Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Recreation Program Delivery in a Housing Authority: Students Tell Their Story

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Two EKU students served as recreation directors for a federally funded housing authority in northern Kentucky during the 2004 summer. This job entailed living onsite with the tenants and planning and delivering recreation programs through the week while supervising a staff of eight. Dynamics of this experience included the racial mix of the students and participants, educational level, and socio-economic factors. The Director of the program was a Caucasian woman completing a senior internship, while the Assistant Director was an African-American male, older and a graduate student at the University. Recreational facilities were a program limitation, hot summer temperatures an issue, staff conflicts arose as did issues with both participants and parents. This qualitative study focused on journals kept by these two student program administrators. An interdisciplinary team approach using the Consensual Qualitative Research Model was employed for data analysis. The student experience is captured by the following statement of one of these students. "It definitely was a valuable learning experience and one I’ll never forget. The vision I had of working in the housing projects was wrong. This experience has taught me many things not only as a professional but as an individual. Being a recreation professional I believe means caring for the patron and I can honestly say I cared for those children. I often catch myself thinking about particular children and wonder how they’re doing. I hope that I at least was able to help one child and if I did then I did do my job."

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Recreation Program Delivery in a Housing Authority: Students Tell Their Story

Two EKU students served as recreation directors for a federally funded housing authority in northern Kentucky during the 2004 summer. This job entailed living onsite with the tenants and planning and delivering recreation programs through the week while supervising a staff of eight. Dynamics of this experience included the racial mix of the students and participants, educational level, and socio-economic factors. The Director of the program was a Caucasian woman completing a senior internship, while the Assistant Director was an African-American male, older and a graduate student at the University. Recreational facilities were a program limitation, hot summer temperatures an issue, staff conflicts arose as did issues with both participants and parents. This qualitative study focused on journals kept by these two student program administrators. An interdisciplinary team approach using the Consensual Qualitative Research Model was employed for data analysis. The student experience is captured by the following statement of one of these students. "It definitely was a valuable learning experience and one I’ll never forget. The vision I had of working in the housing projects was wrong. This experience has taught me many things not only as a professional but as an individual. Being a recreation professional I believe means caring for the patron and I can honestly say I cared for those children. I often catch myself thinking about particular children and wonder how they’re doing. I hope that I at least was able to help one child and if I did then I did do my job."