Students and Parents "Travel the World" through Literacy Night at J.A. Fair High School
Students at J.A. Fair High learned about countries from around the world at "Passport to the 10th Grade"
By City Year AmeriCorps Member Santosh Umesh
On Thursday, February 18th – after a month of planning and preparation – the City Year team at J.A. Fair High School hosted its annual freshmen math and literacy night, called “Passport to the 10th Grade”. The event was a resounding success, which brought students and parents together for an evening of educational games with a focus on cultures around the world. Highlighted countries included Morocco, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nigeria, Ireland, and Germany.
“It was really neat to see the different countries of the world and learn stuff about them,” said freshman attendee Tyler Okoye, “I’d heard about some of the countries, but I didn’t know anything about them. It was cool to learn about places that I knew so little about.”
The festivities began with several guest speakers, including Assistant Principal Chris Johnson, who stressed the importance of finishing the academic year strong. After the speakers finished, the students and parents were directed to the cafeteria where they were met with carnival games and country trivia, as well as food and prizes. The games were based on math and literacy skills the students had learned in their classes and the 9th grade teachers offered extra credit to students who attended. Students had additional opportunities to win prizes including clothes, gift cards, and even a laptop computer.
Larissa McNeil, one of the City Year coordinators of the event said, “The initiative was a complete success. We had a fantastic turn out, which exceeded our expectations. It was the most student and parent engagement that I think I’ve seen at any City Year event.”
As a result of the unprecedented parent and student turn out, Assistant Principal Johnson asked the City Year team to hold the carnival again during school hours, as a means of test preparation. It is the perfect opportunity to bring more students around the world with City Year!
Give a Year, Give More - Change the World
More than half of City Year Little Rock's current staff members are alumni of AmeriCorps programs
AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Danielle Curd
Going straight into college right after high school was not in the plan for me. I wanted more of a life experience. Moving from Texas to Little Rock was exactly what I needed. Leaving home for the first time was liberating and surreal all at once. The community I am in now feels like home, as if I have been here all along!
I ignited a passion for equality in education in myself. Growing as a person and finding your voice is an extraordinary joy, also knowing that there is no limit of good one can spread.
No words will suffice on how much City Year has and continues to affect my life. It has caused me to be more strong minded when it comes to what defines me and the work our team puts in.
When I realized just how important the people I have crossed paths with are. All the memories my incredible Impact Manager, Team Leader, and Cloverdale team have given me have made this year an unforgettable one! My students continue to keep me grounded to what is important - something you cannot find just anywhere - for that I am truly lucky!
For me, the struggles are more internal than anything else. The biggest struggle I have had is effectively balancing the line between putting all my focus into City Year goals, and wanting to do all I can to help every student I come across.
Give an example of how your service has had a positive impact.
This year has had a very positive impact on who I am. I cannot imagine leaving my service year and not carrying on all of the best aspects of this journey.