On Monday, Feb. 5, UR kicked off Education Week, a campus-wide endeavor to alert people of the needs of the Rochester City School District and programs in which they can get involved.

“I feel that many people at Rochester are inspired to change the world once they get out of college, but not many realize the lasting impact they can have while they are in college,” President of Education Alliance and junior Eric Hansen said. “The purpose of this week is to convince people that they can make a huge difference right here, right now in the Rochester community, and they don’t have to go very far to do it.”

The Education Alliance coordinated the week of activities, with support from Sigma Nu Fraternity, University Health Services, Afro-Expressions, Amnesty International and Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity, Inc.

The first event of Education Week was the Rochester Education Fund Book Drive, which began on Feb. 5 and will run until Feb. 9, with tables in Wilson Commons. The Rochester Education Fund is attempting to raise $1 million so that they may increase the quantity and quality of the city schools’ books. The role of the Education Alliance is to ask people to donate money toward specific books that they remember fondly from childhood and then use that money to buy those books for donation. SN and UHS are co-sponsoring the event and helping run the Book Drive.

The Kick Off event, which occurred Monday evening in Hirst Lounge, was a performance by Rhythmic Revolution. This youth missionary drum band, made up of kids ages 13 to 16 years old, travels throughout the city to play in hopes of spreading their message of community involvement. The event was co-sponsored by Afro-Expressions.

Also on Monday, Hirst Lounge offered the opportunity to tie-dye T-shirts. Later that night, Common Ground Caf played host to Game Night, which featured a myriad of board games such as Apples to Apples, Candyland and Twister. The night also provided the players with statistics on the condition of the Rochester City School District to raise awareness.

On Tuesday, a CNN screening detailed the Teach for America program, an opportunity that allows people to experience a first-hand account of teachers’ experiences who had gone through the Teach for America program.

“The Power Potential,” which was a panel discussion on promoting safety and equality within Rochester’s inner city schools, took place on Wednesday in the Gowen Room of Wilson Commons.

“The goal of the panel was to provide the audience with an accurate view of the current state of affairs for the Rochester City School District as well as an outline for what positive changes must still be made to level the playing field for inner city youth,” Hansen said.

The talk was co-sponsored by Amnesty International and was led by former principal of School No. 17, Ralph Spezio.

“Amnesty International co-sponsored Wednesday’s panel discussion ? [and] we hope that the discussion will help raise awareness about disparities in education and what can be done to improve the education system right here in our own community,” President of Amnesty International and sophomore Erica Wellington said.

On Thursday night, there will be a bar party at The Keg to raise money for the Rochester Education Fund Book Drive.

On both Thursday and Friday, UR Tours Jr. will hold tours from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. UR Tours Jr. is a program in which the University brings youth on campus and gives them a college tour to instill in them a sense of the college experience.

“Speaking on behalf of my fraternity, Sigma Beta Rho, we seek to take a more hands-on approach to our community contributions,” President of SBR and junior Daniel Fisher said. “The entire brotherhood will be providing campus tours to children for Education Week, and we hope to inspire these kids to challenge themselves in school and strive for success in academics.”

Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.

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