Mercy Mondays: Thompson Middle School students welcomed to Salve’s campus for after school program
The Center for Community Engagement and Service has welcomed back Thompson Middle School students to Salve Regina’s campus for the 2022-23 academic year for Sammy’s After School Program.
The history of Sammy’s After School Program
Ruth Thumbtzen, a former Thompson Middle School Physical Education instructor, served as a liaison in the Center for Community Engagement and Service alongside Kelly Powers, director for the center. They both saw the need to provide a safe after school enrichment program for students, which has generously been funded by Thumbtzen.
The program was launched in 2019 when the Center for Community Engagement and Service established a partnership with Thompson Middle School and Rogers High School to allow alternative programs for students at the conclusion of their typical school day.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, the program was coordinated by three AmeriCorps Vista members — Eric Peck ‘23, Emily Gibson ‘23, and Kaitlyn Brilhante ’20, (M) ’21. The program used a different name and followed the AmeriCorps Project Citizen model — a civic education program for students and young adults that encourages individuals to learn about public policy.
Last year, Thompson Middle School students were given the opportunity to monitor and express interest in a public policy issue –environmental and school nutrition. Students were able to grow their own gardens, learn about the health benefits of nutritious living habits, expand their knowledge of cultural competency, and improve their literacy writing skills. Students were also able to understand the value of establishing sustainable habits within their personal life.
Peck, Gibson and Brilhante each completed 300 hours of direct and indirect service in order to extensively expand this program during its third year of operations in the Center for Community Engagement and Service. The immense success during their term allowed over 32 Thompson Middle School students to participate in the program, 35 Salve Regina students to volunteer, two faculty class collaborations, and three Salve Regina sports and club collaborations to take place.
What’s new for 2022-23
This year, the Center for Community Engagement and Service is privileged to once again host Sammy’s After School Program in Gerety Hall, Room 201, every Monday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. The program coordinators for the 2022-23 academic year are Eric Peck ’23, Sofia Abuin ’24, Sophia Hroncich ’24 and Emalyn Osborne ’26, and they will collaborate with additional academic departments across campus so that Thompson Middle School students will be able to learn even more about Salve Regina’s programs.
The 2022-23 program is set to a focus on the overarching theme of expanding literacy and writing habits for future success. The major project that the students will accomplish by the end of the school year will to complete a short chapter book featuring content from each student.
The Thompson Middle School students enrolled in Sammy’s After School Program will take part in the creative writing process to essentially write a book by the end of this year’s programming in May. This project will allow students to practice communication, teamwork and listening skills as they share ideas with each other about the plot, storyline and climax of their story. The students will then have a hardcopy deliverable book featuring the final story that all of the students would have contributed to.
The Sammy’s After School Program coordinators will also be receiving consistent assistance from students enrolled in Kelly Powers’ PSY-100S-01 Intro to Psychology & Service course, which is being offered in both the fall and spring semesters. The course is designed to introduce students to how psychology can be more clearly understood by actually interacting with members of the communities, with a focus on local youth.
If a club, student organization, or professor here at Salve Regina and would be interested in coming in to speak to the Thompson Middle School students, please contact Kaitlyn Brilhante, coordinator for service leadership and community engagement, at email@example.com. This opportunity is welcome to all majors across campus and would be a great way of giving back to the children of the Newport community.
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.
Featured photo is of students from the after school program in the 2021-22 school year.