Working Alongside Teachers, Volunteers Help Bring Real-World Learning Experiences to the Classroom


Amy Hoffmaster, Managing Director of Program Innovation got the chance to sit down and chat with Melissa Arellano, who is a 7th grade science teacher at Sedgefield Middle Schools in North Carolina about her experience working in the Catalyst pilot program. A portion of their chat is copied below. A whole link to their conversation that was featured on Education Week can be found here

AH: How do you see volunteers as an asset in strengthening the deeper learning experiences you are facilitating with your students?

MA: One reason I was so excited to think about building relevant, authentic projects with real community connections is that it is particularly important to our school at this time as the demographics of our student population are changing considerably with redistricting and we want to ensure that we are meeting the diverse learning needs of all of our students. Bringing in community members from outside the building not only brings a whole lot of energy and fun to our lessons, but also creates opportunities to engage students in a dialogue about ways they can relate to and have agency within our broader community and vice versa.