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Katie Hall, lead intern and assistant camp director, writes "Good Neighbors" on a sign July 1 on a large sheet of paper at the entrance of the day camp.
Fourth-grader Ty Calhoun talks to intern Isaiah Day about the fort he made with sticks.
Intern Aisha Kamara chats with children as they wait to be sorted into groups by volunteers from Roanoke Children's Theatre.
Friday, August 2, 2013
The elementary school students aren’t the only ones benefiting from SML Good Neighbors’ summer day camps.
“This year we have nine interns, and they come to us from eight different colleges, so they are quite diverse,” said Russ Baskett, president and executive director.
As a retired college professor, Baskett works with his contacts to recruit good leaders for the summer. Qualifications include a strong interest in community service.
Katie Hall, lead intern and assistant camp director, said that during the last camp’s global education and cultural diversity week, the interns introduced campers to foods from places such as India and South America, as well as dances from other cultures. They also talked about the kinds of toys and technology available in other countries.
“You get to see the kids grow a lot over the short time that we work with them,” Hall said.
She said she heard about the paid internship from a former roommate who had been an intern.
“I came last summer and had one of the best summers of my life. I couldn’t wait to come back,” she said. “It was a great experience for me. I think it was a good experience for the kids.”
Hall recently was hired as a teacher by Franklin County Public Schools — the second Good Neighbors intern to land an education position in the area.
One former intern, Shelby Kienzle-Pappalardo, wrote her senior thesis at Lynchburg College on the nonprofit’s reading program, which included reading assessment data and surveys of parents about reading attitudes.
After a long day, Hall said the interns get a chance to relax at their rented house in the SML area.
There are four male and five female interns. Baskett said that having good college-aged male role models is beneficial for many of the children.
“You can’t put a price on that,” he said.
He remembers the first summer when there were six applicants and they took all six. This year there were nearly 30 applicants.
For more information on the internship, visit smlgoodneighbors.org/internships.
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