By Savannah Siders, corps member serving at McDonough Elementary School
Travel back in time to when you were in elementary school. If you were asked questions like “Why do you come to school?” or “How do you show kindness?” or even “Why does math matter to you?”, what would you say? The McDonough School City Year team is asking students just those kind of questions. Some responses from students include:
- I come to school because…City Year!
- I want to learn new things so I can go to either Harvard, Princeton or Yale or UNH!
- I want to learn new things and support McDonough staff members!
- I show kindness by including others.
- I show kindness by listening when being spoken to.
- I show kindness by sharing my lemon meringue pie.
Each month, McDonough Corps Members roll out a new sentence stem to the students of the school. The week before the first of the month is picture week. Prompted by a quick reminder at the end of lunch, students rush over to corner of the cafeteria where they can finish the sentence in their own unique way. They write their sentence on a whiteboard and smile BIG so that the City Year in charge can take their picture. Whether it be by themselves or with a group of their friends, students at McDonough are getting psyched and getting involved.
Corps member Anna Caron, who serves in third grade, says that the whiteboard campaign is a “fun and visual way to show what we care about.” That is the exact goal of the Whiteboard Campaign. After all of the photos are taken, they are printed off and hung up in the halls of McDonough School. For the next few weeks, you can see students stopping in the hall and reading the answers of their peers and how their face lights up when they find their friends’ or their own. When the month is over, the photos are taken down and stored away for parent involvement nights, like Math or Literacy Night. Not to worry though, because brand new whiteboard photos are up within the week.