A case for service Featured

7:00pm EDT November 25, 2008

Each year, the employees — including President Barbara Snyder — students and local alumni of Case Western Reserve University log about400,000 hours of volunteer servicethrough more than 500 programs withnearly 600 community partners.

One of its biggest partners is theCleveland Metropolitan School District,and the university has more than50 programs for students, teachersand principals. One such programstarted in 1999 through the School ofDental Medicine. In order to reducedisparities in oral health care forunderserved schoolchildren in theCleveland school district, Case startedits Healthy Smiles Sealant program. Innearly 10 years of service, the programhas provided more than 5,000 elementary and middle-school students with13,000 sealants annually. In addition tothis, the university’s community healtheducators visit more than 100 schoolsto teach oral health education to 15,000 students. All of these servicesare free of charge for the students dueto help from foundations and donations.

Another community partner withCase is the Cleveland Foodbank. Manyof the university’s student organizations regularly volunteer at the foodbank, and each year, the school’sGreek organizations are challenged tocollect cans and build structures,which are judged on originality, designand creativity. Last year, this contestresulted in 15,354 cans of food for thefood bank.

Another program that Case hosts isthe National Youth Sports Program.The program is a five-week summersports and enrichment program forchildren ages 10 to 16 who come fromlow-income families in the GreaterCleveland area. Children come fivedays a week for six hours each days,and they participate in a number ofactivities, including various sports and presentations about health and physical fitness, tutoring and instruction invarious academic areas, and discussions about higher education opportunities. Graduate students from theSchool of Medicine and the School ofNursing provide free physicals to allthe campers as well as blood pressurescreenings and other noninvasiveexams. Since starting this program in1970, more than 14,000 youths haveparticipated, and this program hasbeen nominated as the No. 1 recreation program in the country.

HOW TO REACH: Case Western Reserve University, (216) 368-3909 or www.case.edu