2015-04-09

By Max Mays, AmeriCorps Member, Heinemann and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Supported Team,
Serving at Henry Wilson Elementary School

City Year is rewarding for many reasons. When I look back upon this experience, however, I will most fondly remember the team members that I worked so closely with each day at Henry Wilson Elementary School. Although none of us serve in the same classroom, we rely on each other greatly for both professional and emotional support. Our cohesiveness became even more evident this past month when we collaborated to host a Math Night event for our school. Through Math Night we were able to provide an enriching educational experience to our students in a different environment than the one they face in the classroom.

Like many others who have come before us, our team drew inspiration for the night from New York City. Each Corps Member created a station reminiscent of the Big Apple. Together, we created “Wilson City.” Students traveled between stations meant to model Times Square, Wall Street, a pizzeria, a bank, a bakery, and the city’s skyline. At each station students were tested in a variety of ways including math computation, word problems, and logical reasoning. In order to incentivize attendance, the class with the greatest percentage of attendees was rewarded handsomely. The result was a gymnasium that hustled and bustled much like the city that it imitated. Ultimately, over 100 students and nearly 350 family members visited “Wilson City.” The steady stream of patrons was greeted by several Henry Wilson teachers and twenty City Year volunteers from schools across Manchester. Their support made the night possible. 

Jess Lim, a Henry Wilson Corps Member who coordinated the event (and spent the entirety of the night dressed as the Statue of Liberty) was extremely pleased with the outcome. She stated, “Math Night was an absolute success. At the end of the night, students said that they did not want to leave!” The excitement of the students was truly a site to behold, not unlike the city from which we drew our inspiration. 

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