Note: The Summer 2013 internship program is no longer accepting applications. Please watch this page for information about applications for 2014.
For 2013’s Summer Programs, the Schwarz Children’s Center has implemented an exciting new initiative made possible by a generous grant from the Pinkerton Foundation: a pilot internship program where young adults are trained to teach summer groups’ field trip visits to the Museum. The goal of the program is to introduce the young adults, whose ages range between 17 and 22 and come from underserved communities in New York City, to the study and practice of museum education and to provide them with professional experience working in a museum that focuses on their city’s history. Regardless of their future career paths, the internship is designed to steer nontraditional students back to school or career training and to provide practical and academic skills that may be directly applied across a range of endeavors.
Candidates were chosen from the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood and Education Center in East Harlem. Group interviews were conducted in the beginning of March, and, out of twenty-five candidates, thirteen were chosen to participate in the program. For some of the interns, this opportunity was their first work experience in a professional setting. The interns spent the first three and a half months of the program (from mid-March to the end of June) receiving training in museum education practices, which included the following: learning how to facilitate inquiry-based discussion in a museum setting; workshops and training in educating students with special needs; developing reading and writing skills related to exhibition content and New York City history; developing public speaking skills through workshops and communication with people of various ages and backgrounds; performing historical research and interpreting material culture; working the Museum’s weekend Family Programs; field trips to various New York City museums and cultural institutions.
In preparation to teach, the interns observed and assisted full-time educators during the school year. The interns, while working in groups, wrote their own education programs, which are included the Center’s summer programs offerings.
Ten interns successfully completed the training program, and the Center has worked to support each intern’s strengths on an individual basis. As a result, one intern is responsible for managing and implementing the Museum’s Family Programs; another intern is responsible for maintaining the classroom spaces and materials; and eight interns are responsible for teaching the Center’s Summer Programs.