The Carnival Is Coming to Town: NDNU Students Bring Fun To Soledad

Belmont, CA, October 5, 2010 — Laughs and giggles, chatting and cheering. These are just some of the sounds that will be heard when over 70 freshman students from Notre Dame de Namur University host a carnival in Soledad for the children of migrant farm workers. The carnival will visit the farm labor camps from 12-3 p.m. on October 9.

NDNU students from the First-Year Experience program have planned and will present familiar carnival activities including face painting, temporary tattoos, carnival games, pumpkin designing, a chalk mural, photo booth, basketball and soccer, and of course the children will munch on hot dogs, cotton candy, and popcorn! Children who complete the activities will earn one of 60 new backpacks donated by The Family Giving Tree in San Jose, as well as school supplies.

The Soledad carnival is one facet of NDNU’s commitment to social justice values. “The First-Year Experience program exposes our freshman to the values and mission of the University, and allows them to put those values in action,” said Vince Fitzgerald, director of the First-Year Experience program at NDNU. “The benefit of the carnival is two-fold. The children have a spectacular time playing with our students, and our students learn about community engagement by interacting with the children.”

The farm labor camps are located between Soledad and Gonzales on McCoy Road, east of Highway 101. The site is north of Camphora-Gloria Road, and adjacent to the southern boundary of the State Correctional Training Facility. The camps house 80 adults and 120-200 children, ages 0-15, in 40 units, according to an annual census prepared by Dorothy’s Place.