BYLINE: Megan D'Allessandro, B-SAFE A-Team Intern
Throughout B-SAFE's Humanities lessons this summer, the young elementary schoolers at all of our B-SAFE sites have been learning about reading skills such as making connections, visualizing while reading, and asking questions. Together, we used these strategies while reading titles such as The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes, and Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. We did mini-activities such as writing poems about a family tradition and creating question charts as a way to further explore these books. After almost four weeks of reading, writing, and activities, I asked participants to work together in groups. Their mission was to create a poster about one of the books we read together in Humanities for their final project. For the next week, kids worked hard, drawing and coloring their favorite scenes depicting flying model airplanes, ducks swimming in the Boston Public Garden, and expansive cityscapes.
During Closing Ceremonies on our penultimate day of program, the young people were eager to present their final projects. Each group presented their poster, gave a brief summary of the book they chose, and explained what they drew. In addition, they either described what they enjoyed about B-SAFE or something they learned in Humanities!
Since this is my first year teaching at B-SAFE, I felt that I was learning just as much as the participants. I was impressed by their teamwork skills and their ability to overcome the occasional disagreement to work together. I’m so proud of the fantastic work they have done!
Originally from Maine, Megan is a rising junior at Wellesley College where she is majoring in Sociology. She became involved with St. Stephen’s Youth Programs as a member of the A-Team (Academic Team) through the Lumpkin Summer Institute of Service Learning at Wellesley, a program focused on mentoring students working with nonprofit organizations. Outside of B-SAFE, Megan enjoys singing, drawing, and running.