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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.

 

SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.
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Campus BeatSFSU students Cesar Juarez, Erika Leon-Guerrero, Juan Carlos Chang, and Mark Santana are taking a break from planting ferns at Justin Herman Plaza. They are standing in a row, holding shovels, and smiling for the camera in front of several newly planted ferns.

 

Breaking Tradition

Forget the umbrella drinks and sandy beaches. One group of SFSU students spent their spring break cleaning a city park, collecting toys for terminally ill children, and leading social activities for seniors.

"I want to give my time to somebody else … all that partying is really overrated," says Erika Leon-Guerrero, one of 25 students who completed community-service projects during the five-day break.

Taught by Assistant Recreation and Leisure Professor Erik Rosegard, the Care Break Alternative Spring Break class is designed to foster and maintain students' interest in volunteer work. "As students learn more about how they can help others, they grow more interested in improving the quality of the service they're providing," Rosegard says.

After learning more about the needs of San Francisco General Hospital's pediatric patients, one group of students organized a toy drive. In just two days they collected more than 500 toys, as well as hundreds of books and videos.

"It's a great feeling to organize something and have it go better than you ever could have imagined," says Care Break student Kathleen Eckert.

Other students cleaned and planted trees at Justin Herman Plaza, kept seniors company at Hampton Court assisted-living center, provided leadership training for Phillip and Sala Burton High School students, and assisted teachers at Sunnyside Elementary School.

Although the class is over, Care Break student Nadia Tostanoski has launched a VCR/DVD drive for SF General's Pediatric Unit. Classmate David Varela wants to organize a student-led toy drive in one of Rosegard's fall classes.

-- Adrianne Bee

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