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October 16, 2007 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (September 26, 2007) - Aquinas College and the Department of Campus Ministry will offer five service-learning trips for students during the fall semester in Maine, New York City, South Dakota, West Virginia and the Dominican Republic. The trips will be offered during Aquinas students’ Oct. 15-19 fall break. According to Campus Ministry, service-learning "engages students in civic responsibility, critical thinking and structured reflection by actively involving them in organized community service."

Students participating in service-learning will engage in numerous service activities, including outdoor beautification, community rebuilding efforts, outreach ministry, light construction and maintenance. All programs are designed to reinforce the Dominican values of prayer, service, community and study, and allow students to put their faith into action.

Students in Maine will participate in rugged outdoor work and assist the National Park Service in environmental projects on Acadia Island. Working within the St. John the Baptist Church community, Aquinas students in New York City will help run a soup kitchen and assist in literacy, career development and training projects with local youth. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, student volunteers will immerse themselves in Oglala Lakota culture and help build bunk beds for the children. Other Aquinas students will spend the week in the Nazareth Farm community of Salem, West Virginia, assisting in rehabilitation work including roofing, painting and carpentry. Finally, a group of Aquinas volunteers will travel to the Dominican Republic where they will join Holy Spirit International in assisting Haitians living in the mountainous border region of the country.

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