Caitlin Kinsella '18 started an after-school program that embodies the Holy Cross mission. This program introduces students from St. John the Evangelist School in Watertown to enrichment math-related activities that are both fun and educational.
"I wanted to make math fun and not tedious," said Caitlin, a Saint John graduate. "We do mostly games and projects. Some involve Legos and scavenger hunts."
St. John Vice Principal, MaryLou Iannone, states that the school had an after school math program in existence. However, they wanted to expand on it and include some of their younger students. "Caitlin and I spoke over the summer about some things she could get involved with," said Mrs. Iannone. "She is bright, enthusiastic, hardworking and knew our community. She has been spectacular. It is really wonderful to have her back in our community showing great leadership."
Recently, some of Caitlin's classmates from The Helping Hands/Making Smiles (HH/MS) club helped her in her efforts.Caitlin has been the lead on the weekly St. John School progam. She creates a STEM-based project/activity for their students, and HH/MS goes every Wednesday afternoon to work with them.
"Our kids look forward to Caitlin and the Holy Cross kids visiting us on Wednesdays," said Mrs. Iannone. "They have developed some great relationships with the Holy Cross students. Caitlin and I have already had preliminary conversations about continuing this program in the fall to get out students to love math."
Under the leadership of Wenting Zheng '18, HH/MS has volunteered monthly at Apple Rehab in Watertown and weekly at St. John. Throughout the year, they have written letters to US service men and women oversees. They have also volunteered at the Animal Shelter in Middlebury. On March 12th, they will be volunteering at the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen in Waterbury.
"It has been such a joy to work with them," said Jodie LaCava McGarrity '93, faculty advisor to HH/MS. "They are a committed and humble group of young women and men. They have taken the initiative this year to seek out new projects on their own and involve the entire Holy Cross community. Currently, they are working on the Jared Box Project in cooperation with Crusade for a Cure. During Founders' Week (a week that celebrates all-things Holy Cross), they will fill boxes with toys, games and activities and will donate them to the boys and girls at Connecticut Children's Hospital. All of their efforts truly reflect their purpose to offer a helping hand and make someone smile!"