Kids enjoy learning from youth at Star camp

IMAG0490-webFREMONT: It was perfect outdoor weather on the first day of the spring break in Fremont. A group of about 45 kids ranging from grade 2 to 6 got up early and headed to the activity planned by their parents. They were not headed to any park or a museum or a beach. At the same time, about 8 high schoolers also woke up early excited to start their day. They were not headed to a mall or to a movie or an amusement park.

Both the groups converged at Fremont Hindu Temple, cheerful and simultaneously anxious, for the first day of the ‘Star test prep camp’ organized by Cherish. The camp was held on all the five days of the break. The students enjoyed each day and were delighted to learn from youth rather than grown-ups.
They connected instantaneously and developed a great bond of friendship. At this camp they were given rigorous practice as well as personal coaching. Most students are now eagerly waiting for the next camp. Cherish has promised them many such camps in summer break.

The youth volunteers also had a great experience at the camp. Many of them have expressed their feedback:
Rutu, a Freshman at Mission San Jose High School says: The STAR test prep camp held from April 1st-5th at the Fremont Hindu Temple by Cherish was a grand success. Children till grade 6 arrived expecting a boring torturous study camp. They did not want to spend their spring break doing practice tests, but their views changed completely after the first day.

I was the tutor for the fourth graders. They were difficult at first, but soon learned to appreciate my efforts and took initiative to listen. Teaching them gave me great joy. We had our laughs, but got down to business. With the multiple practice packets, lessons, and guidance I gave, they are guaranteed a perfect or close to perfect score this spring. The camp was an amazing experience that I would come back to do again, and hopefully all the children would too. If not to learn, maybe just for the delicious fresh cut fruits given at snack time.

Varsha, a Freshman at Mission San Jose High School: It was fun volunteering and I had a pleasant experience teaching the kids. I enjoyed working with the kids. The kids learned a lot in this camp and so did I. I am sure the Star Test Prep was helpful for the kids. It is a good practicing and drill session for them. Given an opportunity, I would love to volunteer in such similar sessions.

Priyanka, a Junior at Mission San Jose High school: I believe that it was an exciting new experience, and that it gives appreciation to all of those around us. It also allows students to be completely in charge, which turns out fantastic.

Jasmine, a Sophomore at Irvington High School: Teaching these kids was a great honor and was an amazing experience. Helping these elementary school kids impacted not only them, but me as well. I could tell they learned many things by asking many questions and it felt like they wanted to be there.

Seeing their smiling faces ready to learn everyday made me realize that I should help volunteer for tutoring more and more. Teaching them was a great experience because not only they learned many things, but I also learned many things such as how to interact with a variety of kids and personalities as well.

I myself, and as well as many of the other volunteers learned a lot from this. We all adapted pretty quickly and focused on what they wanted to accomplish during that week and we tried our best to help them reach their goal. From learning new things, interacting with these wonderful kids, and having the occasional laugh here and there with the kids, I could say that tutoring them was one of the most fun, cherishing, and best experiences I, and the kids, have had.

Our adult volunteers also had a very good experience. Pooja says: The turnout was great. The students practiced the concepts found on the Star test. They had a great opportunity to ask and learn from the parent volunteers and high school students. Each class was divided based on their grades and had fun working with their groups. Overall, it was an enriching experience for the students who worked together, made new friends, mastered some old concepts and learned new too. Well done!

Ekta says: I worked as volunteer teaching 2nd grade in Fremont temple in Star test camp along with some high school kids. My son Sarthak, 3rd grader, was also a student there. I and my son had a wonderful experience. They are doing an excellent work. We both leaned a lot and enjoyed a lot. I would not hesitate to join again. Now I can say my son is ready for star testing.


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