Mountaintop Removal Spring Break

Every year, Drew students travel to Harlan, Kentucky for a week-long Spring Break trip. The goal of the trip is to deepen students’ understanding of Environmental Justice. On the trip, students learn about mountaintop removal and the ecological, cultural and economic significance of mining in local communities. The trip includes a civic engagement/community service component. Trip Leaders for 2016 were Summer Harrison, Assistant Professor, English & Environmental Studies, Marc Boglioli, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Phillip Salter,Graduate Student, Theology.

Students participate in the following activities:

  • Service work planting trees on an abandoned strip mine site in Harlan County (Dollar Branch) and home weatherization work with Harlan Community Action Agency
  • A visit to a mountaintop removal site
  • Lectures on Appalachia and mountaintop removal hiking at Blanton Forest
  • A visit to the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum and Thrift Shop
  • Round table discussion with coalfield residents (KFTC, SAMS, RRENEW) and speakers.
  • Viewing the 1976 Academy-award wining documentary on the United Mine Workers strike in Harlan
  • Live music and dancing at the Campbell Branch Community Center and the Summit City Lounge in Whitesburg

Alternative Winter Break to New Orleans, LA

In January 2016, students spent a week in New Orleans helping to rebuild 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. The Volunteer Resource Center organized the the successful trip through the St. Bernard Project and JetBlue provided free airfare for the volunteers.

Students worked during the day and had nights free to explore the local culture. To cover other expenses, students spent seven weeks fundraising. Some shook cans outside the Madison Stop and Shop, while others sold green and blue bracelets at campus basketball games. In addition, they reached out to Drew alumni through their webpage. In all, they raised more than $1,800.

“Sandy Relief & Restore the Shore”

Drew students and volunteers dedicated their time to help “restore the shore” at the Tom’s River New Jersey area.

Volunteers helped with a variety of projects:

  • Mucking/gutting outs, with houses still in need of this dire help
  • Painting and rebuilding assistance
  • Environmental projects such as dune restoration and rebuilding boardwalks
  • Assisting at food banks and donation centers
  • Working with kids in after-school programs

This program was in association with Community Collaborations International (CCI).

United Way Alternative Spring Break

Education is the key focus of United Way Alternative Spring Break in Newark, New Jersey. The lack of resources, funding, and excellent teachers for children in Newark has contributed to the poor quality education these youth receive. With United Way of Northern New Jersey’s partnership with United Way of Essex and West Hudson and the Boys & Girls Club, they are making it possible to give tutors, mentors and support to the children who need it the most.

Did you know that 1 in 3 children living in Newark, NJ live in poverty? And that poverty influences nearly every aspect of a child’s well-being, including academic success?

As a participant in United Way Alternative Spring Break, you will work directly with children at the Boys & Girls Club in Newark by developing and implementing a summer camp style curriculum. Additionally, you will work with Boys & Girls Club staff to increase the impact of their programs and the facility.

Check out this newsletter story to learn more about what students have done

To learn how you can get involved with United Way of Northern New Jersey Alternative Spring Break, click here, or call 973.993.1160, x201.