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Caring about the community through Arts CARES

By Dale Johnson Posted: February 17, 2016 11:00 a.m.

 Edwin Seto (left, front), Tim Wu (right, front) and Jordan Podovilnileoff (back) have taken part in Arts CARES.
Edwin Seto (left, front), Tim Wu (right, front) and Jordan Podovilnileoff (back) have taken part in Arts CARES. Photo: Faculty of Arts

Winter break week is a busy time for 55 students taking part in Arts CARES (Community Action in Regina for Educational Service). It’s four days of volunteering with community organizations that gives students some practical experience, along with a better understanding of community organizations.

“Arts CARES is an eye-opening opportunity for students,” explains Naomi Beingessner, Coordinator of the Community Research Unit (CRU) in the Faculty of Arts.

“It provides them with the opportunity to learn and think critically about issues in our communities, apply skills and knowledge from their classes in real-world situations, and explore employment sectors of interest for future careers,” she says.

Edwin Seto, an Environmental Systems Engineering student, is taking part in Arts CARES with Nature Regina. Last year he volunteered with Nature Saskatchewan and had a variety of responsibilities: he created a brochure about Nature Saskatchewan; he made phone calls to people invited to an event to confirm their attendance; and he also did some book cataloguing in the office.

“Arts CARES was valuable to me because it gave me a chance to make good connections with the people in my community, which could also lead to future career opportunities,” Edwin says.

“Arts CARES was the closest real-life simulation of an office job. Arts CARES was truly an irreplaceable experience, and I would encourage every student to apply,” he adds.

Hannah Sackville, a third year student majoring in History, is with the Museums Association of Saskatchewan during Arts CARES this week. Hannah took part in Arts CARES last year with Planned Parenthood Regina, where she planned an ad campaign promoting safe sex and birth control.

“Arts CARES is a fantastic program because it helped me to realize the potential for change in our community, and the necessity of focusing on Regina when we can easily forget the community around us in our contemplation of events and issues farther from home,” she says.

Arts CARES is open to any Faculty of Arts undergraduate students and any U of R students registered in a participating Arts class. Participating organizations include:  

  • Amnesty International
  • Briarpatch Magazine
  • Carmichael Outreach
  • Cosmopolitan  Learning Centre
  • Facilities  Management - U of R
  • Lifelong Learning Centre
  • Museums Association of Saskatchewan
  • Nature Regina
  • Nature Saskatchewan
  • North Central Community Association
  • Planned Parenthood
  • REACH (Regina Education & Action on Child Hunger)
  • Regina  Garden Associates
  • Regina  Open Door Society
  • Salvation Army
  • Saskatchewan  Federation of Labour
  • Saskatchewan  Trails Association
  • Saskatchewan  Organization for Heritage Languages
  • SaskOrganics
  • SEARCH  - Student Energy in Action for Regina Community Health
  • Street  Culture Kidz

“These community-based organizations appreciate the fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and hard work of the students, as well as the opportunity to educate them about the work they do,” says Beingessner.