It comes as no surprise that USF St. Petersburg holds the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation.
Here are just a few examples of how we support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.
Festival of Reading
The free Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is an annual celebration of the written word featuring presentations by nationally renowned authors, book signings, a book market, and a food court.
USF St. Petersburg has hosted the Festival of Reading since 2005.
The Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
An eclectic array of authors and topics has been featured in previous festivals. Among past presenters are: Carl Hiaasen, Dennis Lehane, R.L. Stine, Sen. Bob Graham, Andy Borowitz, Michael Connelly, Arianna Huffington, Taylor Branch, Candace Bushnell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Martina Navratilova.
USFSP faculty authors have also participated in past Festivals. These include Professors Ray Arsenault, Gary Mormino, Sheramy Bundrick, Tony Silvia, Deanna Michael, Mark Durand, among others.
Members of the University community also serve as volunteers during the Festival.
Neighborhood News Bureau
Our Neighborhood News Bureau is a working newsroom, staffed by our Journalism undergraduate and graduate students, located at 2335 22nd Ave.South in St. Petersburg.
It functions as a community connection for collecting and disseminating information and news.
It produces stories, features and announcements for use by local and regional news media and community organizations.
Tax preparation for elderly and lower income individuals
Jim Fellows, Ph.D., CPA is the 2009-2010 Bank of America Professor in our College of Business. He is coordinating efforts with the I.R.S. VITA internship and volunteer program. This active program allows students to engage in “real” tax return preparation while helping the community’s elderly and lower income individuals.
Closing the achievement gap
Our Family Study Center, in collaboration with the Concerned Organization for the Quality of Education for Black Students (COQEBS) and other community partners, works to address the achievement gap between African American students and their school-aged peers.
The innovative focus of this initiative is on front-end support for our youngest citizens and their parents and caregivers: enhancing early learning environments to better prepare infants and toddlers for the eventual transition to preschool.
At the community events, which have become known as “Baby Talk”, African American parents, infant care providers, and others concerned about the well-being of children in south Pinellas County gather to hear from panelists and learn routine everyday strategies appropriate for promoting the brain development of babies and toddlers, including daily floor time and reading of books.
Integration of academic instruction into the local community
Citizen scholarship sets USF St. Petersburg apart.
Faculty members offer students both classroom and community learning opportunities within their curricula. Many courses engage USF St. Petersburg students with community businesses, agencies and schools in focused academic service.
By pairing courses with corporate and community partners for immersive learning, professors involve students in the world outside the classroom.