Is there a fee for the alternative break?
Yes, to cover cost of the break and to support the work of Beans and Rice, Inc.’s community work there are fees. Fees must be paid in advance and there is a non-refundable deposit of 50%. The fee structure is:
- Full week breaks (Sunday PM – Saturday AM) – $190 per participant for groups of 10 or more or $1,700 per group under 10 participants
- Weekend or partial week breaks – $35 per participant per day for groups of 8 or more or $1,000 per group for groups of 8 or fewer
Where are we going?
Beans and Rice, Inc. is a community economic development corporation serving Virginia’s New River Valley. Its main offices are in Radford and Pulaski, VA, located on the eastern edge of Central Appalachia.
Who and how will I serve?
During full week breaks you will serve at risk children in an afterschool academic enrichment environment. Additionally, you may participate in food distribution, gardening projects, and with other community groups on restoration, blight reduction, and housing service projects. Weekend and K-12 school holiday breaks spend more time with projects and little or no time with children.
What does the typical service experience involve?
Alternative Break participants will be mentors/tutors for the children participating in the programs. Break participants will also do special service projects that are needed to be completed and participate in a series of workshops on approaches to working with people living and poverty and the roll that community economic development can play. Special service projects are more typical for fall breaks given the shorter time over a weekend when program are not in session. There will be time every day for journaling, group reflections with the Beans and Rice staff and for reflections as a group.
What lodging and meal accomodations are provided?
Participants will stay in our Community Development and Learning Center in downtown Pulaski. Part of the Break experience is to get a feel for what life is like living in an economically distressed community. The facility has two bathrooms and a complete kitchen. Showers are provided offsite at a nearby YMCA. The evening meal is a community meal. Breakfast and lunch are self-prepared with food provided by Beans and Rice, Inc. The cost of Sunday’s dinner through Friday’s lunch are included in the participant fees.
What should I bring?
Bring a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow, towel, personal hygiene items, coats, hats, work clothing and shoes, clothing appropriate to wear in a K-12 school, and comfortable clothes such as jeans, T-shirt/sweat shirts and running shoes. It is suggested you bring about $25 in “mad money” for optional cultural and recreational events. Many participants bring materials for journaling.
What makes this experience unique?
Beans and Rice was started in 1997 by a faculty member at Radford University and several of her students who were participants in several alternative breaks together. Two of the founders are still involved, the executive director and executive director emeritus. This is an opportunity for students to witness what their experience in alternative break can grow into as work for social justice.