"When I came to college, I realized pretty early on that I just really enjoyed being around kids."
For Christine, a childhood/early childhood education major studying in the College’s highly regarded School of Education, the best preparation is in practice, whether the task at hand is classroom teaching or club softball.
Back when she was a first-year student, she joined the local YWCA’s Bridges for Kids program to gain hands-on experience with school-aged children. The program, which connects local youngsters with inspiring mentors, brought Christine together with two girls whom she considers as close as sisters.
Christine believes that the experience adds a personal element to the teacher education skills she learns in the classroom. “When I came to college, I realized pretty early on that I just really enjoyed being around kids.”
After just a few weekly interactions with her “little sisters,” Christine noticed a higher comfort level in dealing with children and a greater awareness of the diverse backgrounds from which they come. Today, she helps the girls with their homework, chats regularly on the phone with them and plays games for much longer than the two hours per week that are required of her.
“Once I saw how excited it made them when I went to their concerts and sporting events unannounced, it just became that much more real for me,” says Christine.
Christine also counts club softball as one of the activities that gives her college experience purpose. Like many students who compete in intramural or club sports, it allows her to stay as active as she was in high school while being able to taste a little bit of everything that the College has to offer.