Clayton State University AmeriCorps members celebrated National AmeriCorps Week, May 10 to May 14.
AmeriCorps members focused on cancer awareness and education during AmeriCorps Week. The main event for the week was 12 hours of volunteering with the Clayton County Relay for Life, which was hosted at Charles Drew High School, on May 14. The Relay for Life is a night-long event were teams gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking and running laps to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs for the American Cancer Society.
AmeriCorps Members assisted with the set-up of the program, including decorations, traffic control, and coordinating unloading areas. The members also were the main support for the program’s survivor dinner in which cancer survivors were honored and recognized for their courage during a private dinner for the survivors and their families.
Throughout the night, the members assisted with the luminary ceremony, lighting candles and placing them around the track in honor of loved ones lost to cancer, the children’s play area, and the breakdown of all tents, signage, and candles at the close of the event early Saturday morning. More than 45 volunteers from Clayton State, Jonesboro and Morrow high schools and surrounding communities were recruited by AmeriCorps members to participate in this event.
Clayton State AmeriCorps members also distributed sunscreen and skin cancer information to students at the local high schools as well as to their peers prior to the end of spring semester. The members also partnered with the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to host a candle light vigil on campus on the lawn of the Student Activities Center (SAC).
The Clayton State AmeriCorps program is a national service program designed to provide all Americans with the opportunity to serve and give back to their communities. The University’s AmeriCorps program is in its inaugural year and has participated in more than 15 community service projects throughout the term of service, including volunteering with the Henry County Relay for Life on Apr. 30; and volunteering with the Arthritis Foundation for their awareness walk at Atlantic Station on May 22. Members will also be volunteering at East Clayton Community Day at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center on June 19.