The Friends School

Video posted April 28, 2015 in News by Michele Whalen


Allyson Manion is a senior at Penn State University studying human development and family studies for the past four years. During her last semester she was required to do a full time internship of her choice in order to graduate. Knowing she’s always wanted to work with children she started look around at schools that could possibly have an internship with counseling. She found the Friend School in State College, PA and they worked with her to create an appropriate internship. She now works and assists with her lead teacher in helping with paper work, keeping track of the children and even teaches a lesson or two; all without ever taking education classes.

The Friend School is a kindergarten to 8th grade school founded by the Quaker faith. “We believe that education is a lifelong journey. We view learning as a process of exploration and self-discovery, through which children build skills and knowledge experientially by working with teachers and fellow students.” It is very different from regular public schools because they teach the kids at their own pace and don’t give out grades until the kids reach middle school, instead they give assessments of the child’s progress. If children have trouble reading or are autistic they don’t treat those kids any differently then the other kids to create equality among the students.

Since working at the Friend School Ally has drastically changed her mind of what she wants to do after graduation. Graduate school was never in her mind but now she is applying to grad schools and looking to get her masters in special education so she can further work with children. Ally graduates this semester and is looking forward to more opportunities, like the Friend School has given her.