By Megan Klok, AmeriCorps Member at Hallsville Elementary School
This year, City Year New Hampshire (CYNH) was lucky enough expand its partnership to two new Manchester schools. It is with pride and joy when I say I serve on the Hallsville Elementary School team, which is one of the new partnerships. Despite the fact that we are currently the smallest school team at CYNH, our team serves with excellence to ensure we build an everlasting bridge from CYNH to Hallsville. With this being said, our team made it our mission to show the school community what City Year is capable of at our Literacy Night, which embodied the theme “Around the World”.
When planning any event for the first time, there’s always a chance of less-than-hoped-for attendance. To ensure that the odds of high attendance were on our side, we pushed advertising and hosted a school-wide assembly to promote our event. We presented a video filmed and created by two of our teammates (Aces and Ben) that featured Aces taking a trip around the world. In reality, Aces was at a conference at City Year Boston the day of the assembly; however, our team convinced the student body that Aces was preparing for Literacy Night! See our Literacy Night Video Here
After weeks of developing station proposals, shopping for materials, creating decorations (sometimes with the help of students!), and promoting our event, it was time to pack our bags and travel around the world with our school community. On Thursday, December 10, 105 students, 117 family members, and 9 school faculty gathered at Hallsville’s first ever Literacy Night.
A handful of City Year AmeriCorps Members welcomed guests with enthusiastic power greetings and wished everyone happy travels. The entryway symbolized The United States of America with red, white, and blue decorations students helped create prior to the event and a large sign that read, “Now Leaving America.” To really nail the look and feel, City Year AmeriCorps Members distributed world traveler passports to students to get stamped at each station once they completed each activity.
Inside the gym, six engaging stations represented six different countries: South African Safari (South Africa), The Great Wall of Words (China), What’s Hoppin’? (Australia), Senses in the Amazon (Brazil), Hallsville Pizzeria (Italy), and Fishin’ in the Nile (Egypt). Additionally, there was a station in the library where students could listen to wintery storybooks called Chill and Read (Antarctica). Throughout the evening, students visited a different country at each station and participated in a game or activity that related to the station’s country. After making their way around the world and filling up their passport with stamps, students received a small prize and were entered into a raffle.
Although only five students walked away with a prize from the raffle, every student in attendance was buzzing the next day we saw them at school. When you take students around the world in 90 minutes to prove that literacy is relevant and exciting on every continent, the only question that lingers on Monday morning is: when is math night?
Where students started their journey: Now Leaving America!
What's Hoppin'?: Australia
Chill and Read: Antarctica
Senses in the Amazon: Brazil
The Great Walls of Words: China
Fishin' in the Nile: Egypt
Hallsville Pizzeria: Italy
South African Safari: South Africa