At Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC) a small group of students certainly find truth in the age-old adage “variety is the spice of life.” Young adolescents can thrive and be happy in ‘school’.
Friday, for example, we met in Branford and enjoyed our morning yoga class overlooking the Branford River and Long Island Sound from Parker Memorial Park at Branford Point Beach. The beauty of the day was so spectacular that we stayed and had our Spelling/Vocabulary class in the same location.
From there, we returned to the mini-van and traveled to the nearby home of a recent immigrant/refugee family from Jordan and Iraq. Our yearlong theme of immigration combined with our cooking class, students worked with Faris to learn to make authentic falafel. We all decided – after blending chick peas, parsley, and garlic in preparation for making the falafel, and then being offered a complete fish dinner – that Faris has such a passion for cooking he should open a restaurant featuring his Middle Eastern delicacies!
From that adventure, we had pizza lunch in Madera Park in Stony Creek. and topped that off with a class by local artist Melissa. For the art class, students are exploring how to create their “ideal dwelling” – this topic connects again to our theme, in considering a home and what that means. They used the images they’d collected and began to sketch and create initial ideas that ultimately will become a multimedia creation. Students will consider how to power their dwellings and learn to mathematically determine the BTU output to better understand the connection to their carbon footprints.
Students work hard and are asked to bring forward their best selves each day, appreciating the value of real learning.