by Sandra Kakraba, corps member proudly serving on the JP Morgan Chase Team at Capitol Middle School

On January 22, 2014, Capitol Middle School hosted their third annual Spelling Bee. The event was organized by City Year Corps Members and representations from the administration. The judges were 6th grade ELA teachers Mr. Clifford and Ms. Honore, and Corps Member Joshua Lonthair. It took a lot of hard work and team effort from City Year, as well as the school, for the event to have happened. Through leadership, communication, collaboration, support, and strategic planning of each Corps member, we succeeded in accomplishing our goal. The event was a huge success.

Many students were encouraged to participate, and to invite their families. What touched my heart was seeing the excitement on the faces of parents and family members. There was one really enthusiastic family who would gesture to their child with encouraging body movements. You would also hear comments from the audience, like “Way to go”, “Good Job”, “two thumbs up” and my absolute favorite, the astounded, “WOW”s.

“This event had a great turn out, a large amount of participants and families attended,” mentioned one of the staff at Capitol Middle.

City Year’s focus was to create an environment that encouraged these students to be confident in themselves; that no matter what happened we were so proud of them for taking on the challenges of public competition, showing effort and not quitting. Capitol Team Leader John Nolan said it was a success because, “it made doing well cool.” One participant said to his friend, “You didn’t even win”, to which he replied, “What you mean, girl, I got 7th place! Boom!!”  The enthusiasm and pride he had for his success of placing 7th out of the 25 participants reminded me of the true purpose of the event.

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