By Shannon Morgano
June 22, 2014

We just finished week three of our internship, and are officially halfway through. The time has really flown by and we’re enjoying every minute of it. We’ve met incredible people who have opened their homes to us and taught us a lot about the community. We have done so much over the past couple weeks, from a trip to the Franklin Institute to volunteering at an organization called the Philadelphia Project, which fixes up homes for low-income families.

This week also marked the beginning of the Green and Growing Club, a summer camp for kids entering K-6. Courtney and I have been working with the Aquinas Center to plan it over the last few weeks. The camp runs four days a week for the next four weeks, and teaches children how to lead a healthy lifestyle. This week we focused on teaching them about gardening and the delicious food that can come straight from the ground. It’s been pretty incredible to watch these kids learn and play every day.

We were expecting 25 kids and ended up with over 50, which made our lives a little more hectic. We ended up breaking the younger kids into three teams so now I am only responsible for eight kids instead of 33. The job keeps me busy - making sure all eight of them have what they need, are doing what they are supposed to, and are behaving themselves all while dealing with each personality and the individual needs of every child. At the end of the day Courtney and I are tired and ready for a nap.

This week really got me thinking about what public school teachers must go through every day. Teachers in Philadelphia are responsible for at least 30 kids in one room. Some of these students have behavior problems or learning disabilities and require more attention than the other kids. These teachers willingly go to work every day knowing that they face a room of challenging students. They deserve a lot of credit - if I’m tired after four hours with eight kids, I cannot imagine what eight hours with 30 kids must be like. We should all take a moment and thank every teacher not just the ones in cities, but anyone who has willingly gone into a class of rambunctious kids trying to make their lives just a little bit better.

Shannon hails from Nazareth, PA, where she lives with her parents, three sisters, and two cats. She is a junior at Misericordia University, where she is majoring in psychology and pre-physical therapy. At school, she is involved in campus ministry, climbing league, and the student immigration reform group. She enjoys rock climbing, reading, and volunteering throughout her community. Shannon is very excited to be part of the internship program this summer and experience all the opportunities it has to offer.