Each day, the nine members of the Hopkins Lloyd City Year team wake up to the sounds of their alarm clocks telling them that it is time for another day of service. After our individual morning rituals, each one of us zips up our red jackets and laces our Timberland boots. Then we’re out the door, ready to change the world once again.
By 7:15 a.m., we have all arrived at school and headed up to Room 315 for our daily ‘First Circle,’ where we exchange joys and appreciations to brighten everyone’s mood. From there, we bring that positivity out to the playground where we greet the children with cheers and high fives. We join our partner teachers and help direct the students into class for breakfast and a day of learning. Corps members stay with their classes throughout reading class, except to pull out their ‘focus list’ students for one on one and small group tutoring sessions. We run vocabulary, fluency and comprehension lessons focused on teaching strategies designed to boost our students’ scores and grades. After providing support during math class, there are also pull outs for math tutoring.
Corps members support during lunch and recess, as well as run the lunchtime attendance groups. Planning time is spent writing lesson plans for literacy and math tutoring, or designing activities for the after school club. Beyond that, we also work to plan and implement school events, and a variety of smaller programs, such as attendance or behavior incentives, and staff appreciations. Initiatives are also designed to enhance the school’s culture of academic engagement with literacy or math related challenges, such as the Mental Math Challenge or the Haiku Contest.
When the bell finally rings at the end of the school day, we’re just getting started, because City Year leads all CLC activities for 4th through 8th grade students! We walk the students from their class down to the cafeteria for check-in and snack. From there, we split them into groups for 30 minutes of homework help, followed by 30 minutes of academic enrichment. Then, it’s time for our clubs! We host 4 different clubs for our students to attend, all with the ultimate goal of making our students into leaders who think critically, make healthy choices, express themselves creatively and work to make our community stronger.
At 5:00 pm, after the children have departed, we clean up and make our way upstairs. There, we come together once more for our ‘Final Circle’. We share more joys and debrief how the day went and how we can make it better for tomorrow. After any necessary announcements, we end on a ‘Spirit Break’ and say our goodbyes. However, some corps members are still not done! Many will head back to our office downtown for meetings or extra work time before they finally head home to rest up for another day at HLCS.