Thursday, August 18, 2011

Inspiring a Love of Learning

This week, we’re celebrating a year of remarkable service and the graduation of our 2010-11 AmeriCorps team with a series of posts.  MuseumCorps Educator Jackie Frole gives a look at the work of this year's Learning Club team.

Have you ever been at Providence Children’s Museum around 4pm on a weekday and been bombarded by 15 children racing up the stairs and cheering in unison? Well then you’ve just witnessed Learning Club! (And we’re sorry if we knocked you over.) Learning Club is an AmeriCorps outreach program that brings kids ages 6-12 from Providence-area community centers to the Museum for after-school and summer programming.

Clubs focus on science-based learning activities that reinforce what kids are already learning in third to fifth grade classrooms all over Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. From launching butterfly rockets and exploding volcanoes to catapulting pennies and dropping eggs, this year has left us with hundreds of great stories that fail to accurately portray the amount of fun we had and the great kids we served.  But let’s give it a try! Here’s a story from one of our team members, Dylan Joy:
“After every activity at the Learning Club at Silver Lake Community Center, Rayquan would ask to take home his construction. One afternoon, Rayquan had been very active and engaged in creating Extendable Ears, sound-amplifying devices made from recycled materials. At the end of the activity he told all of the Learning Club leaders that he was going to take home his Extendable Ears device and put it to good use. Most of us thought ‘yeah okay, we’ll see if that really happens, his mom will probably just throw it away.’ But at the next activity, six days later, Rayquan ran up to me and said ‘Dylan, the ear thing I made is awesome! I use it every day and I even taught my sister how to use it and how it works and why it works!’ It made all of us realize that these activities do have an impact on kids and teach them lessons that they can then pass on to others.”

Great stories like this multiply each year as the Learning Club team comes in and brings activities, fun, and a love of learning to Rhode Island community centers. Our team will always be grateful for the memories we shared and the children’s lives we were honored to be a part of.

Learning Club members Jackie, Dylan, Rachel and Carolina

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