CYC AmeriCorps members that serve with Reading Corps and Corps for a Change dedicate a ten-month term supporting children and youth in Colorado. Sometimes, members return to serve multiple terms. With all the changes happening in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these returning members bring insight...
Our students need us now more than ever. It may look different – a text exchange instead of a school tour or a Facetime call instead of a meeting – but the connection remains constant. Education can provide stability during a time that feels uncertain for so many.
As staff and AmeriCorps members pivot to align with stay at home orders, we want you to know that your generosity is still making a difference.
How the Colorado Youth for a Change Team is Adapting
Primary Academic Supports Being Provided
- Creating skill-building videos (how to set up a learning space at home or managing your time); Click here to watch a video from our Educational Intervention team that encourages students to keep moving forward
- Explaining to students expectations of remote learning and how to use technology
- “Engagement coaching” to offer additional layer of support to students who already struggle in school but are feeling an even greater level of anxiety due to remote learning
- Coordinating with school districts to obtain and deliver wifi hotspots or helping families to navigate internet access
- For students who are poised to earn a diploma or GED this spring – providing remote GED instruction and ensuring that students are supported in completing remote learning credit requirements so that they stay on track to graduate
Non-Academic Supports Being Provided
- Basic needs checks – food is the number one request by students and families
- Utility assistance is the second most requested support after access to food
- Opportunity youth who are out of school right now want to get back more than ever. Those holding low wage entry level positions are being dramatically impacted during this crisis, and we expect to see an uptick in fall school reenrollments.
- Remote learning looks vastly different across districts and schools, so we remain flexible in our approach. For example, in Greeley-Evans 6 School District we are working toward using Schoology in the Colorado Reading Corps program, a platform that their teachers are using to reach out to students. Training will take place this week and remote literacy interventions will start next week. The internal coaches at schools have been very supportive and thoughtful about how Reading Corps can integrate into online instruction and support the instruction by teachers.
What Our Team is Saying
“One of the students on my caseload shocked me when I texted to check in, after I helped him enroll into the Emily Griffith diploma program this spring. Since being reenrolled, his teachers have had nothing but praise for him. His attitude has totally changed from when I first met him, when he told me he just wanted to be in school because ‘he had to be.’
He has shown even more growth during this time by asking for additional work and projects, stating he ‘was going crazy and really misses being in school’. I gave him websites, learning activities, and SAT prep, which he was very thankful for. I praised him for staying so focused and motivated even during these overwhelming times and to acknowledge how much growth he has shown.” Alexis, DPS Reengagement Specialist
“We are in a time where technology is a part of us. Yet when it comes to remote learning, students seem to not know what to do. The frustrations of being in isolation have sparked the anxieties to be at their highest. Student morale is down due to the fact that many, especially our students, find school as being their escape from the difficulties of their home life.” Manny, Colorado Youth for a Change Futures Academy teacher in Aurora
“Luz seems to be a great advocate for civic responsibility re: Covid19. She’s badgering everyone on Facebook to stay home, and calling them out when they share plans to go out.” Omar, Colorado Youth for a Change Futures Academy teacher in Aurora
“My experiences seeing the effects of Covid-19 on my students, family, and workplace inspired me to allocate some of my AmeriCorps hours more broadly to serving my local community. One of the main resources I sent to students and families was The Action Center, which is three miles from my house and even closer to one of the schools I serve at. I have sorted food there, assembled boxes, and handed out meals to community members in need. Now more than ever my service feels urgent, necessary.” Morgan, Colorado Youth for a Change AmeriCorps member (Corps for a Change)