Animation StudyM&M along the Trolley Trail
School Street in Branford Just a few days of our new year with a new group of students and we have already jumped right into the exciting life at CELC! CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) is back in session in Branford!

Why Cook? / icebox cake Human Knot Writing at the marsh

The group juggle/name toss game went extremely well on our first morning together as CELC students began the journey of getting to know each other, launching this year’s learning adventures.  Keeping five beanbags in the air at once while passing them to one another in a pre-determined pattern is no easy feat.  We played other get-to-know-you games such as ‘A What?, ‘Two Truths and a Lie’, and we also played drums, learning our first rhythm and song, Funga Alafia, from West Africa!

Day two included a field experience to Meigs Point Nature Center at Hammonassett State Park to study the Sandy Beach ecosystem.  Day three, our first Why Cook? class had students making icebox cake in three flavors. Visiting artist Erica Udoff led our first art class with a focus on animation.  A full and rich life we create at this learning center!Funga AlafiaMeigs Point

As the first group of students back in the 1893 ‘Old Schoolhouse’ located at 28 School Street in Branford’s Stony Creek since the last class graduated in 1980, CELC students were quite impressed and look forward to doing an historic study of the building and the local area. The group became easily engaged, already laughing and building camaraderie – a sure sign of cohesiveness and positive things to come for this learning community.

Some of the student’s first impressions from personal journals:

“Today was nice; I felt perfectly safe for the first time in almost a year.”

“I am very glad my parents signed me up for CELC.  I am having a good first day here.  I like being in a small group with nice people.  This building is really old.  It was built in 1893.  My brain doesn’t hurt like it usually does on the first day of school.”

“Today we made an icebox cake.  It had chocolate, vanilla, and banana cream pudding.  I’m going to have the side with vanilla and chocolate.  I love pudding; I just hate bananas.  We had a homework assignment to investigate the pink granite used to make the steps of our building.  My wish this year is to learn better study habits.  I mixed the pudding.  I also poured the milk and spread it.”

“Today we went to Meigs Point and had a class by the shore.  The sun is shining brightly as I write, the wind is blowing strong and flipping my pages crazy as sand is getting poked up and thrown all around me.  The silence is calming, and the view is breathtaking.  Just looking out at the waves puts a smile to my face; this is the life.”

“Today started off the same as any other day, talking about the homework assignment to kick off the day.  We had music for the first time today, and we learned to listen to the beat and play different drums.  For Why Cook? class we made icebox cake using chocolate, vanilla, and banana cream pudding.  As I write, the cake is coming out.  Today is the third day of school.  Things are going good; different from my old school, but things are for sure looking good.”