Wooster-Mill Ridge After School Program
Upper School students have the opportunity to sign up for a Monday Social Impact elective each trimester to participate in our partnership with Mill Ridge Primary School in Danbury, CT. Students work with children in grades 1-3 who attend the After School program. Wooster students develop and engage with children in primarily arts-based and play-based activities and develop positive relationships with Mill Ridge students.
Students are asked to regularly reflect on their experiences and interactions while at Mill Ridge, to deepen their experiential learning.
Some examples of student reflections:
"I have had many experiences during the Social Impact Monday Art elective this trimester. While teaching and helping the kids of Mill Ridge Primary, I have also learned a lot about myself. I have never realized that I get so much happiness out of interacting with young kids. I never knew that kids in primary school could have such a developed sense of humor and compassion. I also learned about many helpful tips on how to interact with kids, such as being very calm with them and giving some students more priority (making them a helper) and attention to change their behavior. These skills came into use when I had to keep the energy level of one kid in my group under control. I could not figure out a way to keep him from doing harmful activities (which would ruin school property and sadden other kids in the group). I remembered a tip which Mrs. Rajbanshi had given us in situations like these. I made him the helper, which made him feel better."-Isha '21
"I am involved in this program because I believe it is one of the most concrete ways that I can make a positive difference in the life of another person. My mom is a social worker, and has demonstrated for me what it can look like to care about the emotional wellbeing of children. Additionally, my grandfather taught for upwards of thirty years and passed along his love of mentorship to me. I often feel like when I am volunteering outside of school that I cannot see the impact I am making, and therefore doubt whether my efforts are as efficient in helping other as they could be. I would prefer to spend time with a child who needs extra attention than spend five dollars hoping that it will reach the right person. As I found out last week, over ten percent of Danbury is food insecure, which was a surprising statistic to me. Beyond issues regarding food, this translates into fewer parents having the time to spend time reading with their children. If I can play that role with a child for even a short time, I will know that I have made a tangible difference."-Julia '19