After three and a half weeks of The REAL Program this summer we have had the good fortune of working with highly dedicated and enthusiastic people of all ages. Here is how it has worked for us this year: The children that attend The REAL Program now identify themselves as students. The teens who have volunteered now identify themselves as interns. The "more experienced" teachers refer to themselves as mentors. We have built new vocabularies, new communities and relationships and we have learned about people from all over the world and all over the country. All of this has been working on projects that have an underlying theme of literacy.
The high school aged interns have come to us from our own communities of Lynn, Beverly and Swampscott. Other high school students have come from a Rotary Exchange from Germany; a personal family exchange from Spain, New York state and from a Youth Works that brought us mentors and interns from Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Louisiana and Connecticut. College aged mentors come from Ohio University, North Shore Community College and Bridgewater State University.
The REAL Program recently honored Mason Silva on a REAL book Give away at the Lynn Farmer's Market. Mason's family was there to receive flowers and gratitude for helping other children have access to beautiful new children's books.
We gave out nearly 2000 children's books in two hours.