Throughout the school year Central Connecticut student-athletes dedicate time to serving and engaging others within our community. Here are some of the community service programs the Blue Devils have participated in this year.
CCSU’s 410 student-athletes performed 3,790 hours of community engagement in 2016-17, an average of 9.24 hours per student-athlete. Central Connecticut placed 2nd in the NEC’s Building Communities Award presented by Bayer. In total, the Northeast Conference’s student-athletes logged 26,426 hours of work in the community.
The following are highlights of the community engagement projects that CCSU student-athletes were a part of during the year:
Ana Grace Project: Finish The Race
Started by Nelba Marquez-Greene, and named for her daughter who died tragically in the Sandy Hook shooting, the Ana Grace Project was created as a comprehensive educational program that focuses on empathy & mental health education for children and parents in our elementary schools, and the development of the college connection.
CCSU annually welcomes 400 elementary and middle school students to campus for a day that includes educational sessions, demonstrations, lunch and athletic activities. Each child received a new pair of sneakers and CCSU athletics was integral in the efforts to raise $40,000 to help fund the events of the day which were purposeful and symbolic to the “Finish the Race” theme - attend and graduate from college!
Pen Pal Program with Smith Elementary School
Members of the men’s soccer, women’s basketball and lacrosse teams corresponded with fourth graders throughout the year. They exchanged letters from September-April and welcomed the students to campus for a day for lunch, a planetarium show, conversation and campus tours.
Smalley Elementary School Supply Drive
Members of the volleyball and football teams helped fundraise and collect school supplies for Smalley Elementary. The volleyball team also participated in a year-long reading program at the school. The student-athletes and coaches spearheaded a drive to raise money and buy school supplies for the students and deliver them to the school.
Other SAAC and Athletics Team Community Engagment Activities
- Boys & Girls Club of New Britain Visitation - Helping the local community through recreation.
- Charity Dodgeball Tournament - A special Devil’s Den @ 10pm event with nearly 300 participants.
- Fresh-Check Day Volunteers - Engaging the campus community in mental health awareness and advocacy.
- New Britain Soup Kitchen Volunteers - Helping all find a hot meal and a home in New Britain, CT
- Northeast Conference “Penny Wars” - Fundraising for Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation.
- CCSU Sandwich Hero - Helping feed the homeless at South Park Inn by making sandwiches.
- Operation Christmas Child - CCSU athletics collected over 120 shoeboxes of gifts for Samaritan’s Purse.
- Walk to End Alzheimer's - The world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research.
- Webster Hill Elementary visitation - Student-athletes visited Webster Hill elementary school to talk with students and read.
2017-18 Community Engagement Activities
- Fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey Relief at women's soccer tournament raised over $450. Supplies were purchased and shipped to Texas with the raised funds. SAAC members AND the baseball team participated a few days later in loading trucks at NB Stadium with the supplies donated by CCSU and from people in the community.
- SAAC members participated in school supply drive for New Britain elementary school students at the first home football game.
- Members of the women's lacrosse team, along with the New Britain Bees, helped disabled individuals enjoy a day of playing sports through the Beautiful Lives Project. (VIDEO - NBC Connecticut)
- SAAC members as well as members from softball, baseball, cheer, dance, lacrosse, women’s basketball, men’s basketball participated in President Toro’s outreach day in downtown New Britain.
- Dance and Cheer as well as other members of the CCSU student athlete community participated in the New Student Welcome Orientation on August 28th. Dance and Cheer performed for all new students.
- Members of the lacrosse, softball, men’s soccer, women’s golf, swimming and diving and women’s basketball teams have signed up to participate in the 2nd annual Pen Pal program with Smith Elementary School in New Britain.