Community partnerships are critical for creating the type of living-learning community where students can engage in both the theory and practice of sustainability. The Sustainability Program continues to cultivate existing and new partnerships with organizations and individuals in our region. The North Country is home to many community members with specialized knowledge and skills that they enthusiastically share with our students. Students often post blogs that share their thoughts and experiences working in the community.
Opportunities to partner with the Sustainability Program take the form of fieldtrips, workshops, seminars, and community based learning opportunities. Explanations of what we mean by each of these partnership possibilities follows.
Field Trips: The Community Partner hosts and guides a visit to a site of interest, e.g a tour of the partner’s farm, homestead, business, organization etc. This may consist of “show & tell” and demonstration or may incorporate some activity, e.g. a farm visit during which students help with a specific task. Duration of a Field Trip may range from approximately 1-3 hours.
Teaching a Workshop: The Community Partner teaches a skill or craft, through experiential education, e.g. cheese making, goat milk soap making, chicken slaughtering, writing songs of social protest, green building skills. The workshop may take place on or off the Sustainability Semester campus. The Partner will be compensated for his/her time, workshop materials and personal equipment/tool use. Typical duration of a Workshop may be several hours to most of a day.
Leading a Seminar: The Community Partner teaches a class on a particular topic, e.g. solar energy, food security, food safety, town planning. This is similar to a Workshop but may be somewhat less “hands on” depending on the topic and typically will be of shorter duration, generally an hour or hour and a half and will generally take place on the Sustainability Semester campus.
Community Based Learning Opportunity (CBL): Typically, CBL opportunities are partnered with specific courses. In these instances, the Community Partner would host a student three hours each week during which time the student will deepen their understanding of some aspect of sustainability through their interaction and work for the community partner. CBL partnerships are meant to complement the theories and ideas students are learning in the classroom.
Community members interested in sharing their interests and expertise with St. Lawrence’s Sustainability Semester are encouraged to contact Homesteader-In-Residence, Samuel Joseph.