The amazing poster created by Ms. Cangelosi, an AmeriCorps Member serving in a Fifth Grade English/Language Arts class.

Story and photos by Sarah Divney, Red Jacket Reporter serving on the CTA Team at the Dulles School of Excellence

Mathematics can be quite a scary thing, but this past week at Dulles School of Excellence, the City Year team made math fun with our family engagement night, or “Family Fright Night.”

The CTA team serving at Dulles worked diligently to come up with fun math-spins on different stations.  Ms. Cherish Alspaugh and Ms. Courtney Henderson put together a "Spooky Sports" corner including witches' rings, a pumpkin toss, and monster shoot-out that got the students to apply their math skills to their athleticism.  Ms. Airey and Ms. Fung took an artsy spin by hosting a dual pumpkin decorating and face painting station that, while messy, got the students to use the creative sides of their clever brains.  Students had a chance to tell eerie Halloween stories when they stopped by the story-telling station, hosted by Mr. Kavhawn Swopes, Ms. Tiffany Jusino, and Ms. Yvonne Burse in a setting that gave you the chills as you walked through.  Students took on the challenge at the math bingo station hosted by Ms. Juliet Cangelosi and Ms. Sarah Divney, working out math problems before marking their cards with candy corn.  Lastly, to round out our Halloween theme, Mr. Adil Khan and Mr. Jon Niles led the families through trick-or-treating, where students solved a math problem to get a sweet prize of candy.  

AmeriCorps members serving at Dulles School of Excellence prepare  their Spooky Stations!

Now, the families and City Year AmeriCorps members were not the only ones that were implemental in this event’s success.  If we could put this event into a founding story, we would choose “It Takes a Village.” 

As Mr. Jon Niles stated, “This story's main premise is that it takes a village to raise a child; all of us need to pull together to enable a child's success. At our 'Family Fright Night,' we saw our partners embody this story's premise. The teachers and Extra Support Personel stayed late into the night. Principal Galpin and the Administration filled the gaps our in-kind donations couldn't meet by providing pumpkins, table cloths and posters. Our custodial staff ensured our students had a beautiful, clean space to return to the next day.” 

On top of that, we had five of our own partner teachers involved.  Fifth grade Math teacher Ms. Hatton, fifth grade English/Language Arts teacher Ms. Chestleigh, and sixth grade English/Language Arts teacher Mr. Byrd worked together to hand out math riddles and candy at trick-or-treating.  Fourth grade Math teacher Ms. Dudley hosted her own station called the “Estimation Station,” where students guessed how much of certain objects were in containers.  Sixth and seventh grade math teacher Mr. Bridges rocked the math bingo station, bringing not only multiplication and addition, but also "order of operations" and "unit rates" to the problems.  Overall, we had a "spook-tacular" evening and are so happy with how the event turned out.  Special thank you to all of the businesses, faculty/staff, AmeriCorps members (including our teamlet from Stagg School of Excellence!) for making this night so much fun for our families!   

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