various characters and visit local schools and health care settings to engage young people in a little moment of magic - characters range from super heroes to movie characters and imaginary beings.


 

Signature Events

These events & programs are sponsored through the Office of Community Engagement. They are annual events which mobilize large groups of student volunteers. 

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."


Dream to Read

The Muhlenberg basketball teams visits Jefferson Elementary in early January to read to the first graders and reinforce lessons of equity and inclusion in the stories.


Pinebrook-Family Answers/Diakon Winter Spectacular

Each year Muhlenberg College community members purchase requested gifts for local children who are in the foster care system. The families all come together at the College for an evening of fun activities and connection with one another. 


College Connect

Approximately 8 Fridays per year the College hosts 3rd, 4th, or 8th grade students from local partner schools on campus for an engaging afternoon of activities on a college campus. Science, art, physical activities and teamwork are explored as the kids engage with Muhlenberg students, faculty and staff and dream big about the future.


  

Leadership Engagement Opportunities

The following examples are community engagement opportunities facilitated by the Office of Community Engagement and intentionally designed to engage students with a reflection of what community engagement means to them, its impacts and its challenges.

Community Internship Program 

Funded by 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 350-hour internship and receive a stipend of $3000. 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 Handshake.


Civic Fellows

The program is structured to provide student participants with 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 a community.


Alliances for Justice Active Leadership (AJAL) Retreat

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 themes.


Student Staff

The Office of Community Engagement oversees a significant number of work-study students each year. We have approximately 35 students on our staff and each member works with a specific team in the office in addition to 1-2 community-based organizations with which they want to work on a weekly basis.

If you are interested in joining our student staff you can apply through Handshake. If you have questions, please contact Eveily Freeman at eveilyfreeman@muhlenberg.edu  or 484-664-3369.  Applicants must be eligible to receive work-study funds to be considered for the position.