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A Day in the Life at Capitol Middle School

January 6, 2012

By Lauren Treacy, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Capitol Middle School

A “regular” day at Capitol Middle School always starts the same.  We gather for morning circle in the atrium at 6:40am (on the dot) and then head down towards the hall towards the gym where the students gather before school begins.  It has taken some time, but our City Year team now has five or six students who participate in morning greeting every day.  Regardless if the rest of our students appreciates the exuberant school welcome, it is hard to go a day without someone referencing the “Capitol Rumble.” 

Our team also has a knack for singing.  Led by the beautiful voices of Dacie Marshall and Brendan Copley, our team can sing anything from Journey to the Jonas Brothers.  Sometimes I wish I had a video camera to record our great performances.  It is things like this that make me realize that no matter how different we are individually, we possess the power to be a fun cohesive team.  Since our team is concentrated in the 6th grade we are all familiar with each other’s focus list students.  Our lunch time then becomes thirty-five minutes of high energy conversation.  We vent about difficulties with a particular focus list students, we celebrate a student’s advanced score on a math test, we ask for advice on lesson plans, etc. etc. 

In December, we started our Cougar Corps afterschool club.  We work with 25-30 students on homework and then they participate in enrichment activities.  We wanted to infuse the club with City Year culture and so on the first day of Cougar Corps we had the students run through PT.  It was a beautiful mess.  I feel it is safe to say that the Capitol students have never experienced something like City Year’s PT.  The City Year team was the PT crew and the students tried to follow our example.  At first many of the students were extremely nervous and self-conscious.  But then Ryan’s voice boomed loud and clear to start everyone in Foot Fires.  The kids came out of their shells and soon everyone was laughing and smiling while trying to do Foot Fires.

Since that first day, Cougar Corps has met 3 more times.  We have established Cougar Corps teams complete with names and dance moves (my kids “move it like Bernie”).  An example of a student’s call and response during PT is: “My name is Alana.  I’m a 6th grader at Capitol Middle School, proud Cougar Corps member representing the Fantastic Cheetahs.  Where we don’t cheat, we just run with our feet!”  We are still in the early stages of Cougar Corps but I think we are heading towards the right direction. Our students are so grateful to get their homework done with the City Year members.  They come up to us in the middle of the day to show us the homework assignments and study guides they want to work on.  This afterschool program has shown our team just how important and meaningful our work is to each and every student. 

I don’t think anyone would deny that we’re a fun team to be around.  If you are ever in doubt, just check out the following photo from the Haunted House we hosted:


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