This term START (Students Teaching in the Arts) is very lucky to have another great group of volunteers! START matches Dartmouth student volunteers with area school classrooms for six-session teaching units, designed and delivered by the START volunteers, that use the arts to enhance regular classroom learning. This fall, we have seven returning and four new volunteers working hard to create fun and dynamic activity plans to get the kids out from their desks and synthesizing their daily lessons through multiple art mediums. Whether using music, theater, dance or visual art, our volunteers are well equipped with all the energy and creativity necessary for students teaching in the arts.
START is very excited to welcome Bradford (VT) Elementary School to the list of program partners! We are working with two first grade classrooms led by with Mrs. Newton and Mrs. Roberts, respectively. One of the Bradford teams is comprised of two returning volunteers, Brooke Hilliard ’18 and Elizabeth Terman ’19. Both are working phenomenally together to teach about living things and their adaptations, with the overarching theme of working together as a community. One activity plan involved taking the first graders on a “safari” where they met all types of animals (acted by fellow students) around their classroom.
The second Bradford team is working with the same subject, but on a different day. Angela Noppenberger ’17, Doug Phipps ’17 and Kelleen Moriarty ’19 have done wonders with leading their classroom to learn about all different types of animals and environments. One highlight included making a kangaroo-inspired pouch for all the kids to learn about parenting adaptations. The volunteers also really emphasized “circle time” as one of their favorite parts of the day because the kids are so attentive and quite insightful for their age!
Sharon Elementary School has been a great START partner for quite a while now. We have fabulous START volunteers Caroline Filan ’18, Steffi Colao ’19 and Sarah Adelman ’19 working with Mrs. Boulbol’s sixth-grade class to help students learn more about democracy (great timing with this election!). Some highlights from their visits include a rap-battle-inspired activity plan between federal and state laws, and the students making their own campaign posters! For the posters the kids were encouraged to base their campaign on something they really care about. We got all types of campaigns ranging from a fairer justice system to football for all!
Another of our teams is at Mid Vermont Christian School working with the combined second- and third-grade class. Ms. Blessing, the teacher for this classroom, has worked with START for many years, and it is always a delight to return to her classroom. Beverly Alomepe ’17, Regan Gore ’19 and Autumn Diggs ’19 are teaching invertebrates/vertebrates and their ecosystems. One day, they brought in all kinds of printed animal limbs (duck feet, wings, tails, furry bodies, crocodile smile, you name it!) and the students had the opportunity to create their own animals and discuss where they would live!
It has been an absolute joy to see our volunteers create and implement truly inspired activity plans, and to see how the students react! START is so glad to have another great term of fun and driven volunteers dedicated to spreading art and creativity for all.