The Art of In-Kinding


By: Jeff League

Donations are the life-blood of any non-profit.  As the Project Leader at City Year Columbus, I have the great opportunity of heading our local in-kind committee.  The in-kind committee’s job is to solicit local business for food or gift card donations which we use to support our site-wide and school based events.

While asking for a donation may seem like a daunting task, Columbus is blessed with an abundance of generous businesses..  We would like to take this time to thank all those businesses who have graciously lent their support to City Year Columbus.

Advertisements

Hand in Hand


By: Jackie Gibbs

Because community is an important City Year value, its essence has become a repetition throughout our service. I have found that reaching out beyond our partner schools is when that sense of community is most present.

Over the holiday the corps participated in Thanksgiving Service Day at Heyl Elementary School. Having learned that Heyl Elementary was once a partner school with City Year, I was thrilled to know that the school understood the organization and even more so that the students recognized us. Entering as a stranger, but having been welcomed as a long, lost friend insinuated the feeling of connection.

I assisted two fellow corps members in a 2nd Grade English Classroom. We focused on reading short stories and writing holiday cards to children in hospitals. As we hovered in the doorway to the second grade classroom waiting for the teacher to choose a group of students who were to make holiday cards with City Year, small voices cried in chorus, “Pick me! Pick me!” I scanned the room and my eyes began to water as I noticed one of the students bawling in the corner because he wasn’t chosen.

By lunchtime I felt like a celebrity. Many of the students we had just taught and even students near by who joined for the mere fact that their friends were, shouted, “Sit by me! Sit by me!” The room was filled with laughter and cheer, which to my amazement ended almost as instantly as it began. Heyl enforces a clapping system that can only be emulated by listening to the sound of the beat, which requires everyone to be quiet. Instantly, everyone was working together and organization was maintained

The part of the day I had been looking forward to had finally arrived: recess! While I love serving at a high school, in a 9th grade classroom, and would not trade that for any other grade, I do look forward to recess because after teaching in a hot building cooped up in a classroom filled with the B.O. of growing teenagers, it’s all I can do to dream for some sort of outdoor activity. I scanned through all of the dramatic demands that might occur during a normal day at recess from past stories I had heard from corps members. I couldn’t tell you how many times students asked me to pick them up to reach the monkey bars and how pleased I was to inform the students of my Jell-O arms that couldn’t lift anything (thank you CSX and Chase teams)! Needless to say, I was still clobbered by a mass of children who were supposedly playing an innocent game of tag.

Just before we began to end the day a few corps members presented a brief career advancement speech to a group of select students. During questions and comments the principal shared a story about a mother who had been running late for an appointment who, having become familiar with City Year, entrusted her child with a corps member to escort them safely to school. City Year is seen as a protection and the fact that schools and parents, who don’t personally know City Year corps members, will entrust the safety of their child in City Year hands shows something about community.

Later on, the principal had informed us of the ongoing talk about consolidating schools together, which would mean the possibility of closing Heyl Elementary down in the process. Because Heyl Elementary plays a pivotal part in the community, without it, there would be no unifying factors to hold the community together.

As I was leaving one of the students asked when City Year was coming back. The reaction from the students at Heyl gives me hope for future service days to contribute to the impact of community within other schools.

The Roots


By: Jackie Gibbs

Red jackets flared left and right with all of the hustle and bustle of the corps as we excitedly prepared the Hamilton Elementary Gym for Parents, Friends, and Family Night (PFF). Anticipation had built up inside of me as I waited almost impatiently for my family to arrive. Naturally, I got “the call” from my mom saying that they were going to be running late, however, my anxiety was regenerated with joy as soon as my mom and “the babies” (my siblings) came pouring through the doors and into my arms.

Since becoming apart of City Year, I’ve been immersed in my new devotion of serving along with the responsibilities of living everyday life and I haven’t been able to really share with my family what exactly it is that I’m doing with City Year. Because I dedicated my red bomber to my family, it was both important and meaningful for me to educate them on the service I am doing by having them present. PFF night gave me the opportunity to “show and tell” my new fidelity.

We opened with unity rally and for my family, as well as the other families, I’m sure in all, the uniform, the chants, and the ray of energy was quite an eye opener to a “new culture”. I remember looking into the crowd at my family, gesturing them to join in, and laughing at the awkward faces they gave me in return, because that’s exactly how I must have looked when I saw City Year demonstrate unity rally for the first time. Though strange as it may be, it shows the unity between us.

Having always had an interest in art, there were always crafts around the house while I was growing up. During college I achieved an art minor in which I explored various techniques of art such as sculpturing, drawing, painting, and ceramics. Since I began serving with City Year, I’ve assisted with painting murals and facilitating craft activities during after school. I was thrilled to be a part of designing the programs for PFF night and felt accomplishment in having the ability to share things I love to do, that I’ve learned in home and in school, with City Year. Having my family recognize this was even more rewarding.

It begins in the home, develops in school, and continues with City Year: The idea that the things each individual learns at home and in school contribute to our individuality as well as our development and desire to give back to the community.

And it’s true. Growing and learning as a child I saw numerous ways that others in our community helped my family in times of need. Whether it was lending my mom a hand with us kids, providing us with grocery gift cards, or helping out with the gifts around Christmas time, it was the generosity of the people in our community that made a better childhood experience possible. Those who helped my family out during my childhood founded the stepping-stones of community in my life, which I gladly continue to build by choosing to give a year with City Year.