Have you begun thinking about your spring break plans? Why not participate in one of CCESL’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programs. This year’s programs will be held in Memphis, Tennessee; Pocahontas State Park, Virginia; Warrenton, North Carolina; and Geneva, New York where students will give back to various communities over the course of the week long break.
The Pocahontas State Park program is perfect for any student seeking to spend their break in the outdoors. Students participating in the Pocahontas State Park program outside of Richmond, Virginia will help with several projects including clearing land for an educational nature trail, installing drainage pipes, building bridges and removing, rebuilding and replacing fishing piers. During the trip, students will stay in a lodge where they will cook dinners co-op style and come together for nightly reflections. During their week-long trip they will have the opportunity to spend a day sight-seeing the nearby area.
Not a fan of road trips or maybe you would prefer to stay in the comfort of your own room here on campus; the ASB program here in Geneva is a great way to give back to the Geneva community and is tailored to your individual interests. Options include working at the Community Lunch Program or the Boys and Girls Club, assisting a teacher in one of the local schools, or working with America Reads students who often miss out on programming that week as their tutors are on break. Students may also choose to do research for an agency or group in town. Whatever your preference is, CCESL will work to match your interests.
Students who are looking for a bit of a challenge and are not afraid of getting dirty should consider the Memphis, Tennessee program where they will join Chad Pregracke of Living Lands and Waters to help clear pollution from the riverbanks of the Mississippi River. Students will have the opportunity to not only travel the Mississippi by foot but also by boat as they remove debris that is impairing the habitat of the indigenous fish, birds and wildlife. Students leave Friday, March 11 and will spend the first night at the Malabar Farm Hostel, a 900-acre organic farm that was once the home and farm of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Bromfield. They will work Monday through Thursday along the Mississippi River before returning back to campus on Sunday.
Lastly, those individuals looking to work with elementary students should consider the Warrenton, North Carolina program where students will travel to Mariam Boyd Elementary School, a rural elementary school where students will work one-on-one tutoring, helping students with reading/math and assisting in general classroom duties. In addition, students help prepare crafts and activities for the children who participate in the after-school program run by the Norlina Methodist Church. The program will be chaperoned by faculty members, Khuram Hussain and EW Quimbaya-Winship who will offer a half credit course in conjunction with the trip. As this is a recurring program, the group is always warmly welcomed by the entire community and can expect to develop lasting friendships with both the children and teachers.
For more information or to apply students can visit www.hws.edu/academics/service/alternative_breaks.aspx or contact Jeremy Wattles at the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 28.