February can be one of the busiest months for City Year AmeriCorps members as many of them are involved in planning and preparing for Camp City Year in addition to their ongoing classroom service and whole school initiatives. Though many of you look forward to February vacation for a break from the routine, we look forward to the opportunity to bring many of the students we work with together for a fun week of camp!



As we enter the final week for preparations for Camp City Year during February vacation, we have 91 campers confirmed for the east side camp at Bakersville and 86 confirmed for the west side camp at Northwest. The camp will take students on an exploration of our world and visit four biomes: the rainforest, savanna, arctic and temperate forest. Corps members will be prepping every night this week to make sure all the lesson plans and science, art and PE activities are ready to go!

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As City Year is only a one year commitment, members are supported from early on to have opportunities to explore and ready themselves for whatever is next and to be active and engaged citizens to build our democracy. City Year’s Leadership After City Year (LACY) program provides practical support such as resume writing and interview skills training, as well as job exploration opportunities through Career Fairs and networking events. Two events in particular which are highlights include 18 Minute Networking Career Night (pictured below) which was hosted by the CYNH Alumni Board, bringing in 20 alumni and community facilitators to talk about their career path since City Year, and Comcast Career Day, a full day of career exploration, resume review and interview practice facilitated by Comcast.

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Here are some recent workshops AmeriCorps members have experienced and even helped develop:

  • CPR certification
  • Writing Workshop: How to identify student progress in their writing process and specific ways to support student writing in Tier 1, Small Groups, and 1-1 settings
  • Inclusive Instruction training led by AmeriCorps members to help kick off Black History Month including some resources to incorporate inclusive, multicultural text to combat stereotypes and celebrate diversity, Symbolism in Langston Hughes’, Susan B. Anthony and women’s suffrage, and how to recognize and combat gender stereotypes



Renee Photo.JPGRenee Gliddon, the Learning and Development Manager, is responsible for planning and implementing the year-long training calendar to prepare City Year’s 70 AmeriCorps members to deliver high-quality and high-impact service to students. Through training, observation and coaching, and coordination with external community members, the Learning and Development Manager ensures that corps members are prepared with the proper training and leadership opportunities to have a successful service year.

John Houlihan.jpgJohn Houlihan, the Impact Coach, which translates to instructional coach, works primarily in schools, observing and coaching all corps members in all aspects of their work in schools and with students. The impact Coach is a content area and implementation expert responsible for supporting our school based teams and ensuring we achieve positive student growth results throughout the fiscal year.



City Year’s mid-year survey of teachers working with AmeriCorps members across eight elementary schools revealed:

  • 91% of teachers agree/strongly agree that City Year members increase students’ enjoyment of school
  • 88% of teachers agree/strongly agree that members foster a positive environment for learning
  • 85% of teachers are satisfied/very satisfied with the experience of having City Year in their school

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City Year’s mid-year survey of principals across eight elementary schools revealed:

  • 96% of principals agree/strongly agree that their school's priorities and City Year's initiatives are well-aligned
  • 100% of principals agree/strongly agree that City Year members serve as positive role models
  • 96% of principals are satisfied/very satisfied with the quality of service provided by the City Year team and the overall experience of working with City Year

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Each month, get to know an AmeriCorps member from our City Year team on a more personal level.

FY17OD_Kathryn.jpgKathryn Dillon, 4th grade with Mrs. Parnell

“I serve because I truly believe that most of the world's problems could be solved with better education. I want to help give my students that education to make the world a better place.”

My name is Kathryn Dillon and I proudly serve with the Beech Street Team! I am a proud graduate from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. When in school, I really focused my studies around psychology and education. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved children and have worked with them in a variety of settings; from camps, to babysitting, to being a nursery attendant. While attending college, I was inspired by a professor who opened my eyes to the injustices within our Nation's educational system, and to my own privileges. The vast majority of my educational beliefs aligned with the entire mission of City Year. I was thrilled when I found out that there was a site in Manchester, so close to my hometown of Amherst, New Hampshire! I applied because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people in my own community.

City Year is preparing me for a career as a teacher. I am getting a really rich experience that will only make me a better teacher one day. From Mrs. Parnell I have learned the strength it takes to be a teacher and to not take behaviors personally. This spring, I am really looking forward to getting closer to my teammates and my students and finishing the year strong.

The City Year team had a busy month – here are some highlights:

  • For Black History Month, Uthman Olowa and Elizabeth Valencia saw a need in our school and took action to lead the team in celebrating Black History Month at Beech Street. Starting with a bulletin board, the team has infused Black History Month into our principal’s morning announcements, daily Instagram posts, and most importantly, language arts and whole-class discussions. Students have now even walked into the library to ask, “Where’s the Black History Month section?” Highlighting those that serve as role models, from artists and activists to scientists and lawmakers, students have been excited to research and identify with these amazing individuals that often get overlooked in our society.
  • Each corps member creates an, “I serve” statement at the beginning of the year. More difficult is to reach consensus as a team of why we collectively serve. Through guided brainstorms the team formed a new “We Serve” statement, encompassing everybody’s reasons to show up on time and ready to serve each day: We serve at Beech Street School as role models, to inspire and motivate students to become leaders and make a difference in their community.
  • February 16th marked the 100th day of school for our 1st-5th graders! Students were greeted enthusiastically by corps members wearing hand-made 100th day glasses (pictured below), posters lining the stairwells and hallways, new bookmarks, and overall energy promoting the fact that they were “100 Days Smarter.” This was a great example of the Beech Street Team creating a positive yet unexpected welcoming atmosphere for the school, and promoting all the amazing efforts both teachers and students give in the classrooms.
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The Beech Street Team would like to appreciate Karen Rogers, Beech Street’s amazing Administrative Assistant. Karen welcomes us each day, graciously buzzes us through the doors hundreds of times per week, and when we have no idea who to ask about something, she is our first step. We know how difficult it is to keep a ship running smoothly, so we thank you for your endless organization and dedication to being here!

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