HELLO AND HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

City Year New Hampshire (CYNH) is excited to be back in school and ready to integrate this year’s team into the school community. In efforts to continue our strong partnerships with staff, teachers, and parents, we will be sending out this monthly newsletter to share information about City Year and the team of AmeriCorps members who serve in Beech Street Elementary school. If you have thoughts about the type of information you would like to receive from this newsletter, please contact Impact Manager, Kim Bylancik.

CITY YEAR NEW HAMPSHIRE UPDATES

2017-2018 CORPS

On Monday, August 7th, CYNH kicked off our 18th year by welcoming 61 committed and motivated young people to Manchester for a year of full time service as dedicated AmeriCorps members. These individuals came from all over the country, from as far away as Seattle, WA or from as close as right here in Manchester!

This year, CYNH AmeriCorps members will partner with classroom teachers and school staff to serve over 4,000 students in the Manchester School District, serving in 61 3rd – 5th grade classrooms across eight Title I schools. They join over 3,100 City Year members across the country who will be working in similar high-need schools with 3rd to 9th grade students. City Year will collectively serve in over 300 schools, impacting more than 300,000 students in 28 U.S. locations.

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PREPARING FOR SERVICE: BASIC TRAINING ACADEMY

Basic Training Academy (BTA) starts in August, a month or so before AmeriCorps members serve in the classroom. Whether or not they have worked with students before, CYNH provides an in-depth training to supply each individual with the skills and tools to be a successful City Year AmeriCorps member, ready to start strong in their service to schools on the first day of school. During BTA, corps members begin acclimating to their new city, learn about AmeriCorps and City Year as national organizations, and prepare for their time in the classroom.

Training and outings included:

  • A welcome to Manchester and community safety initiatives overview from Manchester Police Chief Willard
  • Introduction to City Year culture, standards, and the Whole School Whole Child service model
  • Learning sessions on Youth Development and Building Student Relationships
  • Understanding School Culture & Climate, Cultivating the Corps Member & Teacher Relationship
  • A presentation by International Institute of NH Refugee Resettlement about their work in the community
  • A visit to the Currier Museum of Art and weekend trips to the White Mountains and Hampton Beach

OPENING DAY

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City Year New Hampshire held our Opening Day Ceremony on Friday, September 8th, at Manchester City Hall Plaza. Comcast’s Senior Director of Human Resources Sara Dionne, Mayor Ted Gatsas, Chief of Police Nick Willard, McDonough Principal Ken DiBenedetto and a McDonough 4th grader, along with others joined City Year AmeriCorps members as they officially kicked off their year of full-time service in eight Manchester elementary schools. Read more about the event here.  

As a part of the Ceremony, each City Year AmeriCorps member introduced themselves and shared their motivation for service, which included inspiration from past experiences, challenges they see in our current world, and hope for a better future. Meet the 2017-2018 City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps Members and learn what motivated them to serve a year with City Year.

Photo credit: John Benford Photography

WHOLE SCHOOL WHOLE CHILD

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City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. The City Year service model, Whole School Whole Child, is designed to provide a holistic approach in support of students by focusing on attendance, socio-emotional skills, and academics, as well as the entire school by promoting a positive school culture and learning environment. The model is grounded in the data-informed Response to Intervention (RTI) framework and provides an opportunity to identify students who show early indicators of being off track and at risk for dropping out (i.e. chronic absence, negative behavior, or below grade level performance in math or English.)

City Year believes that every child has the potential to learn, and with the right supports at the right time, can stay on track to graduate from high school. Through their service in eight elementary schools (Bakersville, Beech Street, Gossler Park, Hallsville, Henry Wilson, McDonough, Northwest, and Parker-Varney,) the City Year members work to increase student’s confidence, motivation, study skills, and community engagement.

Through City Year New Hampshire’s work in the 2016-2017 school year:

  • 4,013 students were greeted on their way into school in the morning
  • 1,841 students received whole class support
  • 423 students received one-on-one/small group tutoring in English and Language Arts
  • 292 students received one-on-one/small group tutoring in math
  • 290 students were enrolled in the 50 Acts of Greatness program to support their positive behavior
  • 211 students received support in their attendance
  • 32 whole-school events, including in-school programs and family nights, engaged the school community


AMERICORPS SPOTLIGHT

Amelia Shubert, Grade 3
Partner Teacher: Ms. Bernard

What are you looking forward to about service this year?

I am excited to be in the classroom with my students.  I have already started to connect with them and truly think I have a wonderful group of students. I am looking forward to starting lunch groups where I can get to know the students even better.  The growth that my students will achieve is what drives me to do this service.  Knowing that my presence in the classroom is what might make an impact on a child’s life and getting to see my students smile is what allows me to get out of bed each morning.  This year is truly dedicated to the students who I know will make an impact on my life as well.

What is a joy you have had so far this year?

Every day my students do something that makes me proud of them. I cannot really pinpoint one moment but I love it when they smile when I come in the room in the morning.  One of the boys in my class, whom I felt I hadn’t really connected with, came running up to me to give me a hug one morning as I walked into school.  Receiving hugs from my students is one of my greatest joys!

What do you appreciate about your partner teacher?

My teacher is amazing in what she does.  This is her first year teaching third grade at my school.  It seems like she has been teaching for years.  She knows when to be real with the students.  I appreciated when she keeps me informed about student concerns.  She accepts me as an equal partner in the classroom.  I know she will support me when I need assistance or even simply someone to talk to about concerns.  I am looking forward to an awesome year serving in her classroom!


TEAM AND PARTNERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Beech Street team started the year strong in classrooms, proactively engaging with students and reinforcing class norms and expectations. Immediate implementation of skills learned during their “Tier I Support” training are evident, as they are effectively circulating through their rooms, giving quick help, gentle reminders, and positive feedback to all of their students.

  • Just as important as the establishment of good relationships with students is the relationship corps members have with their teachers. During the first week of school, the Beech Street Team created weekly meeting times with their teachers to share ideas, receive feedback, and relay their observations about students. It’s also a great time for a corps member and partner teacher to simply get to know each other as “people,” and give mutual support by sharing both the struggles and joys of the classroom.  Good communication with partners is the cornerstone of a great service year, so we are excited for our solid start at Beech!


Pictured from left to right, Front Row: AmeriCorps members Amelia Shubert, Seth Perkins. Second row: Service Leaders Sravani Kumar, Jess Hylek, AmeriCorps members Alyssa Rhinesmith, Cat Cayton, Service Leader Elizabeth Valencia. Standing: AmeriCorps members Javier Cartagena and Jia He

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • This fall the Beech Street Team is already anticipating digging into their daily service and creating City Year led initiatives.

  • In October the team will begin to tutor specific students identified to be in their ELA, math, and 50 Acts of Kindness groups. Much training and prep-work will be done to ensure that the corps members are confident and ready to run productive daily sessions. In addition, each corps member will not only help implement a class-wide attendance initiative, but will also focus on a few students to coach individually to help them get them to school each day, on time, and ready to learn.

  • In addition, the team is looking forward to creating and running their first round of “Bobcat Rallies” with the entire school, running the 5th Grade Recess Leaders program, and planning their fall Math Night! The work has just begun, but the team is excited to jump in and continue the great tradition of serving at the “Beautiful Beech.”

APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE

The Beech Street Team would like to start the year by appreciating how warmly Principal Brennen and Assistant Principal Espinola welcomed us into the Beech community.  Not only did they meet with us to share personal stories and an overview of the school, but they took the time to think critically about our classroom placements, preparing us for great partner-teacher relationships.  And we were greatly impressed that Ms. Espinola knew all of our names before the first day of school!


 

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