On Friday October 5, Catskill Middle School participated in the annual A Greater Sense of Place program. The entire Middle School participated in workshops, both on campus and off. The foundational basis of the program is to expose the students to opportunities and offerings in the community around them, while engaging in collaborative and experiential learning.
Some of the offerings this year included a trip to The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm to participate in a Farm-to-table workshop, seeing where food is grown, help harvest it, then prepare a meal to eat together. Other students toured Historic sites at Saratoga Battlefield to immerse in the Revolutionary War, or explore the art and history of Olana and Cedar Grove. Some students went hiking at the Ramshorn Preserve, North-South Lake, ArtOmi Sculpture Park, mountain biking at North Lake, or kayaking on the Catskill Creek. Around the village, students visited Pomodoros Pizza to make and eat pizza, then explored the Catskill Fire House, others looked for hidden treasure by geocaching. On campus, students had a variety of presentations, including NYS Troopers with a K9 unit, Introduction to dance and choreography, hair styling and craft making.
A Greater Sense of Place was a success based upon the reflections and comments from the students, who were enthusiastic as they returned to school for the day. The program has been a school-wide event at CMS for more than a decade, but its roots go back much further, dating to related community-based learning projects that classes began undertaking in the 1980’s. The program also is a testament to the dedication of the staff who guide and assist with all of the workshops, ensuring this valuable program continues for the future. Thank you to Dave Taylor for coordinating A Greater Sense of Place.