September 2009


It was a very eventful weekend for OCBL!

Kate took a couple students from the Activism Club to the Common Ground Faire in Maine and camping.

We drove up Saturday morning and arrived in the afternoon to Middle-of-Nowhere, Maine (aka Unity). We got to the Faire, which is acres of beautiful landscape, full of locally grown food, animals, vendors, farmers, music. There were many workshops about sustainability, recylcing, social action, agriculture, etc.

After the faire ended, we headed to a camping ground. There was a bon fire and of course, smores.

There is something about sleeping outside that is quite beautiful. The whole weekend was rather pleasant and relaxing and I personally learned a lot just talking to people about different political causes and leading a more sustainable life.

I posed the question to Cassie and Emi, how can we bring what we have learned here back to the Stonehill community? I think this is something that we will still be talking about throughout the semester. It is not an easy question. It was brought up that if you educate people, then they will at least have the awareness of an issue. Some ideas thought of were talking to Sodexho about buying local produce, having a camp-out to raise awareness of homelessness, knitting classes, info from the Beehive Collective, partnering with other groups on campus and in the community.

That being said, we are working on organizing an Environmental/Green Friendly job event, perhaps in January. Corey has a friend he is trying to bring in to talk about social action as it relates to the environment.

Common Ground Faire might be able to link to this.

I personally was intrigued by the amount of small businesses in Maine, apparently small businesses make up most of the economic income for the state.

I went through something that can only be classified as culture shock as I thought that was amazing as well as inspiring. I believe in independent business and supporting local programming and shops very much. How can we inspire Stonehill students to go into Brockton and support local businesses? I’m not sure I have the answer right now.

I was also moved by the beauty of the landscape and where we were. Check out the pictures of our trip!

I think for next year, we need a bigger group and more support from the college. I think we should try and go for the full 3 days and have our students volunteer. Next time, I will also budget for tolls!

I had a great time getting to know these students and hope they had as much fun as me! Thanks Cassie and Emi!

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Here is a link to our new website: http://www.stonehill.edu/cbl.xml

The Moth: http://www.themoth.org/

StoryCorps: http://www.storycorps.org/

Hello to the Stonehill community and all those who are interested in Community-Based Learning.

Our website is up and running and can be found on the Stonehill website.

Corey and I have been helping faculty get their students off to a great start by visiting different potential sites with students so that they can choose where to do their service-learning. We have visited several places–St. Paul’s Table, Mainspring House, YouthBuild, Leaps in Literacy…many cool places.

I have been working closely with Professor Beth Belanger on her CBL Course where students create an oral history project with middle school students from the Cape Verdean Association. It is a yearlong Learning Community (LC) course taught with Professor Carole Calo. We were lucky enough to get a grant to go to the Cape Verdean Museum in Providence with students from the CVA in Brockton. I also sat in on one of the classes last week and did a short presentation on storytelling. I think that it may seem like a basic topic but from the concept of storytelling, different art forms can branch. I think storytelling in its own way, is a form of art. I am a huge fan of NPR’s StoryCorps as well as The Moth, which feature ordinary people telling a story about their lives. (You can podcast both of them.)

This brings me to my next thought…Serve.gov–the United We Serve site that Obama launched, where “everyone can serve” has an RSS feed for stories of people doing community service projects all over the country. I strongly recommend you check them out.

I will provide links to all items mentioned above in the next post. Hope to see you at the Open House.

Don’t forget to comment!