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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Back to their roots

High school students work for Millard’s part-time childcare service
Delaney Lueck
Gluing down a circle to make a snowman craft, junior Chloe Teter helps a kindergartener. Almost every day, Teter leads an art craft and helps the elementary school students when they need it. “I really like to help with the craft when I can,” Teter said. “My favorite thing is to make the art along with them because we all hang them up on the wall together.”

As students get older, working a job is something most do throughout high school. Although there are many different job opportunities, some choose to go back to their roots and work with those younger than them.

In Millard, there is a before and after school childcare program for students that was once known as Kidsnet is now called Spark and can be found in all 25 of Millard’s elementary schools. The program runs from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in the morning and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. after school. Knowing Spark was one of her favorite memories growing up, junior Chloe Teter knew it was somewhere she wanted to work when she was of age. 

“I loved Kidsnet when I was little and the staff made it a really fun environment so that made me want to come back and work there,” Teter said. “I love that the hours are right after school, especially since I don’t have to work on weekends or on most breaks. I work at Reeder Elementary School and I truly love all the staff that work there. During the fall I had to take a leave of absence because of volleyball and the process was made super easy by my director, Michael Sueper. I was nervous at first, but they were very flexible with everything and I was so ready to see all of the sweet kids when I came back.”

As many of Spark’s employees are high school students, the foundation that runs the program is extremely flexible with clubs, sports and other after school activities. Senior Jaclynn Smidein also took a leave of absence in the fall due to cross country, and was able to come back right after her season ended. 

“I was influenced to work at Spark because a lot of people in my education academy worked at different sites and they said it was a good fit,” Smidlein said. “Considering the fact that I hope to be an elementary school teacher, I knew Spark would give me the experience I needed early on. I work at Rohwer Elementary School  so the commute after school is super easy. I would have to say that my absolute favorite part about working with Spark is that I am able to create connections with all of the kids. Being able to help kids of all ages and being there for them when they need me is very important to me.”

Not only is Spark beneficial for the students and parents of those who attend, it gives those who work there experience with younger kids.

“I have worked at Reagan Elementary School’s Spark for two years now so I have gained amazing leadership skills from my site director, Michelle Frost, and have gained amazing relationships with the families that I work for,” senior Abrielle Watkins said. “I really enjoy working with kids on a daily basis. My favorite part is leading the exploration activities every day and getting to know the kids and their families. I had friends who already worked there and they recommended it to me due to the helpful directors and flexibility.”

Although Spark is far from an easy job, those who work there seem to make it enjoyable. Whether it’s helping with math homework, building legos, or leading group games, working with elementary school students helps everyone involved. It is also rewarding for employees because not only do they support younger kids, they also get the opportunity to learn how to teach lessons, gain knowledge and teach skills kids need to use throughout their lifetime.

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About the Contributor
Delaney Lueck
Delaney Lueck, Features Editor
Delaney is a senior and this is her first year on the CATalyst staff, but third year with journalism. In Yearbook, she has had a past role of Copy-Editor. Outside of journalism, Delaney enjoys taking pictures, spending time with friends, traveling, being with family, and being a part of the track team.

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