Pomona Hope

11/02 10

After School with Pomona Hope Wednesday Workshops  

After School with Pomona Hope has added a special Wednesday Workshop for students in fourth through eighth grades. The workshop aims to enhance students’ education by engaging them in creative and fun exercises in diverse subjects. For the remainder of the 2010 school year these subjects will revolve around Science, Music, and Healthy Eating.

Amanda Winges, a senior at Scripps College studying molecular biology, is leading these workshops. Amanda was one of the four interns who helped with the successful summer enrichment program last summer. Below, Amanda shares her vision and hopes for the workshops and After School with Pomona Hope.

What motivated you to begin these workshops?

The Pomona Hope kids; they are fantastic and I have come to deeply care about them. I want the very best for their lives, and I want to see them reach for something more than simply making it through high school. Working at Pomona Hope over the past couple years has made me invested in the kids’ education, and I want them to have exposure to all sorts of ideas and opportunities so that each one can find a passion, something they love, and go after it!

I started thinking of how Pomona Hope could be a platform to inspire these kids to work towards something they love, and came up with this workshop idea where the kids could be exposed to and try different subjects and activities. When I ran the idea by Emily Peine, she had also been starting to think of adding something just like this to the program!

What topics are being covered in these workshops?

There are three units this semester, three weeks each. The first unit was about animals and their anatomy and adaptations. The second unit is on the digestive system and healthy eating, and the third unit is learning music (with keyboards!). I am hoping this workshop can continue after I’m gone. Other volunteers have had some great ideas about sharing their passions with the kids, such as learning Chinese or dance.

How have the students responded to the workshops?

Overall, the responses have been really positive. I can tell the kids are very excited on days that we do hands-on activities (like dissecting an owl pellet), but obviously not every lesson can be that way. Attending the workshop is a bit of a privilege, and I think the students involved realize that they have a special opportunity.

How are the workshops adding value to the overall PH program?

As mentioned, the workshops expose the kids to new topics and subjects, broadening their horizons, and giving them a special opportunity to find something they love. What I truly desire to see is more and more volunteers sharing their own passions and/or careers with the kids at a level they can interact with and learn about. I think the workshops have been a great supplement to the kids’ education, allowing them to think critically, learn new things, and have hands-on experiences outside of school.

Highlights from the last several weeks?

The owl pellet dissection was fantastic. Owls basically swallow their food whole, and then regurgitate the parts they can’t digest, like bones and fur. Dissecting an owl pellet is awesome because you can uncover practically a whole rodent skeleton and put it back together! The kids absolutely LOVED this activity and had a great time figuring out what bone was what and where it belonged in the skeleton. Several of them even wanted to keep the little rodent skulls they found in their pellet! At the end of this day, Allen and Julian hugged me and just kept saying, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Those are the moments I love!



Comments 3 Comments
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  • Sam Allen November 05, 2010

    What a great program for these kids!

  • dominick villela June 29, 2011

    it a great program

  • dominick villela October 04, 2011

    love this place

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