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Berry Residence Hall Programming engages with Charleston Community

Posted by: Erin Blevins | December 18, 2014 | No Comment |

In August 2014, Berry Residence Hall welcomed around 635 students in its first year as a co-ed Living-Learning Community.   Living and Learning Communities bridge in-class student learning opportunities and out-of-class residential environments to heighten that heighten student intellectual and personal growth.  These communities foster faculty and student interaction in a purposeful manner through events such as Beyond George Street Honors seminar courses that are taught in the classroom on the first floor, Resident Assistant programs that feature a faculty or staff member and even through Academic Experience events that are held in Berry.

Each floor on Berry Hall has an individual theme which is the basis for academic and social programming throughout the semester. Students delve into each topic of which they have a specific interest in while being supported by peers, faculty, and residential staff.  Floors 2 and 3 house Honors students. Floor 4 is the Global Village, floor 5 is Fine Arts & Communication and floor 6 is Innovation in Science and Technology.

As a part of Berry’s programming model, the Resident Assistants (RAs) work with the local nonprofit group, HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), whose mission is to provide assistance to abused and neglected children and to their caregivers. Each semester, the Berry community partners with HALOS to provide educational and social opportunities to the HALOS children. Likewise, these programs provide the residents of Berry a platform to engage in the greater Charleston community and foster a global perspective. These collaborative programs help strengthen the Berry community and offer support to Charleston community members.

Children's book author, Jacqueline Ogburn reads "Bake Shop Ghost" to children in Berry.

Children’s book author, Jacqueline Ogburn reads “Bake Shop Ghost” to children in the HALOS program.


During Fall 2014, four building-wide programs were held. The first one provided the HALOS children with an opportunity to hear from a local children’s book author,Jacqueline Ogburn. Ogburn read her Bake Shop Ghost to the children. Afterwards, they were able to work with the RAs and residents on making their own children’s book.





pictured left to right:  Carissa Jenkins, 5th floor Berry RA; Emily Deahl,5th floor Berry RA; Karee White, Assistant Director of New Student Programs, HALOS participant.

pictured left to right: Carissa Jenkins, 5th floor Berry RA; Emily Deahl,5th floor Berry RA; Karee White, Assistant Director of New Student Programs, HALOS participant.

The community’s second program was the annual HALOS Halloween social. HALOS children trick or treated through Berry Residence Hall while their caregivers were able to rest in the designated ‘caregivers only’ lounge and enjoy food and television.







FIFA tournament at Berry Residence Hall.

FIFA tournament at Berry Residence Hall.

The third program introduced a new initiative—Charleston Kicks, a collaboration between College of Charleston and Nottingham Forest Community in Nottingham, England. During the week that representatives from Nottingham Forest Community were in town, Berry hosted a FIFA (Soccer Video Game) tournament. The final game was a fierce showdown, with the winner snagging a signed Nottingham Forest Football (American Soccer) Club jersey. This program offered an outlet for residents to interact with one another in a social setting, while also being exposed to the Charleston Kicks community outreach program.



The fourth and final program of the semester, the annual HALOS holiday social, was held on December 1st.   This year, the RAs wanted to expose Berry residents and the HALOS children to a variety of cultural traditions.  At the social, there was a crafting room where HALOS children and residents of Berry had the opportunity to make Christmas-themed or Hanukah-inspired crafts.

By the numbers: Residents and HALOS children per program:

  • Program 1—Storybook: 20 HALOS children, 15 caregivers, 18 RAs, 2 residents
  • Program 2—Halloween social: 44 HALOS children, 30 caregivers, 18 RAs, 50 residents
  • Program 3—Nottingham Forest: 30 HALOS children, 10 RAs, 40 residents
  • Program 4 – Holiday social:  31 children, 16 caregivers, 19 RAs, 30 residents

Article written by Karee White, Assistant Director, New Student Programs

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