Get to Know our 2017 Summer Squad!

September 07, 2017

We had an awesome group of summer staff members this past summer who were so great at navigating our craziest time of the year with us!

From helping with Super Why! Reading Camp assessments and prep to transforming into Odd Squad agents for our 21st Century camp rotations, these ladies handled our frenzy with grace and skill, and truly made this jam-packed summer one of our best yet. We are so grateful to them for their help, and we loved hearing their thoughts on their time with us after the storm settled! Read a few blurbs from a few of our team members for an idea of what they were involved with this year, and get to know some of the 2017 WFSU Summer Squad!

Hi, my name is Azaria. I am a senior at Florida State University Schools. I signed up for a program called Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy (TFLA) which placed me at WFSU. During TFLA we learned leadership skills, business etiquette and became Microsoft certified. TFLA is a great program for teenage kids to get involved in the work force and learn essential tools. I have been working with WFSU for 4 weeks now, and I have had a blast! I have done the Odd Squad camp, Super Why reading camp and given assessments so far. The Odd Squad camp has been my favorite. The show is super cute and the kids love it and learn a lot. I have really enjoyed working with kids and seeing them grasp different concepts that they didn’t know before. All in all, working at WFSU has been a great way to mature my leadership skills and learn more about my abilities and how I can use them to their fullest potential.

My name is Aashari, I’m an upcoming high school senior, and I’m volunteering at WFSU in the educational outreach program for the summer. My time here so far has been wonderful, and everyone is so welcoming! I have helped in preparing the Odd Squad, Super Why, and Scratch Jr. camps, and it has been a blast! All of the kids I’ve worked with have been so sweet, and helping the SciGirls with brainstorming and teambuilding with the Water Moves program was one of my favorite experiences here. Helping the kindergartners at Apalachee for Odd Squad camp was fun too! I’m so glad I have had the opportunity to give my time here, and it has been so eye opening to see the great difference that the WFSU staff makes in the community, and the creative spark that flows through everyone here.”

My name is Hannah and I grew up in Sarasota, Florida. I attended the University of Miami for undergrad and spent a year working in Indianapolis, IN before joining the majority of my family as a Florida State Seminole. I am entering my second, and final, year of a Master’s in Higher Education, Student Affairs. What I thought was going to be a fun summer job, a welcomed break from the college students I work with and learn about on a daily basis, turned into much more.  Almost weekly, the K-12 pipeline and college readiness is discussed in class or among peers and colleagues. So often students graduate high school without the proper preparation for college, which has implications for both the institutions and the students. Colleges and universities reluctantly spend funds on remedial classes that typically don’t count towards a college degree, which also puts the student behind, and possibly further in debt. Through working with the WFSU Education team I was able to witness the beginning of the pipeline, rather than the end.

I worked with second grade students struggling with basic math and rising kindergarten students with letter recognition. If these students are falling behind now, school may continue to become harder and more frustrating for them, making them less likely to succeed. However, I also saw the positive influence of the PBS Kids curriculum and the dedication of the WFSU Education department. By providing programming and resources to students and teachers in under-resourced schools and parts of our Tallahassee community, we saw positive student learning outcomes. We may not be able to address all of the needs in our community but by reaching the students that we can we are giving them the opportunity to grow. This summer experience has made me respect the patience and commitment of early childhood educators and the importance of a community coming together to support its kids and their education.

My name is Ely, I am a school psychology graduate student at FSU. This year I have acted as Super Why coordinator and as our volunteer coordinator for our Splash and Bubbles events. Before graduate school, I worked at Gretchen Everhart School, a center school with for children who required a little bit of additional support in everyday tasks. Being at WFSU has been an amazing experience and I could not have asked for a better summer! Watching the children learn about the world around them is the best part of this job. That is why when I am done with my schooling, I want to help kids with rough backgrounds see the beauty of the world around us!

There you have it – words from the mouths of a few of the people who saved us our sanity these last few months! ♥

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