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Student Involvement

Roos Give Back

large group photo of students

Paintbrushes, rakes, shovels, trash bags, gloves - that's all it takes to make a difference. At least that was the case at the annual Roo's Give Back Community Service Event in August. About 300 Kangaroos gathered at the University Playhouse with the goal of giving three Kansas City area schools a helping hand in preparation for the beginning of school. This was just one of many events held during Welcome Week, UMKC’s annual week of events that acclimate new students to campus as well as provide opportunities for returning students to reunite.


More than 120 of those students rode buses to Central Middle School, at 3611 E. Linwood Blvd. Students painted, raked leaves, picked up trash and cleaned the parking lots. One of the big challenges was found on the playground behind the school. The asphalt lot was riddled with shards of glass.


With only two hours scheduled to work at the schools, many of the volunteers wanted to stay at the sites so they could continue working and most thought the time just flew by. A large percentage of the volunteers were freshmen and attended Roo Camp earlier in the week.


The event was organized by the Institute for Leadership and Service Coordinator, Steve Terry. He is committed to engaging students in service while making it a fun experience. Terry's goal was realized in many students on Saturday. On the ride back to campus, the buses were filled with chatter about how fun the event was.


"This schools rocks," one transfer student yelled. His sentiment was greeted with a cheer.