July 28, 2014

Dunes Center's education program

feature photo

Fourteen children grade three to five sat in groups of three or four in a bright, white classroom whose double door’s glass overlooked a beautiful yard. It was a special day for them, not only because the weather was perfect for outdoor activities, but also because it was the last day they got to see their lovely teacher Emily Schriver.

For the first five weeks of the summer, these children met with Emily twice a week to examine a live cricket, make beeswax candles, create dune arthropods, play good web games and write dung beetle poetry, etc.

Now that the children had learned all about the arthropods, it was time Emily tested their knowledge.


After that, the students got to participate in a fun activity: They went outdoors to look for arthropods and made little sketches of the animals that they found.

These children reside in Riverview Townhomes apartments and are part of People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH), whose mission is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors and other special needs groups on California's Central Coast.

PSHH has an education center where the children can go afterschool to get homework help and extended day school activities.

As an education intern for the Dunes Center, Emily was responsible for helping these students learn concepts in small groups to improve their academic performance.

The Dunes Center offers this program to this location and other locations around the Central Coast because many of these students are doing poorly in school for many reasons:

-         Their parents do not speak English and cannot help with homework

-         They suffer from stress of low-income living situations

-         They have to learn English while learning primary educational concepts.

At the end of the class, all of the students ran toward Emily to give her free hugs.

Compiled by intern Tram Nguyen

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