It has been a phenomenal year for our Youth Leadership team as we continued our high school internship with KIPP Denver Collegiate and began a new internship program with KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy.
The Greenway Leadership River Ranger program is designed for high school students to develop their leadership and communication skills, as well as knowledge of the environment and Environmental Education. The internship consists of teaching days, GLC days, and holiday camp. Interns are paired up, and each pair is assigned a lesson from a SPREE field trip. Interns then attend and teach on four SPREE excursions throughout the year. Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) days involve interns participating in two GLC events during the school year. And finally, interns attend one day of SPREE holiday camp to learn and practice student management.
Each excursion teaching day starts with a team building activity followed by professional development workshops in Environmental Education. These workshops included an introduction to Environmental Education, strategies for team teaching, the differences between education and advocacy, and more. After the workshops, students had a chance to practice teaching their lesson before the elementary school learners arrived. Once the students arrived, it was all hands on deck.
Through the wind, snow and sometimes heat, the River Ranger interns taught to elementary school children from schools across Denver. Each high schooler walked away from the internship with a sense of accomplishment as a teacher and new knowledge of their outdoor environment.
By the end of their internship, every student had taught an entire SPREE excursion lesson to a group of younger students. Over the course of the River Ranger internship, students gained confidence in their teaching and public speaking. And we’re excited to continue with some of our interns as some of them will be with us as SPREE Summer Camp teachers!
To say the least, we have been extremely impressed this year with the amount of enthusiasm for our program and the growth we have seen in each student.