Category Archives: Community Service


Several Batten MPP students volunteered to play Bingo with residents at The Cedars Golden Living Center on Friday afternoon of March 22nd. We brought t-shirts to give out as prizes to the winners of Bingo games, which were a huge hit when we volunteered there during Batten Builds in the fall. The residents of the assisted living center were really excited when they saw the prizes we brought with us!


As the Batten students spread out and sat at different tables, everyone listened eagerly to the numbers skillfully called out by Solomon and Kaitlin. The rest of the Batten crew, Kaycie, Patrick, Gina, Matt W., Kelly D., and Katy, listened carefully and helped out the skillful Bingo-players at their tables when needed. The residents thanked us for coming to play with them, but I think that we got the better end of the deal, getting to play Bingo with such wonderful people!


– Post by Katy Lai, MPP’13


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Filed under Batten Council, Community Service, Events, Students

Batten Builds

On Friday, August 31st, over 100 members of the Batten community sweated through 92 degree heat to perform various service events throughout Charlottesville. As the third annual Batten Builds Day of Service, it was our biggest event yet! We sent volunteers to Habitat for Humanity, the Cedars, City Schoolyard Garden, and Gallastar Equine Center just to name a few.

The Cedars “gardening” project, before

The day kicked off with a delicious barbecue, provided by Rhett’s Raw Bar and Grill. Then our volunteers headed off to their respective sites, where they built garden beds, did trail maintenance, and even repaired a historical boat. The community partners were incredibly grateful for all of our hard work, and many have expressed interest in partnering with the Batten School on more projects throughout the year. Students, faculty, and staff returned to Garrett Hall for a delicious ice cream social after the event to chat and share their experiences.

The Cedars, “gardening” project, after

Batten Builds was an excellent opportunity to get out into the community and make a difference. We can talk policy all day in the classroom but it doesn’t make a difference unless we can get out there and enact change. That’s what Batten Builds was – over 100 of us, from faculty to BA and MPP students, working around Charlottesville to make a difference in the community and in individuals’ lives. — Aaron Chafetz, Acc’13

Although most of us want to do good through policy, I think we all realized that you can do just as much, if not more good, with a rake or a shovel. just having a conversation with someone can positively affect them than the most lucid policy ever could. That’s what I learned. — Patrick Fitzsimmons, Acc’13

Dean Harding with his volunteer group at Batten Builds

Even though Batten Builds seemed to take place on the hottest day yet, it was great to not only be building something to help the community but also being able to get to know fellow Batten students and faculty.  I was able to create wooden frames so that elementary school students can learn more about gardening and nature, and also learned how to use an electric drill from my professor – not your typical service project! — Rachel Locke, BA ’14

I thought Batten Builds was a great way to get to know the community better and help out. I was surprised by how much we got done in the three hours we were there, and it was nice to feel appreciated for all of our hard work afterwards. — Min Yoon, Acc’13

Post by Kaitlin Brennan

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Filed under Community Service, Events, Faculty, Students