Written by Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn. - For the second year in a row, Eastern Connecticut State University's Center of Community Engagement will sponsor two groups of Eastern students participating in Alternative Spring Break trips on March 22 and 23. This year's trips have students working for the "Environmental Trip" and Hurricane Sandy disaster relief.
The Environmental Trip group will remain in Connecticut to participate in environmental programs and activities. Students will have the opportunity to build log and lumber bridges based on the theories and understanding of nature of Henry Thoreau and Gifford Pinchot. They will also participate in a panel discussion with conservation and environmental experts about environmental sustainability. The trip participants are hoping to also perform some trail work on a portion of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, as well as a short hike. The student trip leader is Calvin Underwood.
The second group, led by students Brielle Heinl, Christina Mazzatti and Rebecca Ingoglia, is going to New Jersey to engage in Hurricane Sandy disaster relief work. The students and their advisors, Anthony Aidoo, professor of mathematics, and Hall Director Emma Blandford, will work on volunteer projects in Ocean and Atlantic Counties. Specifically, they will work in Tom's River, Seaside Heights, Manahawkin, Atlantic City, Brigantine and several other communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Their projects will include removing sand from buildings and homes; rebuilding dunes; improving trails and parks; working in after-school programs; painting projects and working in community food banks, just to name a few. The Alternative Spring Break Program allows students to use their spring break to perform meaningful service for the community. The trips give students an opportunity to meet new people, learn new things and to step away from traditional learning and living. Each weekend or weeklong trip integrates service, reflection and education, and focuses on topics such as poverty, hunger, housing, health care and disaster relief. Trips are offered throughout the year in local and national destinations.
For more information on Eastern's Alternative Spring Break Program, visit www.easternct.edu/cce/alternative-breaks.html.