Elementary school teacher writes about City Year’s impact in her classroom


City Year has been a strong and positive presence at Plummer Elementary School this year. I have had the privilege of working side-by-side with City Year corps member Ms. Sarah. My students and I have benefited from all the many hats City Year wears everyday to ensure student success. City Year selflessly plays the role of teacher, friend and role model to students.

In my classroom, Ms. Sarah works with 4-7 students in reading and math. Ms. Sarah uses this time to work on skills we have recently taught with the hope that the students will benefit from the extra practice in a small group setting. All of the students in Ms. Sarah’s reading focus group have seen gains in their reading scores. Ms. Sarah’s math group provides an opportunity for students to practice math skills while participating in interactive, engaging lessons. One of the most exciting factors is to see students’ excitement to be a part of the “focus group” and their eagerness to keep working. I am thankful for City Year’s roll as an extra helper in the classroom.

City Year acts as an older, wiser friend to students. City Year corps members take the time to get to know students. City Year works with students in lunch clubs on character trait skills, and holds them accountable for those traits in and out of the classroom. In my classroom, Ms. Sarah created “smart choice” cards to help students self regulate their frustration and anger. Students select a card with an activity such as “take a walk” or “draw a picture” and use that as a method to calm down. City Year corps members act as friends to students by encouraging them to make positive behavior choices.

Finally, City Year corps members are consistent role models in student’s lives. They model hard work, respect, determination and so much more. I have seen the impact a consistent role model can make in a student’s life.

City Year’s roles greatly contribute to students becoming well-rounded learners. I am grateful to have the opportunity to team with City Year at Plummer Elementary School this year!

Ms. Adkins is a first-grade teacher at Plummer Elementary School in Washington, DC.



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