Reporter's Notebook: Messiah College to offer sustainability major

2010-07-27T22:43:00Z 2010-07-28T14:47:20Z Reporter's Notebook: Messiah College to offer sustainability majorBy Erica Dolson, Sentinel Reporter, July 27, 2010 The Sentinel

This fall, students at Messiah College will be able to study reading, writing, arithmetic and ... environmental stewardship.

Messiah College recently became one of only four Christian colleges in the nation to offer a bachelor of arts in sustainability studies.

In May, the college governance approved the new sustainability major, and the courses will be available to students this coming academic year.

The major is designed to emphasize the social, ecological and economic components of sustainable human communities. The degree focuses on humanities and social sciences and can serve students entering the fields of public service or law.

Courses in environmental science and engineering are still available to students who wish to pursue a more science-focused path of study.

Messiah College has a tradition of environmentalism. In 1971, students were required to take the course "Man and His Environmental Problems." The college now has a recycling program, an organic community garden, a student-led composting program and a restoration of the on-campus Yellow Breeches Creek.

New Story School

• A Cumberland County family was among the recipients of money from the New Story Fund earlier this spring.

Abby Book, 34, of South Middleton, will use the money she received to buy equipment for her son, Evan. Evan, who will turn 7 in August, has severe apraxia of speech, a speech disorder that causes a person to have trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. The equipment Book plans to purchase - a trapeze bar and a computer program - have been recommended to her by Evan's therapist.

New Story, a provider of private schools and services to help children with behavioral and educational challenges, developed the New Story Fund in 2009. New Story awarded $25,000 to Pennsylvania families this spring.

The second submission period is open through August 31. The New Story Fund is designed to help children and families with autism spectrum disorder, emotional support needs or developmental disabilities who don't have the finances to access goods and services needed to support those special needs. The second round of recipients will be named in the fall.

Riley's Toys

• Riley's Toys Foundation has launched its second annual Summer Toy Drive to benefit children in Africa. The toy drive will run through Aug. 30.

Riley's Toys Foundation, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, is a nonprofit whose mission is to collect toys and donations for needy children around the world. It was started by then-4-year-old Riley Hebbard after watching a news story about a Darfur refugee camp.

A complete list of drop-off points for the toy drive can be found at The goal is to collect 7,000 toys this year.

About 3,500 toys were collected during last year's toy drive, and the toy company HASBRO, Inc., then matched that donation.

Riley's Toys Foundation accepts toys and monetary donations year-round.

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