Project Connect, a part of Cincinnati Public Schools, is a program in Greater Cincinnati that exclusively serves children experiencing homelessness. Since 1996, Project Connect has provided educational and enrichment services with the goal of promoting adequate education for homeless children. Their program partners with area shelters to assist with basic needs such as transportation, clothing, and school supplies while also organizing after-school enrichment opportunities during the academic year. The summer program in which the Urban Health Project intern participates offers children a fun and enriching experience while giving their parents the time necessary for employment searches and other tasks. The days consist of breakfast and lunch, daily reading, group activities such as jump roping and games, enrichment activities, and weekly field trips.
During the school year there is a second address before and after camp has ended:
Rising Stars Academy at 2120 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone - 513-363-6500
Fax - 513-363-6520
- Gain an appreciation for the educational, financial, and social difficulties that homeless children face.
- Engage in the social service aspects of health care as they relate to the homeless children of Project Connect.
- Work in a classroom setting of children ages 5 to 12 who are experiencing homelessness and may live in substandard housing with limited access to adequate nutrition and health care.
- Build rapport and positive relationships with the campers in one-on-one as well as group settings.
- Serve as a leader/role model for students.
- Serve as an assistant to the designated Cincinnati Public School classroom teachers in charge of Project Connect Summer Campers.
- Assist with implementing the daily program routine including weekly meal plans, lunch and afternoon recreation, group activities, and reading and enrichment activities.
- Attend on-site and off-site activities.
- Reinforce ideas of safety, health, and nutrition by providing children with tips, techniques, and information on how to form a healthy daily routine.
- Build a positive working relationship with staff.
- Work Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..
- Attend a two-day training in early June.
- Note: Applicants should have an interest in the education and health of homeless children and must be timely and self-motivated.
- Create and provide a lesson plan to campers focusing on an aspect of health an wellness (work with site supervisors on choosing a topic area)
- After the six weeks of camp, interns are expected to aid the Project Connect employees with the end-of-summer office duties including compiling reports/budgets, preparing school supplies for children for the upcoming school year, and moving camp supplies into storage.
“9:00am - the kids arrive and we start the day off with ‘Moving in the Morning’ and breakfast (interns and one of the site supervisors lead Moving in the Morning!)
- 9:30am-12:00pm - we spend time doing academics or activities in the classroom (each intern is assigned to a specific age-group/classroom with a teacher and a para) Each team lesson plans and chooses what they wanna do (I once made slime bouncy balls with my kids, for example!)
- 12:00pm-1:00pm - lunch and recess (I usually pack my lunch and eat with the kids, but you can take a 30 min break and leave for lunch if you want)
- 1:00-3:00pm - enrichment activity or teacher planned activity (like going to Sawyer Point, Ohio Street Park, Findlay Market, etc.)
- 3:00-3:30pm - snack and dismissal (students ride a bus to and from camp)
This definitely varies though like I said! Some mornings the kids go swimming, and some field trips last the majority of (or all day) like going to Kings Island, Camp Joy, the movies, or skating!”
– Jordan McCray
“At Project Connect my day starts at 8:30am Monday through Friday doing prep work for our day with the other staff members at the Rising Star Academy on Vine.
At 9:00am the students arrive to camp on buses, and we do moving in the morning where we teach the kids a choreographed dance, then get breakfast, and then go to our classrooms.
In the classroom, we help our students with academic subjects like reading, writing, and math until 12:00pm.
At noon, we eat lunch together, go to recess, and then the afternoons are filled with field trips and enrichment activities like children's theater, crafts, movies, going to parks, playing sports, swimming, kayaking, etc.
One day every week is dedicated solely to all day field trips with the students to help them explore their city of Cincinnati which included King's Island, the zoo, and roller skating this year. Our day is done by 3:30pm.
During the 6 week camp we really get to know the children in our classrooms because we participate in every event with them to help and encourage them through academics, broadening their horizons, learning life lessons, creating a community they feel safe and welcomed in, and developing meaningful relationships with adult role models and other kids.”
– MacKenzie Kenneson