Harry and Hermoine: Best Friends Formed by a Love for Literacy

Casey Geiger, Elementary Intern at Walnut Hill

Hey y’all, my name is Casey Geiger! I’m from Greenville, South Carolina and I’m studying math and Spanish at Wofford College, a small liberal arts school Spartanburg, South Carolina.

I remember the day I got the phone call offering me an internship with Project Transformation. I was in the middle of a nap that all college students know are absolutely essential to success. I heard my phone ring and saw Dallas, TX on the caller ID. I bolted upright, put on my best professional voice and answered. That was over 3 months ago and at the time I had no idea what an amazing summer I would be getting myself into.

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I’ve tried to describe to my friends and family how cool and different life at Project Transformation is and I really don’t think my words do it justice. It is such a loving, welcoming, accepting, and diverse environment that really brings out the best in people. I’m a part of a team of interns that serves at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church. My team is filled with the silliest, funniest, most hardworking, kindest, and weirdest people I know. They push me to become a better teacher for the kids, a better teammate to each other, and a better person all around. I love all them for who they are and the awesome things they bring to make our team so cohesive. The idea of going back to South Carolina in August without them is too tough for me to think about so I’ll talk about our awesome kids instead!

As cheesy as it sounds, the kids of Walnut Hill bring so much joy to my heart. They’re rambunctious and loud and a little bit too crazy at times but they all have hearts of gold. I couldn’t possibly tell every story about how the kids have brightened my days so I’ll guess I’ll settle for one of my favorite stories.

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Growing up I was a complete Harry Potter nerd. As in, I had the action figures, was Hermoine for Halloween on several occasions, know all the spells from the books, and have read every book in the series upwards of 10 times. So when I meet another person who loves Harry Potter as much as I do, it’s like sharing a little piece of my childhood with them. I was talking with one of our kids, Sergio, about what he had been reading during the Bookworms rotation in the morning. He started telling me all about the Harry Potter book he was reading, talking a mile a minute. When he was finished, I held my hand up for a high five and excitedly informed him that I loved Harry Potter too. His face lit up and we traded different spells back and forth. Right before the conversation ended he told me, “Miss Casey, you can be Hermoine and I’ll be Harry and we can be best friends!” Later he came up to me and handed me an awesome drawing of the Harry Potter logo which is now hanging on the wall in my room and is definitely traveling back to school with me. Being a Harry Potter nerd I recognize what I compliment that was and I’m pretty certain it will stick with me forever.

Harry Potter

There are so many more stories about how the children I am blessed to work with make me smile every day. Sometimes, especially on a tough day, I have to sit back and remind myself that my job lets me get to be a kid again. I think that working with kids gives you a little opportunity to be one again. You get to relive the simple excitement of winning a game of sharks and minnows, the thrill of playing tag on a playground, and the satisfaction of improving at something. Kids give us a little piece of pure, unadulterated emotion that I think adults sometimes forget about. They’re messy, silly, rambunctious, loud, and a little wild at times but that’s my favorite thing about them. They are 100% themselves and bring the same joy they experience to everyone around them. As lucky as I am to get the chance to impact their lives, they impact mine tenfold. I am so blessed for what I’ve already experienced and can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for me, my team, and our kids!

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