Educational Fellowship Brings College Students to Camden Children's Garden

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Area college students are working their summer away at local education centers throughout the Delaware Valley.

The Alliance for Watershed Education is made up of 23 different environmental centers throughout the Delaware Watershed.

One of those centers is the Camden Children’s Garden. It serves as a place for children and families to explore and discover the natural world, and this summer they welcome one of 45 fellows taking part in the Delaware River Watershed Fellowship Program.

“The fellowship is a great way to get young people, which are obviously the leaders of the future, ... more invested back into the natural world and learning its importance and how it impacts everything,” said Mica McCullough, communications coordinator for the Alliance for Watershed Education.

The 12-week paid fellowship has led Temple University English major Annalisa Shanks to the garden.

“I love being here and I love the effect that we have on children and families as they do come," said Shanks. "I love to explain to kids the role of the things around us and how ... we don’t understand how important these things are for us in our daily lives.” 

A big part of the program weighs on a capstone project that each fellow must complete by the end of the 12 weeks.  

“Centers sort of get to choose whether they have an existing project they want them to work on or if fellows can come up with their own project ... they run a huge range,” said McCullough.

Shanks’ capstone project involves something she’s always wanted to do.

“I definitely wanted to bring my personality and background into what I was doing here," said Shanks. "So my capstone project, which we were allowed to choose, is to write a children’s book that hopefully we can share with kids when they come to the garden.”

And although she only has a few weeks left, it’s been a summer she’ll never forget.  

“Well, I love it," said Shanks. "I can say that this is an experience that I believe will be deeply influential as I’m going forward in my life and my career.” 

Shanks, along with the 44 other fellows, will present their project when the program concludes next month.  



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