Sara Schaible is assistant principal at Clinton Middle School in South Los Angeles.
How would you describe the typical City Year AmeriCorps member? We have been blessed the last couple years with amazing City Year members that bring energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to their work. It takes a special person to dedicate their time, heart, and focus to being a corps member.
Being a corps member is more than helping students succeed in school – it’s about teaching them drive, dedication, goal-setting, motivation, tenacity, and grit.
These skills are not only taught by the corps members, but demonstrated in their daily interactions with students, staff, parents, and the community.
How does City Year help build a positive school culture and climate? There is no greater feeling than sitting in my office in the morning before school and hearing the chanting and cheering from the City Year corps members and students during morning circle. It brings a positive energy to the campus! That energy of City Year is contagious, and radiates throughout the campus.
City Year also takes an active role in providing several events for our students, staff, and community that brings us all together to build relationships, such as Winter Festival, Literacy Night, and the Talent Show.
How do teachers and corps members collaborate? Our teachers and City Year work very closely. We have designed our professional development schedule to allow time for City Year to plan with their teachers. This planning time outside the classroom allows corps members and teachers time to collaborate on lessons and strategies, as well as time to discuss students and possible classroom interventions. Our City Year members are also actively involved in our EWI meetings. They contribute to the meetings by bringing pertinent information regarding students and interventions that have been put in place as well as planning for future interventions for student success.
Why is City Year's work necessary? Where to begin? City Year brings the "can-do" spirit to our students.
I have overheard conversations between corps members and students discussing overcoming obstacles, setting and achieving goals, and planning for college.
Whether it’s through report card conferencing, after-school tutoring, pull-out sessions, or friendly conversations during lunch, corps members teach our students that anything is possible.
It is powerful to tell students that there are over 100 adults here on campus that students can go to for help, guidance, and support – and City Year makes this possible!