A Learning Experience: Alternative Spring Breaks

Story posted March 07, 2007

Breaking with tradition, 78 students are forgoing Fort Lauderdale and other similarly sunny downtime destinations for an experiential spring break that will put them to work for an intense week in the field of public service.

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Kathryn Lahotsky '05 helps frame a house in Mississippi last year.

Coordinated through Bowdoin’s Community Service Resource Center, the Alternative Spring Break Program provides unique opportunities for students to participate in public service projects. Students live and work in environments they may never have encountered before while learning about significant social and environmental problems by immersing themselves in related service efforts.

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Meaghan Kennedy '05 reads to children at an elementary school in New Mexico during last year's spring break.

Bowdoin College’s spring break begins after the last class on Friday, March 9, 2007, and runs until 8 a.m. on Monday, March 26, 2007, when classes resume. Most of the trips take place the first week of spring break.

The Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel published an OpEd piece written by Steve Kolowich '08, who is co-leader of a trip to Mississippi to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. Click here to read it.

2007 Alternative Spring Break Trip Sites:

Discovering D.C.
Participants spend a week in the nation’s capital, working with local organizations to address hunger and homelessness through direct service and advocacy on Capitol Hill.

Mission: Mississippi
Participants will address affordable housing by building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

New Opportunities in New Mexico
Participants will live and work in the Native American community of Gallup, New Mexico, discovering and addressing public health issues.

Seeds of Change
Participants will promote sustainable agriculture and community development through work at an organic farm and market in Puerto Rico.

Su Casa de Nicaragua
Participants will join Bridges to Community in addressing housing for the impoverished in a Nicaraguan community by building structurally sound, long-term homes.

Take Me Home, West Virginia
Participants will assist the Appalachian community of Oak Hill, West Virginia, with labor and education projects, including home renovation and GED assistance.

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