Brendon Johnson ’16 / Champlain News
Every semester, Champlain College students, especially first-year students, are encouraged to reach out beyond the confines of campus and give back to the community through the LEAD (Life Experience & Action Dimension) Program.
On Saturday, residents at the 371 Main Street residence hall headed over to the Sustainability Academy in Burlington to move rocks and help create an accessible outdoor amphitheater for elementary school students.
Community service projects are integrated in both the Resident Assistant (RA) and Peer Advisor (PA) training, providing a connection to community partners like The Ronald McDonald House, King Street Youth Center, and Resource VT. Resident Assistants then work with their residents to find opportunities with the help of the Center for Service and Civic Engagement.
Sustainability Academy is the only elementary magnet school in the county that has an emphasis on a curriculum that integrates concepts of sustainability into lessons. The school is currently in the middle of school yard transformation process which includes the construction of an outdoor classroom, the expansion of its community garden, and an ADA accessible outdoor amphitheater.
For 371 Main’s service project, students helped clear out large rocks at the future sight of the path that will lead to the outdoor amphitheater. Principle Brian Williams said he did not want these to go waste and believes as much as possible should be re-used, so these rocks were used to build the foundation of a dry stream bed.
After finishing that they helped fill in both of the playgrounds at the school with new wood chips. Champlain students also removed outdated playground equipment to make room for two flower beds around trees in the playground.
They had so much fun organizers are already planning their second trip back to Sustainability Academy.
Over the four-year Champlain College experience, students have numerous opportunities to get out into the community and really make a difference. There is something out there for everybody. To find out more information about service opportunities, email Maggie Melvin at mmelvin@Champlain.edu.