Whether it’s to play capture the flag, run soccer drills or play zombie tag, Kyle Lippert ’17 brought the fun to kids in underserved neighborhoods by driving a playground on wheels.
It was part of his Swendseid Service Scholars internship for the Boys & Girls Club of the Red River Valley.
“One of my favorite parts about the job was that there was such a high diversity in the kids we interacted with,” he says.
He drove the Play Outside Daily truck to Fargo-Moorhead parks in lower-income neighborhoods and the kids came to the playground on wheels to hang out. Getting to interact with people from so many different cultures was a good experience for Lippert.
Lippert, a music education major, says he applied for the internship because he likes hanging out with kids and playing sports. He enjoyed the time in the parks and teaching kids activities to help them explore what they’re good at.
His time at Concordia prepared him for this through his clinical experience, teaching classes and spending time with kids. Getting more experience in those areas through the internship prepared him for a future career in education.
Lippert says he learned to be really flexible and creative because when kids got tired of activities he had to think on the fly to come up with new games. The program has daily themes and is a mix of sports and instruction with fun games to keep kids active. It’s the goal of the Boys & Girls Club to provide constructive activities for kids to do when they’re not in school.
Lippert says it was a challenge to keep them interested, so he became more experienced in holding attention spans, behavior management and figuring out new ways to motivate kids. These skills will be helpful for any career in education because Lippert says he learned that he enjoys working with kids in more ways than music.
“I thought for a while that I was really interested in music, but I’m learning more that music is just the way,” he says. “Being with the kids is really significant to me. Building relationships with them has been more meaningful than expected.”