This time of year gives us an opportunity to reflect on our gratitude for the support of others including partner teachers or school staff who guide, coach, and mentor our City Year members through their work with students; parents who encourage and provide support to ensure the best opportunities for their children; City Year alumni who continue to be involved to offer perspective and advice; donors and corporate sponsors who give financially and of their time to ensure our work and impact can continue; or community members who believe in the power of young people to make a difference in the world. We appreciate you!
We hope this monthly newsletter informs you about the work of City Year and the team serving at Beech Street Elementary School. If you have thoughts about the type of information you would like to receive from this newsletter, please contact Beech Impact Manager, Kim Bylancik.
|CITY YEAR NEW HAMPSHIRE UPDATES|
AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM LAUNCH
In November, City Year teams began working with students in one of City Year New Hampshire’s two featured afterschool programs – FIRST LEGO League, in collaboration with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), FIRST LEGO League (FLL) provides students with a challenge to be solved through teamwork, creativity, programming, and robotics. This year, the theme is "Hydrodynamics" where students will learn about the forces acting on or exerted by fluids (especially liquids). Select City Year members in charge of running FLL in their schools received a training from FIRST at the beginning of the month so they are fully prepared to lead their sessions with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Learn more about FIRST LEGO League.
VETERANS DAY OF SERVICE
On November 10th, City Year members participated in five different projects for our annual Veterans Day of Service. Members served at New Horizons, Liberty House, New Hampshire Veteran’s Home, Families in Transition, and Valley Cemetery. City Year members sorted food and clothing donations, engaged with local veterans, and helped tidy up public spaces on a windy day with some character-building yard work. On Saturday, November 11th, our members also served at the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.
|WHOLE SCHOOL WHOLE CHILD
FOCUS ON BEHAVIOR
Behavior support and socio-emotional learning is a critical component of our partnership with schools. City Year teams first learn about approaches to socio-emotional learning, and then collaborate with partner teachers to identify the City Year AmeriCorps members’ Behavior focus list students. Members then use a City Year designed curriculum called 50 Acts of Greatness to facilitate lunchtime sessions helping students improve their socio-emotional skills, including their communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and self-awareness.
HOW CITY YEAR MEMBERS ARE TRAINED IN THEIR ABCs
City Year ABCs - Attendance, Behavior and socio-emotional learning, and Course performance in math and English/language arts - are the focus areas of City Year members' service. Having a trained City Year member in the classroom enables teachers to continue classroom lessons, better differentiate instruction, and provides another source of targeted support for students who need it. Here's how City Year prepares our members to be successful focused on Behavior.
- City Year members learn about and understand the concept of socio-emotional learning and skills before entering the classroom at the beginning of the year, and review these concepts throughout the year.
- Members are introduced to the 50 Acts of Greatness program used to support students in behavior focus groups. Members learn how to coach, create goals, and work on skill development with students during their lunch group.
CITY YEAR IMPACT IN BEHAVIOR
In the 2016-2017 school year, 52% of students mentored by City Year New Hampshire in the 50 Acts of Greatness program showed an increase in positive socio-emotional behavioral skills*, exceeding our goal of 50%. Furthermore, 63% of students mentored improved from “need for instruction” in socio-emotional behavioral skills to “typical” or "developing strengths" in these areas compared to their grade-level peers*.
* based on a 4 point or higher increase on the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) which measures self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making
|AMERICORPS MEMBER SPOTLIGHT|
Elizabeth Valencia from Norwalk, CA serving in 5th grade with Ms. Lindsey Hubbell
“I serve to empower students to find their voice. Tengo la esperanza de empoderar estudiantes a encontrar sus voces.”
My name is Elizabeth Valencia and I am a 23 year old from Norwalk, California. In 2016 I graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a degree in psychology. Since I was a child my parents always taught me the value of education. They supported me by setting high expectation during my academic career. With their continuous love and support, I became the first in my family to graduate from a 4-year university. I cannot thank my parents enough for always challenging and believing in me.
I believe education is the key to success, but it has become more difficult for students from the communities we serve in to access higher education with the school to prison pipeline. This is why I decided to serve a second year. I hope to be a part of the movement where students uncover their leadership potential that will impact the next seven generations.
1) What is your biggest joy in service so far this year?
I am simply excited to be back at Beech St. for a second year, coming in already knowing students and staff.
2) What do you appreciate / have learned from your teacher so far?
Ms. Hubbell is an incredible teacher, AKA my best friend at Beech St. It has been exciting to grow with her in the classroom. I admire her patience and humbleness towards the students. She is able to walk in the door with a can-do attitude and start off fresh each day. She is constantly challenging students to think critically, especially in math. She asks students to explain how they got their answers. I never had a teacher explain to me the why behind math and this is how students are understanding math more.
3) What are you looking forward to in your service?
I am still looking forward to be working alongside the wonderful City Year Beech St. team. We have a team of passionate innovators whose service often goes unseen.
|TEAM AND PARTNERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
The Beech Street Team had an incredibly busy month. They kicked it off by creating their first Bobcat Rally of the year, focusing on our school rule of “Respect” and the “Breathing Tool” to handle tough situations. With a hilarious video, skits, and audience participation, they performed the rally four times to reach all of the students and staff at Beech Street. It was also their first official introduction to the K-2 students, who now know them as the “Bobcat Rally City Years.”
Immediately thereafter began the preparations for their Community Meeting. Focused on “Giving Thanks,” it was a time to bring the entire CYNH site together to celebrate and reflect on season. Sharing stories, food, quotes, self-appreciations, and yet another hilarious video, the team aimed and succeeded at making all in the room feel welcomed, at home, and a part of something bigger than their daily service.
As the team moves into December, they are intensely planning for the December 7th Literacy Night, “Books Come Alive!” while prepping for their afterschool clubs and daily work with focus list students. They are focused and driven, and will be ready for a well-deserved winter break!
|APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE
The team would like to appreciate Ms. Nicole Delcourt, our wonderful school nurse. Not a day goes by that we are not accompanying a student to her office, and are witness to her patience and care in treating the bumps, bruises, colds, and coughs prevalent in an elementary school. She also goes the extra mile in tending to us as well in our moments of need, and makes everybody feel welcomed and informed. Thank you for all that you do, every day!