Red Jacket Ball honors Montine McNulty

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On May 12, 2016, City Year Little Rock will host the 11th annual Red Jacket Ball. Because of her strong commitment to Arkansas in promoting education and local community organizations, City Year is honored to present Montine McNulty with the Lifetime of Service Award. In addition to supporting City Year from its start in Little Rock, Montine has been an advocate for young people in Arkansas for many years.

Over the past 30 years, Montine has established numerous education related programs. She started the AR Hospitality Education Foundation over 15 years ago. The Foundation’s purpose is to raise awareness of jobs in the hospitality industry, specifically for young people. It is now the lead job generator in Arkansas. She started a scholarship program that has given over $500,000 in scholarships to high school and college students.

Montine ran a successful fundraiser which led to the establishment of a statewide literacy program that is now a part of the Arkansas Community Foundation. More recently, she implemented a hospitality management program for high school students throughout Arkansas.

She serves on advisory boards at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Tech University, and she assists Pulaski Technical Institute and the Arkansas Culinary School with curriculum and programming. In addition to her work with education, Montine is active in other areas of the community. She has served as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association since 1996. Montine has received many awards and honors over the years, and City Year is pleased to join the recognition of her efforts in education and the community.

Join us for Red Jacket Ball!

Thursday, May 12, 2016
6:00 p.m.
Governor’s Hall IV, Statehouse Convention Center

Contact Rebecca Smithson, Senior Development Manager,
for more information at 501.707.1402 or

Luck plays into Math and Literacy Night

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City Year AmeriCorps Member Henry Clayton assists students with games at Math & Literacy Night.

By City Year AmeriCorps Member Henry Clayton
This St. Patrick’s Day, City Year McClellan honored PITW #93 (Celebrate All Holidays!) by hosting a math and literacy night for students and their families. The event was carnival themed, and aptly named “Get Lucky with Math and Literacy Night.” It was a wonderful success, and fulfilled its goals of increasing parental involvement in academics, providing information on curriculum and testing, and promoting enthusiasm for learning.

It took a village. The City Year McClellan team worked tirelessly alongside the faculty to prepare for an event that would “bring parents, students, and staff together in an engaging way,” as City Year AmeriCorps Member Haley Kiser puts it. Additionally, corps members from other teams came to help serve food and look after young children, thus allowing parents to immerse themselves in the celebration of their students’ achievements.

The night began with performances by McClellan’s choir and jazz band, followed by brief remarks from Principal Henry Anderson and math and literacy instruction facilitators, Mr. Eric Bunting and Ms. April Boatner. Some students recited original poetry.

Students and their families had fun channeling the luck of the Irish in the carnival festivities. City Year AmeriCorps Members and teachers ran booths with interactive activities like “Vocabulary Tic-Tac-Toe” and “Math Basketball”. One booth featured a representative from the Central Arkansas Library System to issue library cards. Several students won big in the raffle: a bicycle, a laptop, and several gift cards, all donated from businesses within the community.

“Get Lucky” is a great example of City Year’s Whole School/Whole Child model, as the event reached beyond the immediate academic needs of the students to promote a positive learning environment throughout the community. McClellan’s Impact Manager, Derrick Michael Rainey, was heard exulting shortly after the event: “So proud to be a Lion and part of the MacTown team! We got lucky with math and literacy!” As anyone in City Year knows well, it takes a lot more than luck (a whole village, perhaps?) to provide excellent service.

AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Claire Smyth

Claire is from Pennsylvania and currently serves on the Mabelvale Elementary School Team.

Claire.jpgWhy did you choose to join City Year Little Rock?
I have always enjoyed working with children, and I have had a growing interest in working in the education system for a while. I developed a passion for child-advocacy during my internship at Susquehanna University and it was important for me to continue working in this field. City Year advocates for children and their education so I knew this would be a good fit for me.

Talk about your experience traveling away from home.
 I am originally from Pennsylvania, so traveling to Little Rock was quite the journey. I was excited, but definitely nervous. I was not sure what to expect moving this far from home, but it was comforting to know I would be meeting many other corps members my age that would be new to the area as well.

What do you expect to get out of your year of service?
I have already learned countless valuable lessons this year thanks to my service with City Year. My teammates, the students I work with, and especially my partner teachers have helped me grow as a leader in many ways. I am thankful that City Year – in comparison to other tutoring opportunities- allows us to provide whole-classroom support. I’m excited to take these skills on to my next step in life.

Tell about a struggle you have faced/are facing as an AmeriCorps member.
Something I am struggling with currently is thinking about the reality of this one-year experience and how I will not be in this school next year. It has been strange to think about how a new team will be at this school next year.

What has been your favorite moment as an AmeriCorps member?
Any time a student has been excited to share good news about school with me is great. Hearing things like, “Look Ms. Claire, I told you I was gonna get a 100% on this test!” or “I’m putting my vocab words in my backpack now so we can study them in after-school today.” It helps me appreciate the work we do and realize that students understand I care about them and their education. 


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