Pumpkin carving by AmeriCorps member Joel Buckhout
Trimester one has been quite eventful at Contemporary Learning Academy, a small multiple pathways school in Northwest Denver filled with anxious high school students. In an attempt to positively impact school culture, I spent the introduction of my new placement decorating a few hallway boards to emphasize the importance of values, graduation and college. As time progressed, I was able to collaborate with an after school game club to host a Jack-O-Lantern Carving Extravaganza for the students. It was a success! A total of 28 students attended, and for many it was their first time carving a pumpkin. The seeds were baked and brought back for all the participants to enjoy, for some yet another first.
The evolving attendance caseload is a learning experience for the both the students and myself. In order to have a better understanding of how to be more successful with the daily attendance check-in program, my site supervisor Shaunay, the Community Engagement Specialist at CLA, and I hosted a pizza party. The gathering served as an opportunity for students to voice new ideas and find classmates to partner up with for daily check-in’s. We set goals for the upcoming trimester and enjoyed greasy pizza with each other. A handful of students were rewarded with NBA tickets for their success and thus moved to phase two of the daily attendance program. Rewarding students with NBA tickets was a visual incentive for the others to keep up the good work. CLA has been nothing short of a challenge, but the experience is positive for everyone involved.