Today’s guest bloggers are Dixie DuRant and Suzy Lopatin, corps members on the Credit Suisse sponsored PS/MS 57 team in East Harlem. Below is a video created by the team that highlights students’ reactions to the PS/MS 57 Leadership Retreat.
On Friday, October 14th, an eager group of City Year corps and staff joined seventy students from the Leadership Academy at P.S./M.S. 57, plus their parents and boarded a bus to upstate New York for an unforgettable leadership retreat at Iroquois Springs camp. For many of our sixth graders, this trip was their first time camping or their first foray out of New York City.
Our students took the space and time to learn new skills, forge unexpected relationships with other students, and consider how to embody leadership qualities back at their school. With this goal in mind, the 6th graders created a full value contract to help keep each other and themselves accountable to their own high expectations of leadership.
Our team shared some of City Year’s founding stories and facilitated sessions around the themes of active listening, conflict resolution, and Ubuntu. During a community meeting the 6th graders lit up the room with their thoughtful and articulate appreciations of each other, their dynamic principal and school staff, and their families.
Even weeks later, we still hear enthusiastic rumblings about learning PT moves at our morning unity rallies, playing sports in an open field, roasting marshmallows at the campfire, learning to trust each other on the ropes course, and devouring delicious food. Through out the leadership retreat, our students sharpened their leadership qualities and collected life long memories.
In the name of excellent service, we are proud to be a part of our students’ lives as they grow into strong leaders.