Today’s guest blogger is Stephen Grodski, Team Leader for the National Grid Team serving at PS 213 in East New York, Brooklyn. Today’s post gives a recap of the PS 213 team’s College Readiness Spirit Week held at the end of September. National Grid sponsors the 11 corps members who are serving full time at PS 213, supporting student achievement in Attendance, Behavior and Course Performance in Math and English.
A major reason I came back to City Year for a second year was to build upon the service I provided with my teammates last year. Last year, my team was notorious for having a never say die mentality in the face of whatever was put on our plates, and this year’s team is continuing that tradition by giving 100% to the students and school community of PS 213. As we wrap up our first school wide event, I feel as though this this team has equaled and possibly bested what the team produced last year.
My team created and implemented a college spirit week for the whole school that ended with a college readiness pep rally. The purpose of the week was to promote the idea and importance of college throughout the school and make it apparent to every student that they are all very capable of going to college and succeeding.
Week of Events – Over the span of three days, we engaged over 250 students with college prep activities.
- The College Atmosphere could be felt throughout the school where we made and hung more than 50 college pennants.
- College Fact of the Day was included in all morning announcements.
- College Prep during Lunch time gave students time to make college logos, play college readiness bingo, play PS 213’s own College Chutes and Ladders Board Game, and take a college interest survey to see what their potential major could be someday.
Pep Rally – The coup de gras for the spirit week was the College Readiness Pep Rally, attended by 300 students, faculty and staff.
We power greeted the students and faculty walking into the auditorium – much to the delight of the students. After a lot of “pumping up”, students were inspired by testimonials from college grads from the CY team and the school administration, chants, and a college slideshows.
“I thought it was inspiring for the kids. These kids are not regularly exposed to things like that, so it is great when City Year can provide it for them….I guess if I had to sum it up in one word, I would say it was motivating.” -Nick Grammenos, Teacher at PS 213
The students looked at us with glossy eyes as if we were famous and started reciting our college chants as they left the auditorium. I got chills when City Year said, “Who’s going to college?!” And the entire auditorium screamed back “WE ARE!!!!”
I am extremely proud of my team for putting this together. This week truly instilled the fact that everyone of our students are very capable of going to college – It was positively a success.