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By Bri Sinden, Second Year AmeriCorps member serving at Livingston Elementary

This 2016-2017 is going to be a great year to make better happen for City Year Columbus! Our corps is made up of 54 eager, trained and diverse young men and women, including eight team leaders and five second year corps members.

We kicked off the school year with Opening Day on August 24. To get ready for our service, corps members and staff spent three weeks at the City Year offices doing basic training academy, or BTA. It is during BTA that our staff, team leaders, and second years train the incoming corps member on various aspects of the role of a City Year corps member. This training is often broken down into the categories such as City Year culture, social justice, academics, policies, youth development, and team building.

This year we also had the opportunity to have outside speakers address the entire corps on various social justice topics such as community poverty, children with disabilities, zero tolerance in schools, and various other subjects. These experts were able to give insight on the social justice platform of our work and provided the corps with support and information that has prepared us for the upcoming challenges we may face. We also had the chance to learn about the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), including methods for verbal de-escalation techniques that we can use with our students when they become anxious, frustrated, physical or distressed. This training was giving to our entire corps and staff and was set up to prepare us to be of assistance to the CPI certified staff in our building.

We are very happy to be back in our six schools: Livingston Elementary, Trevitt Elementary, Champion Middle School, South High School, Mifflin High School, and Linden McKinley STEM Academy. This year our site is focusing on improving the overall attendance in all six of our schools, and meeting our reading and math goals for our students overall improvement.  

Here's to another great year!

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