How are Community Colleges Celebrating the Holidays?

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How are Community Colleges Celebrating the Holidays?
We are inspired by some of the special holiday events and service projects scheduled at community colleges around the country.
Community college campuses were home to many festive gatherings this holiday season, getting in on the holiday action. From festive concerts to service projects designed for the season, these schools are showing their students what the winter months are all about. Check out the fun, festive and family-oriented events available at some community colleges around the country.

Shop ‘til You Drop at Community College Craft Fairs

Arts and crafts abound at community colleges this time of year, offering Christmas shoppers the opportunity to pick up something truly unique for friends and family members. Auburn Pub reports that Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York, recently hosted its annual Holiday Festival Craft Show, which features handmade clothing and accessories, holiday decorations and fresh baked goods. The show is celebrating its 39th year in style, with live entertainment and food vendors to keep everyone in the holiday spirit.

St. Charles Community College in Missouri also hosted a holiday craft bazaar, according to a report at the school’s website. The show, which was free to the public, was held at the gym on the community college campus. Vendors offered an array of handmade goods, and some even provided free demonstrations of their craft. Shoppers found a wide selection of jewelry, quilts, photography and other craft items. All of the crafters featured at the bazaar can also be found on Etsy, an e-commerce site for artisans and crafters to sell their wares.
Say “Cheese” at Mott Community College
Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan, also celebrated holiday spirit, by offering free family portraits at the event center on the community college campus. According to mLive, the photos were taken by volunteer students and faculty to want to give something back to their community this holiday season. The event was provided through a worldwide effort called “Help-Portrait,” which was launched by photographer Jeremy Cowart in 2009.
“We’re doing this to give back to the community and be a part of a ‘photographic movement’ that can change people’s lives: behold the power of a photograph,” Bob Rentschler, photography instructor at Mott, told mLive. “This is a total team effort, with a number of students and instructors at Mott Community College.”
Families that posed for the event left with a free 5x7 or 8x10 photo, which was printed right at the college while they wait. Volunteers also burned CDs for the families that requested this service.
Get Your Toes Tapping at Shoreline Community College
Washington residents got their fill of festive gospel music at the Soulful Sounds of Christmas Concert, which has become an annual event at Shoreline Community College. Shoreline Area News reports that Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir paid their annual visit to Shoreline’s stage this holiday season. The concert also featured guest soloist Nichol Venee Eskridge. The concert is used to benefit the athletics program at Shoreline.
Take in a Holiday Production
Community colleges also offered their share of holiday spirit on the live stage this year, with Christmas productions abounding. St. Charles Community College in Missourri performed its rendition of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” this year, complete with classic tunes like “Blue Skies,” “How Deep is the Ocean” and of course, “White Christmas.” The show is based on the story of producers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, and their successful show business careers that meet a major shake-up when two performers who happen to be sisters enter their lives.
Massachusetts residents also indulged in a holiday show, thanks to the production of “The Only Christmas Pageant in Town,” put on by Massasoit Community College. This school presented the one-act play that follows Olive Green, as he directs the Christmas pageant for his small town. The high-energy show was full of laughs and song, as the members of Olive’s church take the reins of the production when a snowstorm keeps the original performers home. The play was presented at the Buckley Performing Arts Center by the college’s theatre company, according to a report at Enterprise News.
Give a Special Gift with NEO A&M
NEO A&M is an Oklahoma community college striving to rediscover the true meaning of the season through the sponsoring of three angel trees in Miami, Oklahoma. The school asked community members to take one of the more than 700 angels that graced the trees and fulfill the requests made by children on those angels. The children who have written their requests may not have had any Christmas gifts to open this year without the help of the angel trees and the community residents who participated in the programs.
“I’ve received so many emails and phone calls in the last few days from parents who have thanked me already, they haven’t even seen their presents, of how this has helped them. The economy is hard, they’re losing their jobs,” Sheena Reece, representative for NEO, told Four States Homepage.
Gifts purchased for the program were collected by the community college and nearby Wal-Mart for distribution.
Schools across the country found ways to share the festivities with students, faculty and community members. With a plethora of festive activities, performances and service projects to choose from, these schools are leading the way in showing their communities how to get into the holiday spirit.

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Community college can be fun and socially enriching, especially with the right extracurricular activities. Reasons to join the debate club, volunteer opportunities and wellness programs are just a few topics covered here. Explore the benefits of community college outside of the classroom, from holiday celebrations to athletic programs, schools are finding ways to keep students engaged on campus.