NCC international students work at George Taylor House
Every year in early April, Northampton Community College observes a day of service.
“We do it to help our students get out into the community and take on some tasks to help out our neighbors,” said Jason Haller.
Last year, the crews consisted of some of the college’s educators. This year, Haller brought a contingent of international students.
“The students are part of the Community College Initiative (CCI) program,” he said. “They come into the program over the summer for a year and then return to their home countries in May,” he said.
Officially, the CCI is an international exchange program of the U.S. Department of State and is administered by Northern Virginia Community College on behalf of the Community College Consortium, of which Northampton Community College is a partner. Haller is the program coordinator for NCC.
“This is a great experience for them,” Haller said. “They get out of the classroom and into the community. On projects like this, they get to understand a little American history and culture.”
Jean Decker, one of the George Taylor House local volunteers, was grateful for the help.
“After the winter, it is always so difficult to get the garden area cleaned up, and the interior rooms are dusty,” she said.
The NCC crew was willing to help out, with the division of labor along old-school lines — the men did the outside work and the women took care of the inside.
Before everyone started, they took a moment to view a documentary film about George Taylor.
Emily Zacharda, director of the George Taylor House, is planning for the first day of the new season May 21.
“We will have local artists displaying their crafts and music by a local Lehigh Valley folk group,” she said. “Keep your calendar open. We will have activities for children and for adults, along with tours.”