A yearlong program connecting students and communities along the Shawsheen River through place-based learning, cultural exploration, and positive change-making
Date: Summer, plus yearlong engagement
Number of Students: 15 (2-4 students per participating school)
Program Director: Mark Cutler
Themes: Sustainability, Community, Partnerships, Expeditionary Learning
Resulting from an innovative collaboration among several schools in the area, Confluence will give Andover students a unique opportunity to work with others in their communities on a number of environmental issues, such as access to open spaces, food justice, and natural resource management. The yearlong program—which will feature outdoor excursions and a project, work-study, or internship—intends to empower students to take action together toward a more sustainable, just, and united future. Students will develop intercultural sensibilities; deepen their engagement with others; and hone skills that will transfer to the classroom, campus life, and global interactions.
Confluence opens with a five-day orientation before the start of school in August 2016. Participants will spend the first two days camping and canoeing as they explore the Shawsheen and Merrimack River watersheds, bond through physical and mental challenges, and learn about the projects they will work on throughout the upcoming school year. From September through May, each student will partner with another student from a different school to collaborate on a project related to Confluence themes. Students will report their progress monthly, alternating every other month between online forums and in-person explorations. The program concludes at the end of the school year with a “watershed moment”—a culminating, public presentation of projects and a whitewater rafting adventure. A complete schedule is available online.
For context on some of the exciting work that other schools are doing in inter-community collaboration, read: