Written by Nayyir Ransome, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Capital Area United Way Team at Capitol Middle School. 


At the end of last month the corps members at Capitol Middle School executed a haunted house.

Weeks of thought, planning, resource gathering, and building all went into creating Capitol Middle’s Haunted Toy Store. On the stage of audinasium (or gymnatorium) we were able to create a dynamic and chilling haunted house that had students asking for encores.

For three days my fellow corps members and I painted our faces, did our hair, put on costumes, and owned our given characters. We showed Capitol Middle school what terror really means!

The Haunted Toy Store was a blast! The young people loved it, and some of the young people asked to go through it again.

The few moments we got to see our young people at the end of the day were extremely rewarding. I realized how much more positive the attitudes of the students were.

While some of us, including myself, were expressing how much we missed being in the classes with our students, I noticed that there are a lot of different ways to impact where you serve. Yes, being in the classrooms to help young people understand the material they are being taught is important. Yes, dosage and lesson plans are a big part of our jobs. Yes, academic support is one of the main focuses of City Year.

However, seeing how excited the young people were before and after the haunted house definitely added a new dimension to what we do as AmeriCorps Members. It reminded me that we aren’t just there for academic support; we help kids to enjoy school.

So go forth service worriers and #makebetterhappen...or else!

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