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Feed the Faculty: City Year at Reed Elementary’s Teacher/Staff Appreciation Event

October 3, 2011

Fallon Leon, Administrative Assistant at Reed Elementary and winner of the City Year bingo game posing with her prize.

By Laura Slotkoff, Corps Member Serving at Reed Elementary School

The scent of hot pizza and fried chicken wafted out of the cafeteria’s doors, drawing teachers and staff inside. It was an atypical Friday at Reed Elementary School; normally they would be winding down after another challenging week of improving children’s lives. Instead they were delighted to have this rare time to relax, eat and enjoy each other’s company. This was our team’s first large scale event at the school.  It’s essential for our productivity and role within the school to know all the staff.

A 4th grade teacher sipped soda, while a secretary loaded her plate with spoonfuls of steaming jambalaya and a janitor chose from a variety of frosting-covered cookies and cupcakes for dessert.  Then the staff received Bingo cards, City Year style. Each card had unique, intriguing facts related to each of us corps members. They had to figure out who matched what fact by chatting with us. (Some favorites were, “I played silly games with level 2 security prisoners,” and “I won a swing dance competition with two broken toes.”

We rarely have the opportunity to informally spend time with teachers and staff, so we enjoyed the chance to build on these relationships.  Not only did we get to know the teachers but, also with the administrative, cafeteria and janitorial staff.

According to Fallon Leon, Administrative Assistant at Reed, the pleasure was on both sides. She was the first to win at Bingo, proudly showing off her new City Year pen, key chain and tote bag. “It was so much fun,” she said. “I liked getting to know you all better. And the food was delicious!”

We spent about a month planning the event for approximately 50 people. We created and hand delivered invitations, decorated the cafeteria and planned out all the logistics. We arranged for food donations, all of which was generously provided by local restaurants and cafes, such as Sistas in da East, Big Momma’s Chicken and Waffles, Dominoes and Walgreens. Having a penchant for photography, I took pictures to send out with our thank you cards. As this was our first event it has been a learning process, yet we are excited by its success and are already planning our next big event.

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