August 11, 2012 by Arwen McGilvra
To Whom it May Concern,
I have known Ms. Arwen McGilvra for the past nine (9) months during which time she has been the lead teacher at my daughter’s before and after school program. As a new parent in the school, I was hesitant to enroll my daughter in the program until I asked around and was given glowing reports of the program by parents who told me that it was Arwen who made the program extraordinary. With these first-hand recommendations, I happily enrolled Alice in the program and found the accounts from other parents to be absolutely accurate. Arwen is an incredibly devoted and hard-working individual. Her creativity and kindness make her an ideal teacher and I am confident that she would be an asset to any organization.
One of Arwen’s greatest contributions to the after school program was her creativity in developing the many activities for the students. Each month of the school year was organized by a thematic unit with reinforcing activities and an end-of-month culminating activity, all of which were fun and educational. For example, for the month of May’s “Recycled Crafts” month, they worked with packaging scraps and broken toys to design and build their own unique toys (which Arwen would later enter into our county fair) and made homemade purses and wallets from donated old jeans. It was a terrific lesson in recycling and sustainability as well as engineering and community involvement.
Another example of her devotion and creativity was the stop-motion superhero action film that the children wrote and produced and then premiered for their parents with a red-carpet after-hours ceremony complete with interviews by the local media. With this project they learned about technology and to better appreciate and more critically evaluate the media images they consume on a daily basis. I know Arwen put in countless hours of her own time to make each one of her innovative lessons come to life for the children and I am so thankful for all the children who enjoyed the benefit of all her hard work.