Sunday, March 15, 2015

20 UIS students headed to Mississippi for Alternative Spring Break

Brittani Provost wanted to go somewhere different this year for spring break. She thought that the other 20 students involved in the University of Illinois Springfield's Alternative Spring Break would like to go somewhere different, too.

Each year, the student-led organization goes to a different part of the country and completes a service project during the week of their spring break. Provost, the president of Alternative Spring Break, said the group decided to go to Biloxi, Mississippi, this year.

The students will assist teachers in four different classrooms with preschool-age children. The students will also help with a project to prevent continuing erosion along the Gulf Coast.

"We knew we were looking for something youth- and education-related, and we were trying to create a new trip, somewhere we hadn't been before," said Provost, a junior anthropology and sociology major. "I think this is a good fit because it's youth- and education-related. We decided to add the erosion-prevention project because we thought it would be a good opportunity for the group to work together."

"We are partnering with the Land Trust of the Mississippi Coastal Plain," said Mark Dochterman, director of UIS' Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center. "We will most likely be planting trees, cord grass or another species that does well in wetlands and helps prevent coastal erosion," which is very problematic there. "Between Mississippi and Louisiana, the Gulf Coast loses approximately a football field worth of land a day," he said.

The $150 each student is paying is covering about half what it's costing the organization to travel to Biloxi, Provost said. The rest is collected through fundraisers the group puts on throughout the year leading up to spring break. They also accept donations.

To donate click here.

This story appeared online in The State Journal Register on March 14, 2015.

Read the entire story here.