To the editor: ESBR grateful for fall 2023 community expeditions

A student from ESBR meets with Ludlow Town Manager Brendan McNamara.

The Expeditionary School at Black River is grateful to share that this school year has been quite an exciting community exploration thus far.

As the school year was set to begin, the focus was determined to delve into all the workings of the community. This included visiting and/or speaking with various departments within Ludlow government, including the Water Treatment Facility, dam sites and the Ludlow Transfer Station, all of which were able to offer unique perspectives on how the town was affected by the July flooding.

ESBR even went so far as visiting the Springfield Dam early in the school year on what turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon. Students also spoke with Town Manager Brendan McNamara, who offered further clarification on the effects of the flooding on the community and the progress of rebuilding the town.

Furthermore, students also interviewed various organizations that support the town, such as the Black River Action Team, Black River Good Neighbor Services and Okemo Valley TV.

Students also partook in several fundraising exchanges. Throughout last spring and over the summer, Aubuchon Hardware’s advertised the opportunity for patrons to round up their bill, which that extra change being donated to ESBR. The final tally would be matched by Aubuchon’s. A couple students were able to venture to the hardware store and organize a photo op with a large presentation check  for a total of $2,447.54.

ESBR made sure to pay it forward, donatingto Black River Good Neighbor Services’ Flood Relief following a successful chicken BBQ in August. It received amazing support from the Ludlow Legion, raising just over $2,000 to split with BRGNS. Students were present at BRGNS for the donation and later reflected in their journals on the importance of BRGNS and the support they provide for the community. As one student said, it was “to help them give back to the community even more and to help the community after the flood.”

ESBR continues to be awed by this community. For such a small and quaint town, it is tremendous how many groups, organizations, and departments make up this area. The ability to allow students to explore these various entities first-hand and the flexibility to put weight to this as an educational opportunity is the foundation of what the Expeditionary School means. ESBR is forever grateful and looks forward to future expeditions around town.

Lastly, stay tuned for updates on ESBR’s Giving Tuesday 2023 Fundraising Campaign. It takes a village!

Further information on ESBR is available by clicking here. If you would like to learn more about the school or get involved, please contact board chair Gary Blodgett at or 802-558-3147. Giving Tuesday 2023 Link is available at the Expeditionary Committee Facebook page. Donations can be made on the ESBR website or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 485, Ludlow, VT 05149.

Marissa Selleck
ESBR Board of Trustees

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