At the University of Maryland College of Education, we believe that everyone should become better informed and play a role in improving our communities.
Civic engagement has the potential to help students develop their capacities for understanding their role in complex social, economic, and political systems. Through our new EdTerpsEngage initiative, COE will provide resources and information to our community on how they can maximize their impact, stay informed, stay involved, and exercise their civic rights and duties.
Every vote matters and every vote counts. Through our #EdTerpsVote campaign, COE helped our community members stay informed and provided election and voting updates. We hosted a series of virtual events, including teacher preparation workshops on how to teach civic engagement in the classroom. We partnered with local organizations to explain the impact of voting on K-12 and higher education. Our students, faculty and staff shared videos across multiple digital platforms on why they vote. And we collaborated with peers throughout UMD's campus to elevate our civic engagement goals and encourage everyone to 'Get Out and Vote!'
Community engagement directly impacts the policies, programs and public services in our local communities. Now is the time to tap into our networks to stay informed and involved. We all have a part to play to move our mission forward and to create a more equitable world. Check here for updates on volunteer opportunities and ways that you can stay engaged in your local communities.
We know that many members of our community are already involved in meaningful volunteer work, but we would like to share some additional volunteer opportunities and encourage everyone to find a way to get involved—maybe even make this a regular part of your schedule throughout the semester.
One opportunity for this semester that directly addresses needs on our campus is the UMD Campus Food Pantry. GlobalUMD is another opportunity in which facilitators can register to (virtually) help international students, visiting scholars and community members practice their oral communication skills with the English Conversation Partners Program. We also welcome you to explore other volunteer opportunities with the UMD Office of Community Engagement (click on “events”).
The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps is accepting applications to assist with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, where you would be assigned to your county's "Maryland Responds" volunteer unit. You do not need to be a medical/health worker to volunteer. Many county governments across the state also publicize volunteer opportunities all year long (e.g., https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteercenter/). And, a number of virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities can be found through the AmeriCorp Volunteer Search and Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism websites.
First things first, join us in our pledge! I commit to making small changes one step at a time for a healthier planet.
Now, here are a few sustainable actions you can consider taking:
- Take advantage of sustainable forms of transportation UMD offers, such as Shuttle-UM and UMD Smart Commute.
- Support farmers markets, such as the UMD Farmers Market or find a local farmers market in Maryland.
- Donate to the Green Maryland Gift Fund, which supports the University Sustainability Council and Office of Sustainability.
- Apply for a grant from the Sustainability Fund to make campus facilities more sustainable. All students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive funding.
- Review the UMD Waste Guide to learn more about waste and recycling and SustainableUMD ProgressHub to see the campus' progress towards its sustainable goals.