Spring Break 2012 - Atlanta
Howard University > Alternative Spring Break 2013
Howard University Students Use Their Spring Break to Tackle Illiteracy in Detroit
By Jordan Duckens
Office of University Communications


WASHINGTON -- For nearly 20 years, Howard University students have skipped the beaches, parties, vacations and even trips home for spring break to instead use that time serving others across the nation and the world.

This year, hundreds will spend spring break in seven U.S. cities and Haiti from March 9 to March 15 helping communities with a variety of concerns – from illiteracy to gang violence to gun control to HIV/AIDS.

In Detroit, more than 50 students and their advisors will spend the week working on illiteracy.  According to a recent CBS News report, illiteracy in Detroit is more than 40 percent, among the highest in the nation.  Students will be working with adults at a local Salvation Army and with children in middle and high school.

The site coordinator is Andreya Davis, who is returning to her hometown to help.   Davis is a junior majoring in English with a minor in Allied Health Sciences; this is her third year participating in ASB.

The effort is part of the University’s award-winning Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program led by Executive Director Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau.  Since 2009, ASB has expanded to incorporate multiple cities. This year, volunteers will serve communities in eight locations and will provide more than 12,000 hours of service. ASB 2013 includes service sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Haiti. This is the largest number of locations served in the program’s 19-year history.

In the past, Howard University students tutored elementary school students in English and math, helped rebuild in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and helped establish a library for a public high school in Washington, D.C. ASB is coordinated through the Office of the Dean of the Chapel with significant institutional support from the Office of the President coupled with the help of generous donations from Howard alumni, students, staff, faculty and residents from Washington, Maryland and Virginia.
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