Central Penn College - Commitment to Service is 'Central' to a Central Penn Education

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October 28, 2011 Commitment to Service is 'Central' to a Central Penn Education

More than 50 Central Penn College students, faculty and staff from the college's Summerdale, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations are demonstrating their commitment to community service by helping to construct a barrier-free playground for children with special needs. On October 31, the Central Penn group will be teaming up with fellow volunteers at Leg Up Farm's community build event. Leg Up Farms, based in Mt. Wolf, Pa., is a therapy center dedicated to improving the lives of children with special needs and their families through an effective combination of therapeutic programs and services, education and advocacy.

As part of an initiative to further demonstrate how students can become contributing members of society, this is the first of several college-supported community service projects where faculty and staff have the opportunity to work side-by-side with students, serving as role models in action.

"Central Penn has always encouraged and promoted community service activities for students, faculty and staff," says Dr. Melissa Vayda, Central Penn College vice president & CAO. "This particular project has attracted an incredible campus-wide response. Leg Up Farm's inspiring cause has touched the hearts of many at Central Penn, especially the physical therapist assistant students, who can apply what they learn at the playground build to their studies."

Part of Central Penn's mission is to prepare its graduates to become contributing members of society. From the fulfillment of service requirements for graduation, to faculty and staff members serving as role models, Central Penn students take responsibility by giving back. Bachelor's degree students must complete 50 hours of service, and associate degree students must complete 25.

"More than just an obligation, community service is an opportunity to learn, grow, give back and gain social skills vital to life," explains Dr. Vayda.

The Leg Up Farm community build project is a seven-day project, scheduled to start October 31 at 8 a.m. and conclude November 6. More than 1,000 volunteers are already signed up, including individuals, organizations, schools, and companies from all over central Pennsylvania. Designed by Play by Design from Ithaca, NY, the playground will be barrier-free for children of all abilities and will include swings, slides, a Sway Fun Glider, climbing wall and more.

Skilled and unskilled workers are still needed to fill three shifts per day: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., 12:30 - 5 p.m., and 5:30 - 9 p.m. Volunteers 14 years of age and older are welcome. Anyone under the age of 18 must have parental consent. To learn more about the playground build, visit www.legupfarm.org.

Central Penn College

Central Penn College has been helping students turn potential into career success since 1881, offering bachelor's and associate degrees in the fields of accounting, business administration, criminal justice, information technology, communications, digital arts, healthcare, homeland security and legal studies. The college, currently serving students at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations, attributes its high rate of student success to a caring faculty and its hands-on learning approach. Approximately 83.7 percent of Central Penn graduates are working or continuing their education within one year of graduation. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. www.centralpenn.edu

Leg Up Farm

Leg Up Farm opened in April of 2010 and has served over 500 children and their families since opening.  We offer a wide variety of comprehensive therapies including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies.  In addition, we offer a number of animal assisted activities including therapeutic horseback riding.

Leg Up Farm is designed for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 21 with special needs.  Conditions that may be treated at Leg Up Farm include:  Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Speech-Language delays, Fine & Gross motor delays, Sensory Processing Disorders, Genetic Disorders and more. www.legupfarm.org.