By Brittany Neuman, second year City Year AmeriCorps member on the Beech Street Elementary School team supported by Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Coming into this year, my second year with City Year New Hampshire, and my second year serving at Beech Street Elementary School, I knew already that there would be one student in particular that would be on my attendance list. I had her brother last year and when they would walk to school they would walk if it was nice weather and after sleeping in, most days. Starting the school year she was excited to find out that I was her City Year. So we already had developed a foundation to our relationship and I was excited to find out I was right when she was added to my attendance list.
My role as her Attendance coach is mainly to remind her that there is someone in her corner. Each day that she would come to school on time I welcome her with open arms. Then once it became a routine, I decided to start goal setting with her against other challenges that kept her from showing up at school, and suggested that the next time it rained, to still try and come to school. To my surprise, the next time it snowed, and her brother did not come to school, she was at school and on time!
Her attendance has become increasingly better, going from four days absent in November, to two days absent December (which were excused because of a death in the family), then another two days in January, and then only one day in February! She also signed up for Camp City Year during February break and I was really nervous because I did not think she was going to show up, but to my surprise, she came to camp! It was a really fun time and I was so incredibly proud of her. I am so excited that she has been doing an amazing job of coming to school, on time and ready to learn, and that I have been able to play a supportive role in making it happen.