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Megan Rothwell Saia '97 Brings New Programming to DCD's Extended Day Program

Interview by Leslie Bowen
You've had so many different kinds of work experiences at DCD, starting as a counselor at the camp in 1997, then managing the summer camp, teaching in Pre-K and as a substitute, coaching, etc.  How do you feel now in your new position?

I love the new position! With my previous experience, I was able to work with a variety of age groups. This year, I still have the pleasure of working with students across many grades! All of my previous experiences have helped me build a strong foundation to be in the position I am today.

What new initiatives have you taken or hope to take in the EDP program? You've just recently added some new after-school options. Tell me about that and how you hope to use the resources available at DCD to enhance the program.  

After hearing some of the needs and wants of students and families, it was clear that students needed more options after school. Some needed a quiet space for homework. For those students, we have implemented a “homework club” which is essentially a supervised study hall in the library. This has been quite popular among 3rd to 5th graders! They are able to get their work done in a quiet space, free of distractions.

We also have added some enrichment programs for all grades led by some of the finest instructors-our own faculty! Caiti Pina is bringing Dance Fusion to our Wednesday afternoons, Marie Nagode will be leading some mindfulness and peace during Yoga on Mondays, and Laura Martinez will be teaching students Spanish on Friday afternoons! We are bringing back the popular Chess Wizards and Soccer, and there is a new program of Flag Football which should be so fun! So, we have many options from which to choose after school!!
Tell us about Pre-K Stay and Play. How did you come up with the idea and how is it enhancing the program? 

Pre-K Stay and Play is full of enrichment! Every week we travel across the world to a new country learning all about different cultures. This past week we traveled to Sweden and learned about their holiday tradition of St. Lucy’s day. We had pepparkaor, which is also known as gingerbread, and we decorated and ate gingerbread men. It was delicious. 

My colleague Sean used to work in a travel agency and has lots of knowledge about different countries that he shares with us. We have a lot of fun at Stay and Play!
How is it working together with Sean? He also has camp experience. Do you share any other similarities, differences? Do you divide your duties, improvise, how does it work?

Sean is fantastic! He is funny and works great with children. We share a love of humor, and he brings that to the Huntington House every day! Sean heads up “homework club” at the library while I stay back at the Huntington House with the younger students. We are always evolving the program to make it better, so being flexible works well for both of us.
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