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Volunteer

Intern Spotlight: Sasha N.

Name: Sasha Northrup
Hometown: New Haven, CT
College & Major: Yale University, Archaeology/Anthropology
Tutoring Site: Science Park (SPark)
Clubs: Leader of Book Club, helper for Math II and Chess Club
Favorite Childhood Book(s): The Magic Tree House Series

I have been volunteering at New Haven Reads for almost four years. What started out as a community service requirement, continued as I came back every school year and every summer because I was – and still am – enamored with the warmth of NHR’s educational community. Here I am, a summer intern at SPark and I am so happy and utterly thrilled!! I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer. Truly, thank you times a million to everyone at NHR and First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank for giving me this wonderful opportunity to grow as a person.

It has been a mere two weeks into the NHR summer session, but I have already learned a myriad of little lessons – the most important being, children know more than you think. Case in point: the book club at NHR SPark is reading Verify by Joelle Charbonneau, which deals with heavy topics that I am not used to teaching to younger kids. But the club is far more mature than I expected and hearing their opinions about Verify is enlightening. Tutoring kids in literacy skills is different than having honest discussions, so getting to hear their interpretations about Verify has given me a new perspective on how the students at NHR experience the books we make them read. The SPark Summer 2021 Book Club is clear evidence that New Haven Reads works! Aside from all of that, I have learned that each time your kid looks up at you from their workbook, inquiring about the time, simply smiling can make them smile, too. Monitoring the other tutors and their kids is guaranteed to make anyone’s day. Pick-up time, with family and friends waiting to hear all about the previous hour, is also guaranteed to make anyone’s day. Voice acting while reading aloud a book together can make any kid come out of their shell. Uno and Connect 4 are practically Olympic Sports – and, finally, Choice Time is highly anticipated.

The professional and life experiences I am receiving at NHR are invaluable. This summer at NHR I am learning more about my place in the world as a young adult. Because of my time at NHR, I understand the joy of learning, and I will never stop being grateful!