The Hechinger Report, a national education news site, is doing a series on New Hampshire’s community-school partnerships and how internships help students connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world.
At Keene’s Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2), students are required to complete an internship before they graduate. According to MC2’s founder, Kim Carter, it helps students master academic skills:
“Internships engage students in real-world learning through one-on-one relationships with an adult mentor,” said Carter. “Our job is to connect that work into the skills and knowledge that they have to have.”
Carter said the community in Keene and nearby towns has been instrumental in helping find internships and in working with MC2-Monadnock to make sure the schoolwork and the outside work complement each other.
Here are some examples of what students are doing:
Down the road at the Montessori Schoolhouse, 15-year-old Ella Connolly and 14-year-old Abby Snow usher a pack of two-year-olds into the backyard playground of the 18th-century farmhouse that serves as the school’s building. Abby, a former Montessori Schoolhouse student herself, says she hopes to run her own nursery school one day.
Over in neighboring Walpole, Ben Bigaj, 18, helps coordinate building projects at Bensonwood, a builder of custom timber-frame homes and other structures. Bigaj says that before he transferred to MC2 he had “a lot of anxiety” and was very quiet. In the Bensonwood plant, he laughs and jokes with adult employees, a big grin on his face.
In the nearby town of Swanzey, Brad Hinkel, 17, does a lot of sweeping up for a shop called Full Throttle, but he also gets to work on engines and learn how the motorcycle and ATV business works.