The Hop’s START (Students Teaching in the Arts) would be a non-starter if not for the volunteers who drive the START volunteers to and from their partner schools. So what’s in it for those community volunteers who lend their time behind the wheel? START volunteer Dani Moragne ’17 finds out why from “her” driver, Bill Montgomery.
What is your favorite thing about volunteer driving for START?
Oh that’s easy: keeping in touch with the current Dartmouth students and providing support for them.
What made you interested in volunteer driving?
I think, because I’m an alumnus, because I had the free time, and because it’s interesting.
What is one thing that you want people to know about the START Program?
I think the main thing would be the interaction between the college students and the elementary school students, and how they both get satisfaction, or benefit from that.…[the volunteers] can be creative to motivate the students to be interested in whatever…Phil Hanlon calls that experiential learning, where you learn something and have the experience of, in this case, teaching to others.
As a Dartmouth alum, how has your experience been in connecting with the current students in START?
In a word, positive. I would say also, informative, invigorating to see how [the volunteers] all work together. You’re doing something that’s outside the mainstream of academia, those kinds of things.
Has it changed your perception of Dartmouth at all?
No, it hasn’t really. It hasn’t changed my perception, but maybe has added a minor dimension. It’s an additional benefit rather than a change in my perception of the College, reinforced a positive perception.
What is your favorite thing to hear from the current Dartmouth students?
Oh I think what’s going on in campus today, the things that you’re experiencing. I like to ask things that would be of general interest, like the new housing plan, or how there will be a change in the curriculum requirements…how this will impact [the students]. Hearing the students’ perspective, keeping in touch.
About Dani Moragne…
I am from the Bay Area and an Earth Science major and English minor who has always spent my free time in the outdoors (hiking, skiing, canoeing) or creating art (ceramics, painting, poetry). I have been doing START for five terms and having opportunity to use my creative energy to make lesson plans with my team and implement them in primary school classrooms. Additional arty facts: I am heavily inspired by Wayne Thiebaud, a phenomenal desert-inspired painter, and I make ceramic cupcakes, ceramic cakes and cake slices, tarts, and so on. Chew carefully!