Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

<p>Kent State University students build a playhouse at a park in a residential neighborhood of East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>

Kent State University students build a playhouse at a park in a residential neighborhood of East Liverpool, Ohio.

<p>A Kent State student paints an old swing set in the city of East Liverpool, Ohio, during an Alternative Spring Break trip.</p>

A Kent State student paints an old swing set in the city of East Liverpool, Ohio, during an Alternative Spring Break trip.

<p>Three Kent State students repaint a playground game in downtown East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip.</p>

Three Kent State students repaint a playground game in downtown East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip.

<p>A Kent State student repaints playground equipment at a downtown park in East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip. Students stayed at the Kent State University at East Liverpool campus and worked on cleaning and repairing parks around the city.</p>

A Kent State student repaints playground equipment at a downtown park in East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip. Students stayed at the Kent State University at East Liverpool campus and worked on cleaning and repairing parks around the city.

<p>Ralph Maze, a maintenance repair worker at Kent State University at East Liverpool, works with a student while building a playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>

Ralph Maze, a maintenance repair worker at Kent State University at East Liverpool, works with a student while building a playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio.

<p>Two Kent State students scrape a jungle gym to get it ready for painting during an Alternative Spring Break trip to the campus of Kent State University at East Liverpool. Students cleaned parks, planted trees and helped out at the local dog shelter.</p>

Two Kent State students scrape a jungle gym to get it ready for painting during an Alternative Spring Break trip to the campus of Kent State University at East Liverpool. Students cleaned parks, planted trees and helped out at the local dog shelter.

<p>Students participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip build a new playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio. Kent State University students from the Kent campus volunteered their time to help refurbish several parks in the East Liverpool, Ohio, area.</p>

Students participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip build a new playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio. Kent State University students from the Kent campus volunteered their time to help refurbish several parks in the East Liverpool, Ohio, area.

<p>Kent State students carry a pre-built wall to the site of a playhouse being built at a city park in East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>

Kent State students carry a pre-built wall to the site of a playhouse being built at a city park in East Liverpool, Ohio.

  • <p>Kent State University students build a playhouse at a park in a residential neighborhood of East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>
  • <p>A Kent State student paints an old swing set in the city of East Liverpool, Ohio, during an Alternative Spring Break trip.</p>
  • <p>Three Kent State students repaint a playground game in downtown East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip.</p>
  • <p>A Kent State student repaints playground equipment at a downtown park in East Liverpool, Ohio, as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip. Students stayed at the Kent State University at East Liverpool campus and worked on cleaning and repairing parks around the city.</p>
  • <p>Ralph Maze, a maintenance repair worker at Kent State University at East Liverpool, works with a student while building a playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>
  • <p>Two Kent State students scrape a jungle gym to get it ready for painting during an Alternative Spring Break trip to the campus of Kent State University at East Liverpool. Students cleaned parks, planted trees and helped out at the local dog shelter.</p>
  • <p>Students participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip build a new playhouse at a park in East Liverpool, Ohio. Kent State University students from the Kent campus volunteered their time to help refurbish several parks in the East Liverpool, Ohio, area.</p>
  • <p>Kent State students carry a pre-built wall to the site of a playhouse being built at a city park in East Liverpool, Ohio.</p>

Students Make a Difference

Bethany Gadd
While many college students spent their spring breaks relaxing on a beach sipping a cold drink down south, Kent State University freshman Lexi Veri along with 40 other Kent State students spent their spring break in East Liverpool, Ohio.

The students came to Kent State University at East Liverpool to renovate and restore five area playgrounds. Columbiana County was one of five program sites hosting students from each of the university’s eight campuses.

“The whole experience was amazing,” Veri said. “I’ve never met such an amazing group of people. I felt so accomplished, like we really made a difference in the lives of those in the community.”

Students spent the week camped out in sleeping bags on classroom floors and took showers at the East Liverpool YMCA. “It was a lot of fun getting to know the students I was working with,” Veri said. “We spent practically every waking minute together; from the time we woke up until we went to sleep at night. We worked together, ate together and had fun in the evenings together. It is an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Jeff Nolte, dean of Kent State’s East Liverpool and Salem campuses, said he was impressed with the students’ worth ethic and enthusiasm. “It was a pleasure meeting these students,” Nolte said. “Their excitement to improve our region was contagious. The difference they have made in our community is evident, and we are so grateful for all of their hard work.”

Rachael Esterly, alternative spring break program coordinator, was excited by the overall impact the program had on the students.  

“It was amazing to watch the students transform into different people throughout the week,” Esterly said. “They overcame fears and became confident in things they were unsure of as the week progressed. The international students learned about our culture, and we learned about theirs. Many of our students even tried to speak Chinese! Being together for six days allowed the students to let down their guard and learn so much.”

The students’ accomplishments were showcased during ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Bank Street, Ohio Avenue, Mulberry, Orchard Grove and Moore Street playgrounds.  

Students were able to see their hard work pay off directly following the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, as several area children came to enjoy the newly renovated playgrounds.