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Campus School Seeks To Become Bigger Part Of BC Life

Heights Senior Staff

Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Campus School 2/6/12

Alexandra Gaynor / Heights Staff

Despite its status as the smallest academic building on campus, the most learning happens within Campion Hall. Campion serves as home to the Campus School, a school for students ages three to 21 with special needs. The school operates outside of the Boston College administration, but it offers opportunities for BC students to honor the Jesuit motto of men and women for others through working with the students of the Campus School.

The Campus School Volunteers of Boston College (CSVBC) hosts a number of yearly events to provide support to the Campus School. Composed of seven student committees, including committees for publications, the annual broom hockey tournament, literacy buddies, the Boston Marathon initiatives, special events, the a cappella group, and the Eagle Eyes effort, CSVBC bridges the gap between BC and the Campus School. "We [CSVBC] are the people behind the planning of the different events, and then there are the volunteers for the Campus School as a whole," said Nici Perreault, a chair of publications and A&S '14.

With a new calendar year upon them, CSVBC plans on spreading awareness of the program and the Campus School to the greater community. "Campus School is part of BC, but a lot of people think it's separate," Perreault said. "We want to integrate it more into the campus and make more people aware of it and make students more aware of the volunteer opportunities, because even though we do have a ton of volunteers, it's great whenever we have these special event parties if actual BC students could come and get involved and see that there is this great school on campus that does these great things for students with special needs."

The organization boasts a wide array of events with volunteering opportunities, but perhaps the most popular and well-known of these events is the yearly Boston Marathon effort. With the Campus School's status as a non-profit school, the student participation in the marathon serves as a fundraising effort to raise money for the school. "I think we have over 300 BC students planning on running this year for the Campus School," Perreault said.

For students planning on running for the Campus School, there are certainly benefits. "The school brings in a nutritionist, they organize group runs, and put on other events, like a fitting with Marathon Sports for sneakers," Perreault said. "We do the Mile 21, where Campus School students and their families cheer the runners on." A particular tradition keeps the runners' goal in mind, though. "Students will wear a picture on their shirt with their Campus School student or their buddy on it."

While the marathon may be the most recognizable of the CSVBC's programs, it is certainly not the only one. They host events for both the BC community and the Campus School students. Events include a broom hockey tournament and a golf tournament, which both serve to raise money for the Campus School, a number of holiday parties, and a Campus School semiformal. "It's really great to see BC students go [to the semiformal]," Perreault said. "It's really like prom for those s++tudents. It's for the high school kids, so it's really trying to allow them to have the whole high school experience."

The opportunities CSVBC offer provide a service to an often unrecognized community on the BC campus, but the volunteers agree the rewards are mutual. "I speak on behalf of everyone at the Campus School when I say you get so much more out of this than maybe even the student," Perreault said. "You get such a feeling of joy and pride in what you're doing. Seeing them laugh and seeing them smile is so rewarding."

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