The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good at Bowdoin College is discontinuing its annual Common Good Day and has announced plans for a new, year-round program.

Beginning this fall, a new program called Common Good Project Teams will provide community partners with volunteers to help tackle projects that aren’t easily addressed amid their day-to-day operations and limited resources.

Instead of a single day in the fall, the McKeen Center will be working with its partners on a timeframe that is responsive to their organizational needs.

Common Good Day began in 1998, 10 years before the McKeen Center opened its doors. Since then, the center has provided opportunities for students to benefit of society through public engagement, according to a statement from the college.

According to the college, Common Good Day grew to serve more than 50 local organizations on one celebratory day each September. Meanwhile, the McKeen Center has developed other programs to support a wide variety of commitment levels with local nonprofits, schools and government organizations throughout the year.

“We now understand the McKeen Center’s mission in more dynamic terms, designing programs to deepen students’ community impact, the relationships they build in the community, and the development of critical self-awareness in our pursuit of the common good,” McKeen Center Director Sarah Seames said.

“In light of this evolution, it makes sense to transition CGD away from its slightly frenetic single-afternoon format to a year-round program that instead will offer more opportunities with greater flexibility for students and local organizations,” Seames said.

Common Good Project Teams will continue the work of matching groups of volunteers with particular projects, help with logistics and offer opportunities for students to reflect on their service, according to the college. Now, hosts will be able to choose when their projects are completed, and each volunteer group will receive personalized support from the McKeen Center.

Project proposals will be invited in summer 2021 and the first Common Good Project Teams will be sent out in September.

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