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Renew Accelerated High School Team Highlights

October 8, 2011

The Renew Accelerated High School Team on City Year New Orleans' Opening Day (10/7/11)

By Audrey Davidson, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Reed Elementary School

Located in the basement of John McDonough High School, Renew Accelerated High School is often seen as students’ last chance to graduate from the traditional school system and receive their diplomas. The school is physically divided into a middle school and a high school.  The majority of students on both sides are between the ages of 17 and 20 years old.

City Year corps members have noticed that students on the high school side are generally less disruptive and more focused on their work than their middle school counterparts which is unsurprising with their goal actually in sight.

City Year has already made strides toward empowering the students they work with, many of whom are coping with issues as serious as teen pregnancy and domestic abuse. Last week, they took over the end of the week celebration for students who exhibited proper behavior. The celebration included the entire school.

As Mark Muthersbaugh points out, “The celebration went from a 5 minute long ‘here is your bag of chips and cold drink, you can go’ to a 30 minute balloon-filled, music-playing ‘come enjoy chicken wings, cake, and drinks.’”

The students loved it, a dance contest broke out, and some of the people who didn’t get invited to the celebration were overheard saying ‘Man, I’m going to get on my points sheet now.’”  By making celebration more enjoyable, corps members have inspired students to want to improve their behavior, which is the first step toward making a positive impact.

 

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