Each year CELC has a theme that takes on a life of its own throughout the year, culminating with the writing of formal research papers and creating elaborate displays that showcase the work and learning of each student.  This year’s theme “Ancient to Modern Civilizations” includes research about ancient Japan, San Bushmen of the Kalahari, the Maya, the Vikings, ancient Greece, and ancient-to-modern Hebrew people.  Students create a persona, dress in costume, and become someone who might have lived within the time period of these civilizations.

The following blogs, written by 4th-year CELC student “on-the-spot” reporters,  describe some of  this theme experience:


Another Round of Theme

written by S.B., 4th-year CELCer

Welcome to a world of many! Vikings, Mayans, Jews, and more gather here today, together all decked out as replicas of their life! This day, June 8th, marks four straight weeks of hard work and focus.

The first-years, bubbling with mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness come close to the end of their building time, while the graduates bundle everything  up for their last theme. With graduation right on their tail, the students have put forth an extreme amount of work in these last few

weeks – writing papers and creating projects only hint at the work done.  Theme, an annual project, is perhaps specific to CELC Middle School. While theme’s main performance is during the last trimester on the school year, it definitely is spotlighted all throughout the year. Theme dictates the yearly trips, beginning-of-the-year projects, and the content learned all year long. This year’s theme is Ancient to Modern Civilization. Because of this year’s theme we not only learned Mayan math at the beginning of the year, but we also got to travel to D.C. to learn about modern government!

On June 9th all the students cluster at the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford from 12:30 – 4:30! Come and be a part of this extraordinary day!  


CELC’s Living Museum

written by C.M., 4th-year CELCer

The humid June air wafts up the noses of the students of CELC Middle School. For just under three week, these CELCers have been working tirelessly, building their excellent theme displays.

For those who don’t know, theme is a class specific to the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC). Every year there is a new theme, this year Ancient to Modern Civilizations. Theme plays a role in everything we do during the academic year, from the trips we take to the material we learn. Theme may remain in the background for a lot of the year, but at the end of the year the students embark on a gargantuan journey. This school today is brimming with dozens of pieces of each project along with the nervous anticipation of tomorrow’s living museum event.

Both the new arrivals and the older, returning CELCers rush around the building, putting the finishing touches on their amazing life-sized displays, not to mention editing their finely-tuned research papers. Not a moment is wasted, crunch time is palpable, as the spectacular event is tomorrow.

I have attended CELC now for four years, yet I couldn’t begin to tell you what this theme presentation day will be like. It is always a new and different experience. But I can tell you one thing, you definitely will not be disappointed.


~Click on any image to view a scrollable gallery.