Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Event 2

For my second YDEV event I went to the Children’s Museum On December 1st to their Tunnel Works Event that was held from 10 AM – 3 PM. When I arrived around noon I witnessed many children creating tunnels with several different materials. I was impressed to see how detailed some of the children’s tunnels were, spanning several feet, and moving in all different directions. When children were done constructing their tunnels, they were given a marble to see if they could get it to travel from the beginning of the tunnel, to the end.  

What I noticed more than the great constructions the children were making, was the great teamwork that was being shared amongst the children. For those who finished their tunnels quickly, they then went back and helped those who were struggling. They helped in ways in such that they were holding pieces of material together while another child taped them together. Or they suggested ideas of the direction the tunnels should go. What I found to be interesting about this was that the helpfulness and teamwork that was present was not encouraged or suggested by adult figures, but rather the children took it upon themselves to go back and help.

Why I think this activity was so successful was because children were not given rules to follow, instead they were simply given materials and it was up to them to create what would work or not work.

I stumbled upon this even while planning a vacation camp for my internship at the Lincoln School. For the week long camp that will be offered at the Lincoln School, there is a different themed camp day for each day. One of them is themed science. One idea that was brought up during our planning time was having the children create a feeder for the classroom bunny. The purpose of this feeder was to be able to get the food from one side of the classroom to the bunny on the opposite side of the classroom using various materials.

Not only did this event at the children’s museum inspire much of what activities will be held on that camp day, but it also set the guidelines of letting the children set their own rules. It reminded myself that the children are the inventors, and that I am simply a scaffold of support. I am very excited to see what the children create and will be uploading pictures once it is completed!

The following Link has some great similar ideas! I just ordered the book off of Amazon to add to my collection!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Event 1

For my first event I attended a talk from a holocaust survivor that was presented at the Jewish Community Center in Providence. Not only was this talk educational, inspiring, and an experience like no other, it was also beneficial to me in many other ways.

While waiting for the presentation to begin I wondered through the halls that were filled with vibrant colored posters that advertised for the youth programs that were held in the same building. Interested to find out more, I then went home and went onto their website where I had found an abundant amount of information in regards to their work with youth. Here is just a little of what I found…

Under this link I then found programs that are offered for all ages from toddlers to young adults. The program I found to be the most interesting was the Mothers Circle. The Mothers Circle welcomes women from all faiths and heritages who are raining Jewish Children. This program offers support to mothers and their entire family. This program allows mothers to connect with other moms, learn customs and ethics, and also tap into Jewish resources through out the community.

Interested in what else this program has to offer, I attended a meeting. At the meeting I was surprised by how welcomed and accepted into the group of mothers I was. Though, I stated that I was not a mother but a student who was interested in learning more, they welcomed me with open arms. They explained how much support and impact this program has been for them as mothers and how it has helped their children grow and develop into the children that they are now.

As I continue hours within my internship, I have come across several children who have told me they are Jewish but are not comfortable sharing that with their peers. It was hard for me to be a support to them for I wasn’t sure exactly why they felt this way. In todays time religion has become a topic that many are scared to share and talk about. During this group meeting I went to, I had shared this information with the mothers and they were not surprised. They explained how many of their children once felt that way, because they were seen as the minority and simply over looked. The mothers taught me ways to encourage these students to embrace who they are, leaded me to more informational sites that I could give to these children, and also gave me flyers to pass out for summer programs/camps that the children could attend.

Over all, I thought that this experience was terrific. Not only was I able to learn from these women more about the Jewish faith, I was able to help my own students be comfortable with who they are and allow them to be able to feel confident enough to share who they are. As a youth worker it is important to me that I create spaces in which children can share who they are and not feel scared or embarrassed to do so. It is important to be that I create a space where everyone is accepted no matter their religion, race, gender, etc. I strongly believe that the first step to being able to do this is by learning about other religions, cultures, ethnics (etc.). How will our youth be able to entrust in us who they are if we are not willing to learn about who they are.