CELTS History
CELTS group photo

CELTS History


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 (SFA) was the umbrella organization for many of the programs we now refer to as CELTS programs. SFA was one of the oldest community service programs at Berea College.

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. It 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. For the next 20 or more years, SFA was funded primarily by Berea College and a few small state and federal grants.

Both programs started out working in four nearby counties. Under Berea College, its focus shifted to Madison County and the city of Berea, where the program was. 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
  • Perhaps rediscovered what it means to grow
  • 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.

Students for Appalachia