By Akosua Mensah AmeriCorps member, 99th Street Elementary School
Mrs. Claudia Bailey is the dedicated head of the Parent Center and Community Representative at 99th Street Elementary School in Watts where her son and daughter attend. In her position, she plans major events for students and parents including Donuts with Dad, the Halloween Parade/Carnival, Muffins with Mom, and the list continues. On top of running the Parent Center, she also lends a helping hand to the City Year team whenever she can, and always bring more parents around to help, too.
Q: What impact kind of impact have you witnessed City Year have on the school?
A: I feel that City Year has made a positive impact on 99th Street because the students look up to them and they enjoy doing the things City Year does.
Q: How does having a City Year mentor in a student's life make a difference?
A: City Year serves as positive role models to the students. Some students might not have someone to look up to so having City Year in their life is a plus for them.
Q: Do you have an example of a student that you've seen grow after working with City Year?
A: I know there is a 5th grade student that would always demonstrate behavior problems, but after working with City Year for the past few years, she has grown a lot. She is friendlier with the other students and no longer goes to the office with referrals. She’s listening to directions from all staff. She’s become very responsible, respectful, and a great leader thanks to the amazing City Year AmeriCorps members. They really do impact the lives of our students.
Q: What is your favorite thing about City Year?
A: I love the support they offer the students in class and after school program. They also host events for parents and families to support learning at home.
Q: In your words, why is City Year necessary at your school -- and other schools like 99th Elementary School?
A: I think it makes the teacher’s work a little easier, having City Year in their classrooms. The students are the ones that grow academically and really benefit with City Year on campus. The parents love that City Year also has an after school program. They like the fact that their children are with the same City Year member in class as well as after school. That makes it a lot easier for them to work on the subject that their children are having trouble with. The homework help is great also!
Q: What message would you like to leave for the City Year team?
A: I just want to say thank you for all you do for our students and school. You guys are awesome!