IN 2020, DEACS Decided.
Throughout the semester, the Office of Civic & Community Engagement, Deacs Decide Steering Committee, and Deacs Decide Fellows collaborated to register voters, educate students on the voting process, provide non-partisan information about candidates, and work on Get Out the Vote efforts in advance of the 2020 Election on November 3.
Deacs Decide registered or re-registered 387 students to vote in North Carolina prior to the voter registration deadline, held various debate watch events, and assisted students with mail-in ballot questions. For the first time, students, faculty, and staff could walk from campus to the early voting location at Winston-Salem First Assembly. In addition, student organizations led "March to the Polls" during the one-stop early voting period.
Deacs Decide received generous support from the Campus Election Engagement Project, Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, Alliance for Youth Organizing, MTV's +1 The Polls, and the Wake Forest Student Activities Fund.
Hit The Bricks Raises $130,115.00, Breaks Fundraising Record
Hit The Bricks, the annual campus tradition that takes place each fall in honor of Brian Piccolo, broke its fundraising record this year, raising $130,115.00 for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund. The milestone marked the first time the event surpassed $100,000 in annual funds raised since it began in 2003.
Over 1,051 members of the Wake Forest community including students, alumni, faculty, and staff participated, logging 7,933 miles. To meet social distancing requirements the event – usually a day-long relay race – was held over four days starting on Sept. 28 and ending on Oct. 1. This year, Hit The Bricks included both on-campus and virtual activities.
Funds raised from Hit The Bricks support the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Given this year’s total, Hit The Bricks and other student-led initiatives have raised $4,605,657 for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund.
VIRTUAL EDUCATION RESOURCES IMPACT LOCAL K-12 CHILDREN
As a pillar of the Office of Civic & Community Engagement, education equity has remained at the forefront of our work during the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools moved to virtual learning last spring, the OCCE explored ways to make an impact in the lives of local school children by creating new and re-imagined programs, and building on existing partnerships.
- Virtual Tutoring: This fall, 354 Winston-Salem Forsyth County School students were matched with WFU tutors for a free, one-hour tutoring session each week.
- Virtual Music Mentoring: In partnership with the Wake Forest Music Department, 23 local K-12 students were matched with WFU students for virtual vocal and/or instrumental lessons for weekly, one-hour mentoring sessions.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Virtual Mentoring: In partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Forsyth and Davie Counties (BBBS) 20 WFU students were matched with BBBS Littles on the waiting list for weekly mentoring sessions to help with homework, play virtual games, or simply have a conversation.
- Freedom School Book Drive: With Dr. Dani Parker Moore, the OCCE helped to redistribute donated books from the WFU Freedom School to two local remote learning centers. With the donation, Hoops4LYFE and T.U.R.N. each received over 50 bags of books to distribute to the families they serve.
- Virtual Craft Nights: In conjunction with Project Pumpkin, over 15 different families and 20 children joined WFU students for two nights of seasonal crafts in a virtual setting.
WFU Students Provide stem & art Kits for Elementary Children
In an effort led by Wake Academy - advised by Camry Wilborn, Assistant Director of Community Partnerships - 500 STEM and art kits were provided to two Winston-Salem Elementary schools.
A student organization, Wake Academy develops hands-on activities to make learning fun for local children. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wake Academy partnered with Kimberley Park Elementary School on Saturdays to provide science experiments, arts and crafts, and physical education activities. Now, members tutor local children virtually through the OCCE's virtual tutoring program. In an effort to offer hands-on activities during the pandemic, Wake Academy President Sara Hong ('21) secured funding to provide education kits for local children.
Students at Cook Literacy Model School had gooey fun while channeling their inner chemists by mixing glue, contact solution, baking powder, shaving cream and food coloring to make slime. Meanwhile, students from Kimberley Park used paint brushes and brightly colored tissue paper to create a beautiful, autumn sunset.
Turkeypalooza feeds 200 for this year's holiday season
Each November, Campus Kitchen celebrates Turkeypalooza by preparing scratch-made turkey dinners for community partners in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Brad Shugoll, Associate Director of Service & Leadership, worked with 50 student volunteers to prepare 200 Thanksgiving meals. Students followed health and safety guidelines to prepare and deliver meals in the community.
This year, prepared meals were delivered to Azalea Terrace, N.C. Faith Health, Latino Community Services and Aster Park and consisted of turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans and pumpkin cookies.
In partnership with the School of Business Graduate Service Coalition, Campus Kitchen also coordinated a non-perishable food drive. Food Lion supplied a matching donation of the food items, including canned vegetables, canned fruit, rice and pasta. Together, students prepared 100 grocery bags for donation over the winter break.
dash corps returns for year six, welcomes new cohort
In its sixth year, Dash Corps welcomed 16 Wake Forest student participants and five student leaders. This year's cohort also marked the first time the program was open to participants of all years, having previously been limited to first- and second-year students. A year-long, project-based learning program, Dash Corps places students on project teams with peer leaders. Each team is paired with a nonprofit that has identified a community need. This year, the projects are:
- Community Design Studio: Students will develop and refine design education programs for both middle and high school students. Students will focus on making the programs more accessible, and create outreach plans to yield more diverse participants.
- HandsOn NWNC: Students will help to identify additional corporate connections by creating short testimonial videos of past partners who have worked alongside or benefited from HandsOn NWNC programs.
- Forsyth County Young Leaders Program: Students will assist with marketing strategies to advertise a new mobile app for youth volunteer service opportunities in Winston-Salem. Students will also create a social media campaign to increase youth volunteerism in the area.
HIGH SKILL VOLUNTEER NETWORK LAUNCHES
This October, in collaboration with HandsOn Northwest North Carolina, the OCCE launched the High Skill Volunteer Network for members of the Wake Forest community. Rooted in the concept of recruiting skill-based volunteers, the network leverages the specialized skills and talents of individuals at Wake Forest to help strengthen the infrastructure and operational effectiveness of local nonprofits that are seeking assistance.
The program matches volunteers with community partners who have identified a need for a high-skill volunteer. Examples include developing a business plan, building a website, or training staff in a specific content area. Some projects are short-term, while others require a long-term commitment. To learn more, please reach out to Shelley Sizemore, Director of Community Partnerships.
Behind the Face Mask: Stories of COVID-19
In partnership with the ZSR Library and MUSE Winston-Salem, the Office of Civic & Community Engagement created the podcast, Behind The Face Mask: Stories of COVID-19.
A team of 15 Wake Forest students participated in the OCCE's virtual summer program and interviewed local community members about the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted healthcare, small businesses, and racial inequality in Winston-Salem. The project continued through the fall semester, with new episodes available on Spotify in January.
WAKE FOREST STUDENTS GIVE BACK TO WINSTON-SALEM COMMUNITY
Wake Forest's motto, Pro Humanitate, calls members of the WFU community to use their knowledge, talents, and compassion for the public good. It can mean donating time and resources to our communities, building coalitions for social change, or developing a lifelong commitment to pursuing one's best self.
This semester, the Office of Civic & Community Engagement has highlighted work by WFU students in both the classroom and the community. Learn more about these student groups: