My capstone was tutoring and mentoring children in grades k-8th through the Free Library of Philadelphia: Kingsessing Branch (my local library)’s LEAP After school walk-in program. I worked with students of all grade levels, assisting and tutoring them with any homework assignment and subject they were struggling in. The initial inspiration for this project came from my aspiration to pursue a career in Education and my love for children, and passion and dedication to see them learn and succeed in challenges faced with both learning and with school material.
Although, I already had much experience through my involvement in various activities and programs that required and allowed for me to be able to work, interact, and teach children, this was the first time that I would be thinking outside of the box for ways as to which I as an individual could help to make a change in my community.
It was also my desire to see my community come together in unity, and learn to work together as team, that also inspired this capstone. To see children, from all different backgrounds, walks of life, and circumstance learn to rise above their obstacles whether in their homes (inside and outside of school) and come to know, learn, and realize that they are not their circumstance or their struggle but they are better than it and are able to overcome it with the right resources, determination, and even support.
As a result of this project, I created, planned, and started my own Conflict Resolution Program at the Library for children ages 5+, which taught and showed them the importance of handling and resolving conflict in the right ways, and learning how to channel their anger in ways that are not harmful or hurtful. My goal, being to teach children the importance of keeping the peace and not allowing a conflict or situation to determine who they are, or even who they become.
Kingsessing Branch LEAP Program
Contesta , Nicole. “Friends of the Kingsessing Library Bring More Programs to the Community .” Friends of the Kingsessing Library Work to Bring More Programs to the Community, University City Review , 30 Sept. 2015, ucreview.com/friends-of-the-kingsessing-library-work-to-bring-more-programs-to
This source proved to be very reliable. Not only does it provide insight into why the Kingsessing Friends Library created the LEAP program, along with the other programs, but gave a description as to what the programs are about and what the mission and goals of each are. Before providing a description of each program, this article talked about the need for more programs and how the closing down of the library resulting in the call to attention for more community involvement. This source also provided information on the impact LEAP and each program would make and is CURRENTLY making on the community. It helped me to see why LEAP is such an asset to my community and why it should be offered in the best ways possible. This article also showed me how even the smallest action can have and make such a large impact in a community, specifically mines. The LEAP program was created through the threat of the libraries being shut down. It was made for the sole purpose of serving as an asset to people of ages and meeting their needs. What started as an idea, has become a program adopted by all Free Libraries in Philadelphia and other regions! LEAP is changing lives.
How to Effectively Start A Program
“Starting a Program.” Starting a Program Youth.gov , Youth.GOV,
This source gave me so many great ideas and tips needed to start a mentoring program. It gave me a chronological list order of what is needed to be kept in mind when starting and creating the program and even upon the program being in progress. It gave me great tips on what a good program looks like and even advice things such as financial policies and program procedures to follow. I learned a lot more about what starting a program actually looks and what you will need to ensure that it remains in effect and successful. It is also helped me to prepare certain steps for which I will need to apply when officially introducing and putting the program into play. Because, it is a new program it will need to have much base and structure. This source taught me exactly how to have these two things which are going to be very helpful and determining how the program is going to be facilitated. We are looking to start up the conflict resolution program very soon, and in order for it to be successful and last long, it has to be effective. This source showed me how to exactly make this happen.
Leap Program: Background Information, Mission, and Explanation
“LEAP After-School Program.” Free Library of Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia ,
Upon first reading this source, I felt that it was not very reliable, it was short and brief and didn’t seem as though it would give me much information. However, upon reading it I realized that not only is the source reliable but it explains the LEAP program and its mission in a way that is simple but clear. This source gave me a much deeper insight as to what I would specifically doing as an intern of the LEAP program. It gave me background on the program and its mission and even what it stands for. It also gave me an idea of where else the LEAP program is being provided at and I can use this for further research for my capstone to see what other communities are being positively impacted by the LEAP program.
When figuring out the time, I would spend per week for my capstone, this source was very handy. It helped me to structure the time in which I spent committing too and doing my capstone. It also gave me an idea of what to expect while interning for the program, and what types of skills needed to work with the children. I used this source to begin to research good communication skills and interactive skills so that I would know how to work alongside those who chose to participate in the program. Although it is a shorter source, it provides a brief introduction as to what my job is as a LEAP intern and the main things that I will be doing upon participating.
Video Interview with Ms. Kelley! (Mentor)
2018, 14 January, LEAP Program, Leitz Kelley, LEAP Program Director
This video interview with Ms. Kelley was my top source, and it is most certainly reliable. In the video, Ms. Kelley is explaining what exactly the LEAP program is, what makes it unique, and how it has served to be a positive impact in the community. She also talks about why she decided to participate in the LEAP program and how the way the program was created really impacts the amount of students that come in and are benefited from it. She also explains why the program is needed and even some of the struggles and conflicts that sometimes come with directing a program that helps children of all different age groups and backgrounds. She also talks about some of her favorite memories when working with the children that come into the program. All of this information received in the interview was not only reliable because I could stand witness to the impact the program was having and even agree with some of Ms. Kelley’s opinions on the program and was even present for some of those best moments and challenges she mentioned, but it was also inspiring. It made me even more passionate about my capstone, and more passionate to see a student learn and grow their knowledge. It made me feel good during every tutor session that I patiently sat with a student as they learned how to add and subtract correctly or even pronounce a word. It made me feel good, like everything I did was helping to make an impact in someone’s life.
Andrew Miller’s Mentoring Students and Young People handbook
Miller , Andrew. “Mentoring Students and Young People.” Google Books, Taylor and Francis E-Library , Mar. 2002,
This source was amazing and did an excellent job of explaining the history of mentoring, and the different types of mentoring. As both a LEAP tutor and mentor, I did not want to begin serving as a mentor without having a clue as to what is needed or entailed. I also wanted to have a history of mentoring, where it started from, and where the idea was originally created. To be a mentor, is a very important job. This source helped me to see why it was important to prepare for it and how to make it enjoyable. it also broke down the different forms of mentoring and what is required for each. This was helpful in helping me to see the type of mentoring I would be doing and what kind of mentoring related to me most and the steps I would need to take in order to become a good one. Not only did this source explain the basics of what mentoring is and what it requires, Miller dedicated sections of his book to help the reader better understand mentoring, provided a series of case studies to show how effective mentoring is and why it is needed, and even the roles of a mentor and how being a mentor can open you up to so many other doors of opportunities, in both the educational field and even in the real world.
“Tips for Tutors: How to Ensure That the First Lesson Goes Really Well.” Tutorhub Blog, TutorHub Blog , 9 Mar. 2014, Tips for Tutors: how to ensure that the first lesson goes ... - Tutorhub Blog
This source was reliable in helping me be a great tutor to the children in the LEAP program. I used this source my first day of interning. It really worked! I had to prepare and set the environment. Not only does this source provide steps but breaks down how to effectively do them. Because it wasa blog, upon first reading and observation I felt that it would be bias. However, there was a lot of "If you", which let me know that I could choose to follow the tips if I wanted too. It wasn't really a bias experience but instead helpful suggestions. I also enjoyed reading this source because it provided actual real scenarios that could possibly occur as a tutor in a program or at a school, which was really helpful especially if I found myself in a situation similar to what was provided in each scenario given in the blog.
Auerbach , Yehudith, et al. “From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation.” Google Books, Oxford University Press , 2004,
This source showed me the importance of not only resolving conflict but of finding reconciliation within the conflict. Often times when we think conflict has been resolved it isn't, which sometimes causes for further build ups and frustrations. Thus, nothing is ever solved. This source helped me to see more into my planning for my conflict resolution program and even helped me to shape and structure the rules and guidelines of my program. This source also showed me why reconciliation goes hand in hand with conflict just as much as resolving it, because it builds mutual trust between those involved in it. I used this source to plan out exactly what the goals of my program are. Upon first observation of this book, I felt as if it would be a lot to read before I would come to find what I was looking for. However, immediately from the beginning the book provided an explanation that corresponded to its title and even some history about conflict resolution which helped me to further see why it was an important part of growth and maturity as a person.
Because there were so many different contributors to this source I was able to get many different perspectives about conflict resolution and the different ways to go about it. I am excited to try each suggestion to see how each one fits with the program’s missions and goals.
“9 Tips on Conducting Great Interviews .” Forbes, Forbes Magazine , 14 Apr. 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/shelisrael/2012/04/14/8-tips-on-conducting-great-interviews/#10de0a3656f1.
This source helped me to structure and formulate my interview with both Ms. Kelley and the LEAP children. I was able to structure my question in a way that would make the interview comfortable and provided questions that gave the interviewees time to speak and to answer each question. I also used this source because as one of the most popular business websites and magazines, Forbes is reliable enough because they are always interviewing someone new for the magazine or the website about their latest achievement in business or what makes it unique. This content was most certainly relatable for Ms. Kelley as she talked about the LEAP program. Although she didn't start the program, she is still in charge of it as it changes and impacts lives in positive way. The questions I asked her allowed for her to summarize and break down what LEAP was about in clear and concise ways. I was not looking to have a basic interview with Ms. Kelley but was instead trying to come up with questions that would make the interview unique and interesting for the viewers. I also wanted them to be able to take something from it about the LEAP program that wasn’t just in my capstone description or what I had provided. The interview tips this source provided allowed me to do just that and I learned more about the LEAP program than I had thought I would or knew.
Forhan , Christy. “Middle School Event Ideas.” PTO Today, PTO Today , 2 Mar. 2018, www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/1141-tips-and-ideas-for-middle-school-events.
This source gave me a variety of creative ideas to do for the LEAP program. As an intern, my job is not just to tutor but to plan and create events and activities for the children to participate in that brings the community together. Because the program is from grades K-8th with middle schoolers usually always coming in, planning events and activities for that age range was something I realized I needed to do. This website helped me get an idea of how to correctly plan an event ,and consider the individual while doing this. I now know how to setup the perfect environment for an event, advertise it, and even host it. As a program specifically targeted children, they are going to want to do fun things, and consistently ask about doing activities. This gave me the idea of event planning, This source helped me to also figure out the financial aspect of planning out an event and even how to prepare for it.