The University of Georgia New Student Orientation Program’s Paws for a Cause initiative collected approximately 1,000 books from incoming first-year students attending orientation sessions this summer. The books will be donated to the Clarke County School District and other local organizations.
Paws for a Cause began in 2009 to help incoming students learn ways to connect with and give back to Athens-Clarke County.
“This program seeks to connect and introduce incoming students to the community around them,” said Alton Standifer, director of New Student Orientation and organizer of the program. “Athens-Clarke County is an integral part of the work we do at the university, and helping students recognize our commitment to our community is a priority.”
Originally, the program collected school supplies that were given to children attending 14 local elementary schools in Athens-Clarke County. Recently, Standifer and his team of orientation leaders shifted their focus to collecting books since so many other organizations now collect school supplies for local elementary schoolchildren.
“The Class of 2021 was encouraged to bring books that were shared with local libraries, literacy foundations and UGA student organizations that are addressing literacy issues in our community,” Standifer said.
He said the program reflects the mission of the University of Georgia.
“From the beginning, our students are expected to serve our state and nation,” he said.” We recognize that the world’s problems are our problems, and instead of sitting idly by, we answer the call to address them head on.”