December 7, 2016
Blinn College faculty, staff, and students have come together to make the holidays brighter for local foster children.For the second year in a row, Blinn’s Dental Hygiene Program, Student Chapter of the American Dental Hygiene Association (SCADHA), Veterinary Technology Program, Veterinary Technology Student Organization (VTSO), Division of Technical & Community Programs, Emergency Medical Services Student Association (EMSSA), and the Division of Agricultural and Natural Sciences are fulfilling the Christmas wish lists of 38 children in the care of Child Protective Services (CPS). Receiving just a first name and the age of each child from the local agency, participating individuals went above and beyond to provide nearly every item on the children’s wish list, said Brooke Merta, Veterinary Technology Program Administrative Assistant. “We always have such a great participation,” Merta said. “Everyone is willing to help out during this time of the year, and it’s just a lot of fun.” CPS collected dozens of gifts from the Post Office Campus Tuesday and will begin distributing them to the children in time for Christmas. Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Program will continue in the spirit of giving as it partners with the Bryan Animal Center Friday, Dec. 9, at the Downtown Bryan Christmas Parade. Students will assist five to 10 dogs available for adoption from the center as they ride and walk beside the program’s float. “All the dogs brought by the Bryan Animal Center will be up for adoption,” Merta said. “Although they cannot be adopted at the parade, people can come to the shelter later to adopt the pet of their choice.” Blinn’s commitment to serving the community has not gone unnoticed. Last month, the College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest accolade an educational institution can receive from the federal government for its commitment to community, service learning and civic engagement. In 2015, Blinn was recertified with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Carnegie Classification, which places Blinn among the nation’s top 5 percent of colleges and universities in terms of documented public service. Blinn’s Service Learning Program, which combines community service with classroom instruction and student club activities, focuses on critical, reflective thinking, and civic responsibility to engage students. Blinn’s Service Learning activities include the Dental Hygiene Program’s annual Give Kids a Smile event in Bryan, which provides exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants and oral health education to local children without access to regular dental care; EMS, vocational nursing and associate degree nursing students volunteering at local clinics and hospitals; natural science students volunteering at local animal shelters; agricultural students working with Texas Parks and Wildlife and 4-H organizations; and social sciences students volunteering at local Democratic and Republican headquarters. For more information about Blinn’s commitment to community service and its Service Learning Program, visit www.blinn.edu/servicelearning.