Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS)


SFA Tree     CeltsLogo

“Enriching the lives of children, adults and the elderly in our community and providing meaningful service, learning and leadership experiences for Berea College students.”

Students For Appalachia, one of the oldest community service programs at Berea College, was the umbrella organization for many of the programs we now refer to as CELTS Student-Led programs.

The program began in the mid-1960s as Campus Action For Mountain Progress (CAMP). In 1968 the federal Office of Economic Opportunity began providing funds through the Council of Southern Mountains. At that time the name was changed to Students for Appalachia and was a community development program designed to help people with the problems of daily life. In 1970 an adult education component was added. The program was called STABLE (Student Taught Adult Basic Literacy Effort). In 1972 the two programs merged and the name STABLE was dropped in 1976. Both programs completed their federal support in 1973 and for the next 20 or more years, SFA was funded primarily by Berea College and a few small state and federal grants.

While both programs initially worked in four nearby counties, under Berea College the focus has been Madison County and the city of Berea, where the program is located. With over 30 labor positions, about 150 regular volunteers and over 100 volunteers for specific seasonal events, as a member of SFA, you participated in a challenging community, gained leadership experience and perhaps rediscovered what it means to grow. You applied classroom knowledge, learned about group dynamics, and made a difference in someone’s life. You got involved.

In the years since, we have grown and evolved. What remains unchanged is the sense of community, commitment and service that binds students and staff alike. The spirit  of SFA remains and guides the work of all who learn and serve in CELTS.

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