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Supporting students during distance learning

City Year Orlando AmeriCorps members have shifted to a virtual training and service model to provide social, emotional and academic support while schools are closed. In addition to helping them with distance learning, they are reaching out to students to provide other support – like how to deal with stress, making space for joy, and just be another caring adult for students to lean on. 

During this unpredictable time, our AmeriCorps members continue to inspire us with their passion and commitment as they truly embody the City Year value, “Service to Cause greater than Self.” Emma Smith, serving at Jones High School, is one example of how our young leaders are working hard to continue supporting students in this remote learning space.  


“I am serving in a virtual Algebra 1 classroom supporting my partner teacher who has helped make this transition a little easier” said Smith. “Math is not an easy subject to begin with and learning how to help teach students through a virtual format was a battle all its own.”

Supporting schools and students looks very different these days, and our AmeriCorps members are able to connect and engage with her students in whole new way. “They are reaching out to say hello, share that they completed their assignment and ask for me to ‘hype them up’ before they we begin the lesson. One of my students, Dominique* has shown significant improvement. She has not missed a virtual conference call, has been actively engaged and has improved her grade from a C to an A. I am proud of the student she has become and look forward to seeing her continue to grow” said Smith. (* Student Pseudonym)

Although City Year Orlando AmeriCorps members are not serving in a real classroom, they are still supporting students as near-peer tutors and role models. “My students know that I am here to support and cheer them on as best I can. Students need someone in their lives to encourage and support them. Knowing that I am able to be that for my students makes the challenging days worth it.”


At City Year Orlando, the relationships with our schools and students has always been in the forefront of our service.  As Emma shared, these student relationships are more important now than ever before. City Year AmeriCorps members are powerfully positioned to forge caring, consistent and positive relationships with the students they serve every day.


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