Final Night

Well, these past three weeks have flown by. It’s hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago, we were all strangers arriving in Amherst. Last night was our final night full of presentations, art galleries, and fun that celebrated all of the hard work that staff and students have put in over the course of the program.


The night opens with the English as a Second Language class presenting on differences between the U.S. and their home countries. The presentation ends in an awesome dance!


The Psychology of Personality class performs a skit and askes audience members to diagnose their personality disorders.


The Digital Photography class poses in front of their photos in the Putney art gallery.

In Other News…

On Tuesday the English as a Second Language, Entrepreneurship, and Writing in College classes took a field trip to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, a local newspaper. The students learned how a newspaper is made from start to finish and met some of the people involved in the process. The group met journalists, editors, photographers, and printers, and saw part of the actual newspaper printing process. The students also discussed the importance of the news and the impact it has on a community.


Jediah, Becca S., Nia, Luke, Charbel, Arantxa, Claudine, Violette, Rebecca M., Nika, Humbert, and Entrepreneurship teacher Claire learn how a newspaper is made.


Kenny, Luke, Charbel, Jediah, Humbert, Writing in College Teacher Henk, Arantxa, Claudine, Nika, Violette, Rebecca M., Entrepreneurship teacher Claire, Ruka, Nia, Arisa, Becca S., and Felix inside the newspaper offices.


Everyone in front of the Daily Hampshire Gazette headquarters.

On Wednesday, staff and students engaged in some healthy competition with a staff vs. students soccer game. Although the staff edged out a victory, spectators and players on both sides had a great time.


The student team.


The staff team.


Felix dodges staff member Meshia during an intense moment of the game.

Program Assistant Katie took several students on a tour of Amherst College’s Book and Plow Farm. Book and Plow farm produced 35,000 pounds of food for Valentine Dining Hall last year, and the students got an inside look at the farm’s sustainable production methods.


Ruka, Charlie, and Kaori hang out with Book and Plow’s pigs, who eat the compost from the dining hall, returning valuable nutrients to the soil.


Book and Plow’s pick-your-own community field, complete with beautiful flowers and delicious cherry tomatoes.


Kaori among the black eyed susans.


Kaori, Ruka, and Charlie with their handpicked bouquets.

It was a beautiful afternoon spent examining where our food comes from and the connections between farmers, communities, and healthy, sustainable food.

On Thursday, students and staff were able to participate in a professional yoga class to relax and find some inner peace before final night.


Bessy, Lizzy, Kaori, Laila, and staff members Claudia, Ben, and Kelly stretch in cobra pose, led by the amazing Jamie Tancredi.

In the first week of the program, students painted flower pots and planted their very own Putney garden. Two weeks later, the garden is thriving, just like all of the friendships and connections we’ve cultivated over the course of the program.


The first ever Putney garden, thriving under the care of students and staff.

Weekend Recap

Howdy, folks!

It’s been days of nonstop action both in and out of the Pioneer Valley.

On Friday night, Claire, Kaia, Ivan and Ben took a group of students to a baseball showdown between the Valley Blue Sox and the Sanford Mainers. A lopsided score didn’t prevent us from having a good time sitting right behind home plate in the grass. Nachos, hot dogs and sunflower seeds abounded as our whole group cheered the Blue Sox on. After the game ended we were treated to a dazzling display of on-field fireworks.


Humbert, William, Charbel, Kenny, Glen, Ellison, Elizabeth, Nia, Katy, Shun, staff members Ben, Kaia, and Ivan, Rebecca, Claudine, Felix, and Juliana experience a truly American past time at the baseball game.

On campus, five students competed in an epic lip sync battle where everyone one showed off their dance moves and creativity!


Steve channels his inner Beyonce for the first performance of the night.


Violette and Arantxa perform the summer hit ¨Cheerleader.¨


Sam and Nika brush up on their Broadway dance moves with a performance of ¨You’re the One That I Want¨ from Grease.

Outside under the stars, The Sixth Sense was screened for an outdoor movie night. Blankets, popcorn, Adirondack chairs and the open air all helped to make it a unique screening.


Staff and students are entertained by the open air cinema.


Everyone had a relaxing evening full of stars, popcorn, and night air.

Off campus, Eliza took her digital photography class on a nighttime excursion to capture the starry night. Even with the light from a giant blue moon, the photos were breathtaking.


The Blue Moon. (Photo Credit: Marie)


Playing with light – can you see the stars hidden in the sky? (Photo Credit: Owen).


A beautiful starry night. (Photo Credit: Grace).


Grace, Marie, and Program Assistant Katie working with their cameras. (Photo Credit: Owen).

Saturday was devoted to exploring the greater Boston area. Most of the program left campus in the morning for Boston, arriving in Harvard Square for a campus tour.


The group gets silly in front of the Harvard Library.

After the tour, everyone divided up into groups to check out some of the coolest things that the city has to offer. Julienne and Katie led a Finer Things tour, starting with a visit to one of Boston’s best chocolatiers and ending at the Harvard Art Museums.


The ladies of the Finer Things tour: Olivia, Veronica, Laila, Katy, Marie, Greta, Grace, Bessy, and staff member Julienne, enjoyed a tour of the Taza Chocolate Factory (complete with hairnets and lots of samples)!


The tour ended in Harvard Square after a day spent appreciating the finer things in life.

Eliza and Avery led a group to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is truly something to behold.


Kaori, Lizzy, and Avery pose in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Tavie, Adam and Henk took a group kayaking on the Charles River with a stop at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Staff member Henk, Luke, Shun, Jediah, Claudine, Juliana, Chris, staff member Adam, Humbert, and Matt pose after an exciting kayak trip that included some rain.

Claire, Kaia, and Meshia led a pop culture tour of Boston that featured visits to Fenway Park, the Boston Public Gardens, and some time exploring the famous Newbury Street.


Sam, Violette, Felix, Charbel, Kenny, Ellison, Glen, Ruka, and Steve make way for ducklings in the Boston Public Gardens.


The whole group in front of the legendary Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

Ben and Kelly led a walking circuit of Boston that toured both Boston University and Boston College.


Becca S., Nia, Candice, Nika, William, Arantxa, and Arisa visit the Boston Commons after tours of Boston University (BU) and Boston College (BC).

Ivan, Charlie and Owen went to Providence for most of the day to check out Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). They were able to check out a couple of dorm buildings, Brown’s beautiful campus, and the RISD museum. After exploring Providence, they left for Boston and convened with the group at Faneuil Hall for dinner.


Owen and Charlie hang out at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sunday saw another slew of excursions take off from Amherst: a day trip to New York City, a trip to the New Hampshire seacoast which featured surfing and stand-up paddle boarding lessons, the New England Food Truck Festival, a mini golf excursion, and “Diner-Saurs,” which featured brunching at a diner, watching Jurassic Park and checking out Dinosaur footprints. For everyone who stayed on campus, the night finished with a relaxing trip to the movies.


The NYC group poses in the amazing Times Square.


The students learn about New York University (NYU) on a campus tour.


Juliana, Claudine, Rebecca, Grace, Marie, Greta, and staff member Avery relax on the New Hampshire seacoast before surf lessons and a stand-up paddle board tour.


Grace, Greta, and Rebecca have fun on a stand-up paddle board tour at Hampton Beach, NH.


Veronica, staff members Kelly and Kaia, and Alex make pancakes for a lazy Sunday brunch.


Veronica, Laila, staff member Kelly, Olivia, Laura Kate, Kenny, Alex, Glen, Ellison, Jediah, and staff members Kaia and Eliza savor a day of delicious food at the New England Food Truck Festival in West Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo Credit: The Hartford Courant).


Ellison and Laura Kate cool off at Chicopee State Park.


Becca S. and Steve explore the dinosaur footprints in Holyoke, MA on the Diner-saur tour.

It was a jam packed few days, but everyone had a great time exploring the best the Pioneer Valley and the surrounding area has to offer!