Thursday May 6, 2010

Serving Others

The Salvation Army has honored the University of Dayton with the Others Award for the University's contribution to the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Dayton.

The Salvation Army will honor the University of Dayton with the Others Award this weekend for the University's contribution to the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Dayton, which opens to the public Saturday.

The award is given to those who put others' needs before their own and have shown extraordinary service to The Salvation Army and the local community. Only one Others Award is given in a community each year.

"The Others Award is a reflection of our Marianist mission and values, to lead through service to our community," said University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran. "We are proud to partner with groups like The Salvation Army to promote education and support families in the Dayton area."

The Dayton Kroc Center, located at 1000 N. Keowee St., is the seventh Kroc Center in the U.S. and the second in Ohio. Upon her death in 2003, Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, bequeathed $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to establish community centers in cities across the country.

The community centers provide facilities, programs and services that promote educational enrichment, life skills development, and spiritual and physical wellness.

After the local chapter of The Salvation Army applied for funding to build a Kroc Center in Dayton, it turned to the University of Dayton for assistance in designing educational programming and in getting community input and support.

"The University has a commitment to this community and to helping families who are in need," said Thomas J. Lasley II, former dean of the University's School of Education and Allied Professions. "The Kroc Center represents one of the most significant efforts undertaken to address some of the social and educational issues confronting the Dayton community, and it is an effective vehicle for the University to utilize its expertise to help local families."

Lasley enlisted the help of University of Dayton faculty including Roberta Weaver, associate dean for community outreach; Shauna Adams, associate professor of early childhood education; Jim Rowley, director of the Institute for Technology-Enhanced Learning; and Alan Demmitt, chair of the department of counselor education and human services, to develop plans for the Kroc Center's key functions.

The result is five areas of University involvement in the Kroc Center. These include an early childhood drop-in center, a science and math tutoring center, a literacy clinic and lending library, parent education and support, and a technology café.

The University's Fitz Center for Leadership in Community also lent support to the project by engaging the local neighborhood and community leaders, gathering input and working with the architect to ensure this input was included in the center's design, said Don Vermillion, Fitz Center director of public projects.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.