Appalachian Experience

Provides students with service-learning opportunities to experience the diversity of Appalachia. The team strives to debunk negative stereotypes and offer face-to-face interactions to create an understanding of struggles in Appalachia while highlighting commonalities of humanity.

The team's main activities include:

  • Helvetia Fair
  • Appalachian Poetry Reading


Appalachian Experience Team Offers Appalachian Cultural Events

The WE LEAD Appalachian Experience team hosted a “Poetry Reading” and “Appalachian Band Night” in the community on Dec. 1st and 2nd, 2011. Wesleyan professors shared their poetry at The Daily Grind coffee shop on Main Street in Buckhannon on December 1st. Twenty attendees, mostly Wesleyan students, enjoyed the poetry read by Wesleyan English department faculty.
The following evening, 120 students and community members enjoyed live music from the Buckhannon Mountain Fools band at Allburghers Appalachian Pub. Student organizers Jessica Wagner and Kady Rogers hoped that the events “provid[ed] a small piece of Appalachia to people who may not have had the opportunity to get a look through the window otherwise.” Student organizers hoped that “people could become more interested in the Appalachian culture and attend more events to learn about Appalachia as well as support the artists and people of Appalachia.”


Appalachian Experience Team Assists With Helvetia Fair

Fifteen Wesleyan students braved the curvy roads in Wesleyan fleet vehicles down to Helvetia, WV to assist with the annual Helvetia Fair on September 10, 2011. Students picked flowers and decorated floats for the parade, made signs, worked in the kitchen, helped run the children’s games, and enjoyed the cultural experience of the fair. All of the students who attended felt that their understanding of Helvetia and traditional Swiss culture increased significantly because of the trip. Students learned about the community through talking with local residents, watching the parade, and volunteering throughout the day. One of the few suggestions made by students was that they wished to stay there longer and continue to volunteer! It was a beautiful day and a memorable experience for all who attended!