2014-10-14

By Minju Zukowski

"He!y It’s You! You’re Here! That’s Great!"

What kids do you know that are excited to go to a school on Monday morning? Our Kimball Cheetahs are and it’s all because of our morning power greetings!

I know, kids actually excited to be at their school, even on a Monday, is a remarkable feat. To backtrack, at Kimball Elementary, my team and I power greet with our students in the morning. Power greetings are a set of unified chants, callbacks and Physical Training (PT) moves to help start our day off with excitement!

Since the first day of school our team has power greeted at the entrance of our school. Our power greetings were so much fun that our students decided that they wanted to join in, every single morning.  Aside from the fact that first graders are adorable when doing our Batman and Superman call and response, second-graders lining up in bunches at the door to power greet or our third graders performing our PT moves with such grace, power greeting has so many benefits for our students.

One of those benefits includes having our students awake and energized for the school day. One of the last things a kid wants to do at 8:00 a.m. is go to school. Receiving a high five at the door while hearing “Hey! It’s you! You’re here! That’s great!” helps our students feel special as they come through the school’s doors. Having our kids excited to be at school is what we want because that can be the start of unlocking a lifelong love of learning.  

One of our biggest proponents of power greeting is a second grader named Blessing*. When asked, “How does being a Power Greeter make you feel the morning?” she responded, “It makes me feel happy and ecstatic because I feel like I am the best power greeter!” We need this type of excitement in our schools and City Year helps bring this positivity every day we serve.

You can enjoy an audio sample of our student’s power greeting here! Our Kimball Cheetahs not only get their classmates excited for the day, but they also help get me excited for my service too!

 *Not real name 

Minju Zukowski, author, is a City Year AmeriCorps member serving on the CSX Team at Kimball Elementary.

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