An Open Ending

By: Joe Tanner

As our year of service in various Denver Public Schools ends, it is important to reflect on this year and the impact we have made. My team and I at Trevista Horace Mann ECE-8 have had a long year filled with daily math and literacy interventions, lunch meetings with students, and other interactions with students that have forged life-long relationships. Although the end of the year is looming, we must dig in these last few weeks, continue working hard, and reflect on the lasting impact we have made with our students (and they have made on us). The last big event that my team planned for our school was a Math and Literacy Carnival for our students and parents.

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This past Friday my team successfully ran a Math and Literacy Carnival to celebrate our students and give them materials to work on this summer. Our event was the culmination of the hard work and dedication we have given each day of our service. The goal of the event was to engage students and parents by offering Math and Literacy games (and free food never hurts either). Students were able to show what they have learned all year, and parents were able to see just how far their student(s) has grown academically since August, all while having a fun time. Our Math and Literacy Carnival was a great success as corps members worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event to make sure it would be the event that we had envisioned. My team in-kinded food from various restaurants around our school, the Denver Public Library had a booth set up to tell students about summer programs (and they have out some sweet swag), and a local bookstore even donated the entire Twilight saga and American Girl series to be given away during the raffle.

Even though my team and I worked hard to make this event a success, it was the student and parent engagement that made the event impactful for our school. Our event saw about 105 students and 60 parents who took time out of their afternoon to spend a couple extra hours at school having fun and learning in the process. Having a chance to meet some of my students’ parents was the best part of the event as they would complement us by saying, “Oh, my son has talked about how much you help him in morning math groups” or “It’s nice to finally meet you after receiving the positive phone calls…we never seem to get enough of those. Thank you.” With only 3 weeks of service left we must reflect on the positive impact we have made on our students and their parents with all the hard work and dedication we have shown since August. Yes, our year of service is coming to an end, but the impact we have made as corps members will last a lifetime, just as the interactions and relationships we have made with students will never leave our memory, even as we pursue our own career paths after City Year Denver.

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