SHU Students Volunteer for CURTIS Week

News Story: January 1, 2009

As many as 25 students from Sacred Heart University will participate in CURTIS Week, a cultural immersion and community service experience, from January 14 through January 19.

Students will live at Golden Hill United Methodist Church in Bridgeport throughout the week and participate in a variety of volunteer programs in the community. They will help prepare and serve dinner at a soup kitchen, read and assist elementary school students, and work with Habitat for Humanity.

“The program is designed to give students an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone,” said organizer Dawn Doucette, the University’s coordinator of volunteer programs.

CURTIS (Community Understanding and Reflection Through Inner-city Service) Week is held annually in honor of the founder of Sacred Heart University, the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, second Bishop of Bridgeport. The program offers SHU students a unique opportunity to become aware of the resources and problems of the inner city through community service and reflection with other students. Just as a similar immersion experience is held the last week of summer vacation, Community Connections, this takes place the week before Christmas break concludes.

Students will also participate in a Spanish-language Catholic Mass, visit a mosque and a synagogue, attend a commemoration service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an African-American church, and take part in a variety of programs that encourage interaction with community members.

Doucette said reflection exercises such as group discussions and journal writing are planned at the end of each day.

CURTIS Week is sponsored by a grant from Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, and each student pays a small fee to participate.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Dawn Doucette at 203-365-7622 or doucetted@sacredheart.edu.