Thursday, August 28, 2014

Persistence: A Head Start Story

We’re reflecting on the incredible contributions of our AmeriCorps Museum Educators over the 2013-2014 service year. This story was shared by Amanda Howard, a member of the team that served 1,000 Head Start preschoolers in 58 classrooms in greater Providence with fun-filled Museum explorations and a year-long series of imaginative activities to help them understand and value diversity. 

We bring each of our Head Start groups on Museum field trips. During one field trip, I was able to work with and observe a 3-year-old boy playing with the ramps and balls in Play Power. The boy dropped a ball into a magnet ramp that was already set up and watched it glide down until it fell through a space in one of the pieces. The boy was disappointed that his ball did not complete the entire ramp and proceeded to move the pieces around and pick new ones until it worked. On a few different tries I asked him questions like, “Why do you think the ball didn’t complete your ramp?” and “How can change the ramp to make sure the ball doesn’t fall off?” When he was finally able to get the ball to go all the way down, he was so proud of himself. He showed everyone how great his ramp was and everyone thought it was very cool.

Later, his teacher told me that he had never spent so long working on something and usually gives up very easily when things do not work out for him. I’m glad that I was able to help him stay focused and not give up on his task even though it took him a while to work it out.

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