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August 14, 2000

Calvin's StreetFest Returns

StreetFest 2000, Calvin College's massive freshmen volunteer project, is coming soon. On August 31 and September 1, 2000 approximately 1,000 first-year Calvin students -- clad in distinctive t-shirts emblazoned with the logo to the left -- will take to the streets of Grand Rapids for a variety of 4-hour volunteer projects.

Before they take a single class -- in many cases before they even buy their books -- Calvin's first-year students will be sweeping sidewalks, feeding the hungry, trimming bushes, entertaining senior citizens and much more -- all thanks to the eighth annual StreetFest.

StreetFest happens at Calvin because the Christian, liberal arts college believes strongly in the value of volunteering. Calvin believes so strongly in it, in fact, that it generally refers to volunteering as service-learning, a term it thinks captures the reciprocal benefits of helping others.

StreetFest 2000 will mark the eighth straight year that Calvin has included this massive volunteer project as part of its overall orientation program for first-year students. This year's class of approximately 1,000 promises to be one of the biggest work forces yet.

About 60 Calvin staff, faculty and alumni "mentors" will lead teams of 16-17 students at about 30 different sites around the city during the two-day project. The 4-hour time slots will include travel time, a brief orientation to the job site, about two hours of volunteer labor and a period of reflection at the end. The project is entirely voluntary, but last year almost 80 percent of the school's first-year class took part in StreetFest. Organizers feel numbers will be similar this year.

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Contact Phil de Haan.