Each month, we’ll be introducing you to a new School on Wheels staff member so you can learn more about the people who make our programs run successfully! This month, we’ll highlight Kris Hurst, who has been working at School on Wheels for over three years. She recently had a very exciting visitor to her math and art lunchtime program – read on to learn more!
What’s your role at School on Wheels?
I am the Program Assistant and MartH Coordinator. I assist with curriculum development, volunteers and uniform distribution as well as run the Math and Art (MartH) program at Washington Irving School 14.
What did you do before you came here?
I had positions in both the social service and arts field. I have been a Case Manager for the Office of Family and Children, Reunification Family Case Manager for Child Protective Services and Child Care Worker in a group home. I also worked at the Indianapolis Art Center in the Education Department for 10 years.
Why did you decide to join the School on Wheels team?
Education and youth have always been key areas of interest for me. School on Wheels works to level the playing field for underserved youth and I believe in working towards that goal.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love planning lessons for the kids in my program and seeing their faces light up when they are excited about a project. With everything going in our kids’ lives, I hope that my students are able to learn in a creative and comfortable environment, take away new ideas, and that their time spent with myself and the tutors is both educational and an escape from their everyday stresses.
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I really enjoy non-fiction and documentaries.
Can you tell us more about the MartH program and your exciting visitor a few weeks ago?
The ‘MartH’ program uses art to support math skills being taught in the classroom. This is a Wednesday lunchtime program, available to 4th grade kids experiencing homelessness at Washington Irving School 14. Students learn about the relationships between the two subject areas. Our projects support concepts including angles, lines, measurement, fractions, multiplication, symmetry, area and perimeter.
First Lady Karen Pence visited our classroom on October 1st. She seemed to really enjoy looking at projects the class had completed as well as interacting with the students. We presented the First Lady with a string art project involving multiplication that all the kids had a hand in. Mrs. Pence is a former art teacher and was really inspired by the ways the projects integrate both disciplines. The kids enjoyed having a special visitor and went out of their way to interact with the First Lady.