School is out for summer, however the AmeriCorps St. Louis Education Team is still in action in the community! Each Education Member will continue to support at-risk youth through local programs such as the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, St. Jane Center, Youth Learning Center and the Crisis Nursery. Summer programs are crucial for retaining and increasing the progress made during the school year by providing needed structure and literacy tutoring.
On May 11, the Education Team hosted its annual end of the year Champions Ceremony. It's focus was fully on the kids. Thirty-seven outstanding students were honored for their extraordinary effort throughout the year and for the academic achievements that they have made. As each Student Champion was called up to the stage to receive his or her award, they were greeted by the cheers and applause of the nearly 200 guests in attendance. The proud students and families made the event a fitting end to another successful school year!
2011-2012 School Year Success Story
"[One of my students] started Kindergarten in October. She had never been to preschool or acquired any skills for going to school. Leaving her mom and siblings was very traumatic for her. She would cry for hours in the classroom everyday. This was impeding her learning as well as the learning of the others, and her crying wasn't slowing down.
When she became one of my students, I met with the principal and the counselor to come up with a plan. The student had responded positively to me, and she worked well in my classroom so I felt that I was in a position to help her adjust to school. Following our plan, I met her at the beginning of school everyday and went to her classroom with her. We would do her tutoring in there at a table and gradually shift to the classroom activity. I also did some activities with her to help her acquire coping skills for separating from her family and being independent at school, such as drawing a picture of her mom to keep in her pocket all day and reading a book about a little girl who was scared to go to school but learned that she liked it. Once [she] was calm and situated with her class, I would remind her if she did well during the day with her class, she could come up to my classroom at the end of the day for ten minutes.
For the first few days of implementing the plan, [she] would still cry some at the beginning of the day and when I left her classroom, but it was much less and continued to decrease. After two weeks, she did not cry at all, and now I didn't even have to meet her in the morning. She has learned that she can be happy and successful at school away from her family. She just needed a little support while adjusting. Now she can work well in the classroom and learn along with everyone else." -Year 18 ED Team Member