Nichols Students and Faculty Volunteer During Virtual Service Week with Journey’s End Refugee Services

Nichols School students and faculty volunteered virtually with Journey’s End Refugee Services last week to provide an exciting experience for families new to Western New York.
Journey’s End worked with the WNY Digital Equity Coalition to secure a grant to purchase laptops for 20 newly-arrived families. The organization also runs a math and enrichment academy each spring for children from families they support.
Nichols students worked with parents on Monday and Tuesday to teach some of the basics of computer literacy and introduce some tools that are helpful in supporting remote learning. On Wednesday and Thursday, the students volunteered with groups of students aging from kindergarten through seventh grade on basic math and other learning activities.

On Friday, the virtual service week concluded with an exciting presentation on science and technology led by Upper School science and robotics teacher Larry Hiller along with several students from the robotics program. Nichols students demonstrated how to use a no-code game builder called Scratch and helped attendees learn to build their own game by characters and defining actions for characters to do.  

Nichols students also dropped off meals provided by the Parents’ Association for families to enjoy during the final day of activities.

Attendees also had a special surprise on Friday when a pair of Buffalo Bills players, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and offensive tackle Dion Dawkins, visited via Zoom! They shared what they love most about Buffalo and about playing football, their favorite foods, and other fun facts for the families and Nichols students.

Thank you to the students, faculty and staff who volunteered, especially Nichols Service and Social Justice program coordinators Caitlin Crowell and Kevin Powers as well as Larry Hiller and the robotics students, the Parents’ Association, and everyone at Journey’s End Refugee Services who helped make this a special week for several Western New York families!

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