Spring 2017 Festival of CBL Review

Written By: Alexis Joy '19 and Megan Zmijewski '19

The Festival of Community Based Learning was held on May 1st, 2017. During the festival, students, faculty, and members of the community were all able to hear the different experiences and take-ways of the 131 students participating in the CBL this semester. The CBL placements that students were able to attend this semester included: Bittersweet Farm, Deep Root, Campus Kitchens, Cornell-Cooperative Extension, GardenShare, Maplewood Campus, North Country Children's Museum, NYSARC, Planned Parenthood, Potsdam Central School, and St. Mary’s School. Students presented their experience through movies, oral presentations, and by posters. It was clear, no matter which option they chose, students overall enjoyed going to their placements. The stories, the pictures, and the overall descriptions of the placements proved that each student was able to take important lessons away from their CBL experience.

The Festival was kicked off with a movie created by one of the CBL Housing suites placed at NYSARC Fitness.  Presentations like this not only uniquely highlight the placement but also educate other students about opportunities that students have at St. Lawrence, like living in the CBL Housing suite. The following presentations presented themes of leadership, communication, and problem solving skills. Each group discussed how they were able to improve or gain these three skills through the various opportunities their CBL offered. Students also described how they grew to understand the challenges a small community like Canton. They realized that going to St. Lawrence places them inside a protective bubble and CBL courses allow them to break free and grow from transformative CBL experiences.