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Join us each month as City Year corps members from the Case Foundation-sponsored Simon Elementary School team share their experiences and lessons learned as they advance the Whole School, Whole Child service program. Below is an update from City Year DC (CYDC) Corp Member Regina Rosenauas as she reflects on the impact she has made through this unique service program.
Regina is 18 years old and from Springfield, Virginia. In her role as a City Year corps member, she serves in two 3rd grade classrooms at Simon Elementary School providing in-class support and assisting with daily reading groups. She believes in order to be successful you must take time to give back to others. Upon completion of City Year, Regina's goals are to attend college and to one day ride in a hot air balloon.
Earlier this spring, our team was thrilled to present the "Fresh and Fancy Event" on March 30th. This event was developed to emphasize the importance of hygiene and clean appearances, as well as prepare our students for the upcoming yearly standardized test. We hoped to supplement health education by having the students understand changes regarding their growing and changing bodies, as unkempt appearances can be a source of being made fun of by the other students. The event was a great success, with over 100 students and parents in attendance.
The team worked diligently in preparation for the event, and transformed the auditorium into a nail and beauty salon. Over 15 local barbers and beauticians came to lend a helping hand by providing free haircuts and hairstyling services, and other City Year corps members helped out by painting nails. There were also classes on hygiene and an organization fair for the parents with representatives from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Camp City Year, American Dental Association, Field of Dreams, Devry University and many more. The local partners, especially the barbers were very pleased with the outcome of the event. It reminded us of the powerful impact a day of service can have and how beautiful it can be when a community comes together to meet its needs. The barbers hoped to make this event a tradition and continue to come out in following years.
In addition, there were stations with math games to reinforce the students' math skills and boost their confidence right before test time. Students were able to play math basketball and multiplication baseball as well as addition and subtraction games using play money and dice. The students, staff and parents appreciated the free food, books, haircuts and goodie bags filled with hygienic items. In the following days, teachers and parents gave praise to the commitment and diligence of our team. The students were also very proud of their haircuts and nails, and it was great to see them have more self-confidence and to get a treat before the two week long standardized tests. We're really proud of all of our hard work and what we were able to accomplish!
For the last 11 years, we at the Case Foundation have been a proud sponsor of CYDC. The organization is a leader in using service as a solution to address national problems while uniting young people for a full-time year of service in order to support schools and communities across the country.