Alishiya Kapoor | August 31, 2017
This past year as an AmeriCorps VISTA who works in an indirect service capacity after coming from my three years of full-time direct service was a very new experience for me. I worked with two Collaborative Working Groups focused on extended learning: Santa Fe Community Educators Network (SFCEN) and Collaborative Working Group on Extended Learning. Both groups have taught me a lot about the importance of out-of-school time and of informal and formal education.
During my time with SFCEN, I worked with educators working within organizations, such as Santa Fe Botanical Garden and SITE Santa Fe. I really got to experience how different organizations could come together to provide collaborative programming for youth, find funding together, and pulling in all their resources. Some these experiences include their collaboration with Adelante’s Juntos de Miércoles, 21st Century teacher trainings, Teachers Resource Fair, and the pilot program at Sweeney with the City’s Summer Youth Program.
Through my AmeriCorps VISTA term, I had the pleasure of working with Susan Duncan on the CWG on Extended Learning. I learned a lot about the way Santa Fe Public Schools supported and ran different after school and summer programs. Together, Susan and I worked to bring data together from the previous summer enrichment programs, create surveys for the next summer, and do outreach for different programs ran by and supported by SFPS. By sharing her passions with me, I was really able to understand the importance of the work we were all doing to make sure that out-of-school time for youth was available.
I am very grateful for the experience I’ve had working with both groups and learning about the work of the different organizations. While I may be moving on from this position, I realize that I’m not moving on from the work that I have been a part of for the last year. I will be doing in school and after school programming with Wise Fool NM and still attending meetings to collaborate overextended learning programs.