For her independent Social Action site, Caroline Shook ‘12 wanted to return back to her roots and give back to the school that gave her so much. Every other Wednesday, Caroline goes to her old school, St. Jane de Chantal, and volunteers in the Resource Center. There, Caroline helps students in kindergarten through eighth grade who need a little more attention and time with their schoolwork.
Daily activities for Caroline include sorting words in chapters, so that kids learn the meaning of hard words, as well as grading tests and helping students with math problems. Caroline also decorates classrooms for holidays in order to create an exciting and festive atmosphere for the kids.
Caroline, who went to De Chantal for elementary and middle school, says that she remembers having Stone Ridge high students come and help out when she was younger. So, when the time came for Caroline to choose her Social Action site, it was a logical and easy choice for her to return back to her old school. Caroline’s younger sister still attends De Chantal, and Caroline says that it is great to see all of her old teachers and reconnect with them.
An experience that has resonated with Caroline was with one girl in the second grade who moved to Bethesda from France and struggles with English. Not knowing how to ask for help in her math class, the girl came to Caroline in the Resource center for one-on-one attention almost every day until she finally understood all of her math questions. Now, she does not come to the Resource center as much, which Caroline misses. However, Caroline knows it is a good sign because it means that she has helped the girl understand math and is doing much better in the subject.
One great thing Caroline notes about going to De Chantal is its proximity to Stone Ridge. “It is so close!” she says. Last year, Caroline worked at DC Prep, and one of the problems she faced was that she never felt like she could spend that much time with the kids because of the long commute. However, De Chantal is only two minutes away from Stone Ridge, and Caroline can spend pretty much the entire day helping out.
Looking ahead, Caroline, knowing that she wants to work with kids in some capacity, hopes to become a teacher.