By: Morgan Seckinger
“P-O-W-E-R we’ve got the power!” Every morning this is the start of a chant that Bruce Randolph students hear as they walk through the front doors of the school. Ten Corps members bundled in layers of red are jumping around trying to stay warm for the ritual we call Morning Greeting.
Morning Greeting is easily one of my favorite culture pieces and has been since the start of our service. It engages students at the very beginning of their day and whether they want to show it or not, it pumps them up. This City Year tradition looks different school to school and the format typically depends on what the team and administration feels would be most effective for their particular school climate and culture. At Bruce Randolph morning greeting is filled with loud chants, silly dance moves and tons of high fives. Each member of my team brings something unique to our morning greeting and we do our best to take ownership of the tradition and make it our own.
At first, I was skeptical about students even paying attention to us; middle schoolers could win a poker face competition any day of the week. But after a few weeks of being outside every morning at 7:15 am sharp, the students now not only say hello but a few regularly join in! One student in particular jumps at the opportunity to show off his dance moves at the end of “POWER”. It’s so amazing to see a student completely carefree first thing in the morning, dancing around outside the school with a bunch of idealists in red jackets.
Even though we work primarily with the middle school students, morning greeting has taken a hold at the high school level as well. It’s the perfect way to blend our service into the whole school and has really started to make connections between my team and the older students. Now that I’m supporting a tenth grade civics class the students are asking me about morning greeting before they even begin the warm up. One morning in particular my team hadn’t been outside; we decided to mingle with students in the atrium because the temperatures were so low. Sure enough, as soon as I walked into second period a tenth grader asked me, “Miss why weren’t you guys outside today? We didn’t see the red jackets”. That was my solid clue that these students recognize what we do every day and hold us accountable. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our service year looks like and I know that these students will continue to make a difference in our lives as well.