From hatching salmon eggs to organizing food drives, Caitlin Kidder has done a lot to leave her mark on the CBL program. Here are the details about Kidder's work with Mount Holyoke alum Sue Brouillette and the South Hadley food pantry, Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Most of the kids at South Hadley High don't know much about the multiculturalism at Mount Holyoke, even though it's in their own backyard. And, despite being next-door-neighbors, the towns of South Hadley and Holyoke barely interact at all! Stephanie Maitre is keenly aware of these unseen barriers, and she's determined to start breaking them down. Through her work with the South Hadley Youth Commission, Maitre isn't only helping to build the community spirit within the town, but encouraging it to grow beyond those boundaries.
On January 21st, 2013 (Martin Luther King Day!), a food drive benefitting Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the South Hadley food pantry, took place. A collaboration between Mount Holyoke College and South Hadley High School, the event was designed to bring the community together in the spirit of helping one another. Volunteers from MHC, South Hadley High, and from all parts of the town worked together to make the third annual drive a resounding success, despite the frigid weather. Read more here!
The last CBL workshop of the semester was an informative introductory session on how to be a successful grantwriter. Taught by Alan Bloomgarden, CBL coordinator, the workshop was packed with valuable info that only an experienced grantwriter (like Alan) could know.
Hip Hop (R)evolution is an event at the Peck school in Holyoke that aims to promote college awareness and accessibility to students by incorporating the message into a fun Friday night event. Read about the Fall 2012 event here!
Holyoke Bound is an all-day workshop that educates students about the city and the people of Holyoke, and prepares them volunteering, mentoring, and other work with the folks who live there. Here is a summary of the session that took place this past September.
Tutor training sessions are held periodically for CBL fellows and tutors working with elementary and middle school students in Holyoke. Here's a snapshot of what a training session is like, and how our tutors will be working to to help these kids get on the track to success.[Read More]
The 2012-2013 chapter of the Community-Based Learning program at Mount Holyoke College is well underway! Right now our CBL Fellows are working hard on a wide range of projects out there in the world. Here you'll find a list of our Fellows and brief summaries of the challenges that they have taken on this year.[Read More]
Students, staff and faculty associated with the CBL Program gathered with many community partners in attendance on May 2nd from 5:30-7:30pm to celebrate the year's accomplishments. Thirty-three "Community Fellows" shared poster, multi-media and other presentation materials in a "fair" setting which gave participants extensive opportunities for conversation about individual projects and partnerships. Food from South Hadley's own El Guanaco nourished us and along with music and refreshments, we had a festive appreciation for the learning projects centered upon social justice, community development and regional capacity-building in education, social and human services, organizing, and other fields.
The CBL Program awarded this year's "Sally Montgomery Award" to graduating seniors Kristina Bolton, Sabina Dhakal, and Ashley Metellus for their CAMBIAS youth mentoring project. Their partner, the CHOICES Program at the William R. Peck School in Holyoke also received a cash award as part of the prize.
Spring is here and the soil is ready to be tilled and tended to, again. There has been a lot of excitement among the Gardening the Community (GTC) youth and staff as we prepare our urban garden beds for the planting season. Our farmer friends at the Next Barn Over (NBO) in agrarian Hadley are doing the same thing (but on much more land!!). GTC and NBO have developed a partnership in which the NBO delivers boxes of their fresh, organic vegetables to our garden site in Springfield. We sell these boxes of veggies to Springfield community members on a sliding scale so that low-income residents can afford healthy food. This program, GTC EATS, is similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Thus, to prepare us for our season of GTC EATS, I have been developing materials for the program, such as marketing tools, a program information sheet, and a customer registration form. It is my hope that these materials will set the program up for a successful season!
Our students really stepped up and displayed their creativity and new found love for mentoring. Their topics included: the pros and cons of different mentoring styles; how teaching writing through peer mentoring is analogous to learning how to cook; the first time they mentored in a class; and how learning to mentor is like learning to play the piano! Seriously- how cool are our students?
Things are going just swimmingly at the Mosier School! This is Caitlin Kidder (Class of 2013, Environmental Studies & International Relations major), again bringing you an update from the Mosier School's salmon egg rearing project. Last time I blogged, our salmon were merely eggs, but now they're tiny alevin swimming around their tank! Well, mostly hiding in the rocks at the bottom (as they tend to do in the wild, to hide from predators). But the kids are still loving learning about such fascinating creatures, and we've covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks! We've discussed the salmon lifecycle, which is rather complicated and involves both river and ocean habitats.