By Cloe Axelson, HQ Communications Director, City Year, Inc.

“Say It! Show It! Explain It!”

That’s the mantra of Mrs. B’s fourth grade math class at PS 154 in the South Bronx.  The walls of her classroom are colorful and encouraging, with signs that remind students about the rules of the class (e.g. respect each other, keep a positive work attitude) and highlight examples of math in the real world. Every morning, she writes a message to her students on a giant sticky note that she affixes to the blackboard at the front of the room. The morning I was there, it began: “Good morning super multipliers…”

I got to attend Mrs. B’s class as part of video project City Year is undertaking this year. Over the next six months, we’ll be producing five short films that uncover what it’s like to be a City Year corps member and how City Year is supporting students and teachers in the schools where we serve. Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos from our film shoots so far.

As a member of City Year’s national communication’s team, I spend most of my time in Boston, working with our twenty-five sites from behind a desk. But lately, I’ve had the opportunity to go back to school. I’ve spent hours on-the-ground in City Year schools and neighborhoods with our creative partners on this project, Dan and Erin of GoodEye Video.

I’ve been getting to know corps members and City Year’s school-based staff members, who are smart, committed and fun to spend time with. I’ve also had the chance to speak with several incredibly hard-working teachers and principals (one principal I interviewed wakes up every morning at 3:30am!). It’s been fascinating to learn about their schools and about what role corps members play in the school community.

A roster of new City Year videos will be coming your way in 2014. Stay tuned.

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