Hitting the Ground Running at Mountain Valley School

By Surya Greer

The Alpine Achievers Initiative AmeriCorps members started off the year with a wonderfully warm welcome to Mountain Valley School. Members were introduced by Principal Hill to the staff and students during an assembly. MVS members hit the ground running on their first day and were able to shadow many different classes to get a feel for which classes they would like to spend most of their time with this year.

The strengths and preferences of members were taken into account when schedules were made, which is very appreciated. Members are also very flexible and willing to fill in where necessary as the needs of students become more apparent. Students, especially those in elementary school have expressed enthusiasm for the service, guidance and the support the new members are already starting to offer. A member eats lunch with the K-3 grades and helps out during Art, Music and Science. This is especially important for the Kindergarteners, who are transitioning into the structure of a regular school day.

Members are helping out in middle school English and History by taking small groups to work independently from the rest of the class. Some middle and high schoolers are interested in afterschool programming, so Alpine Achievers Initiative is planning to offer some clubs for them to participate in, (Board Games, Movies, Art, Foursquare, Yoga, and Soccer). High School students are also going to volunteer during OST, which is great for students who are interested in becoming teachers and working with kids. AAI members are also planning on attending some football and volleyball games to support the kids.

Now that Mountain Valley high schoolers are required to stay on campus for lunch, AmeriCorps members have been helping to make this change as smooth as possible. Members have been playing basketball with the high schoolers and chatting with them during lunch. There will likely be a basketball pick up camp for high schoolers run by AmeriCorps members this year.  Members are already taking students out of the classroom and giving them necessary one on one attention to bring them up to grade level and to help them catch up with their classmates. So far this is shaping up to be a very productive and fun year.