UC Berkeley Interns Grow As Environmental Educators and Leaders

Written by Joanna Hoffman, Program Manager

University of California, Berkeley undergraduate interns helped make the KIDS for the BAY Strawberry Watershed Action Program a success for two years in a row! In the 2016-17 school year, UC Berkeley sophomores Rachel Hokanson and Chloe Koslo partnered with KIDS for the BAY and Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary School third graders. In the beginning of the school year the interns observed and assisted KftB Instructors teaching in elementary school classrooms. By the spring they emerged as lead instructors during restoration Field Trips on the university’s campus. Rachel expressed that she developed her leadership skills during this internship, and Chloe reflected, “I learned that you need a solid combination of structure and letting go when teaching. You need to be prepared with an arsenal of variation, maintain a goal, and be flexible in each setting.”

The interns were trained as educators during this experience, and took pride in being the liaison between the elementary school and university campus. Chloe shared, “It was a really amazing experience to connect Berkeley elementary school students to the UC Berkeley campus. I loved being a part of this connection, and loved that the curriculum was all about local waterways. The hands-on learning through this connection was really profound, connecting to what’s actually around us. This program bridges community to science, applying science to everyday life!”

Rachel expressed her pride in the elementary school students. “A highlight of the program for me was during the second Field Trip. It was really awesome to see the students get excited about teaching the public about Strawberry Creek. It was cool to hear the students speak about information they had learned way back in the semester. It made me so proud and happy.” She also expressed that she loved the feeling of giving back to the community and the campus ecosystem. “It helped me to feel more connected to Berkeley.”

Thank you to the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund for helping to fund this program for the past two years. We are excited to continue our partnership with UC Berkeley’s Environment, Health, and Safety Department.

Learn more about the Watershed Action Program and register!

KIDS for the BAY