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February 21, 2013 / HandsOnCorps

It Is So Nice To Be Appreciated …by Leigh DeLeon

Leiah_Collins_Community In SchoolsMy name is Leiah DeLeon, AmeriCorps VISTA happily serving with host site, Communities in Schools, Lenawee County, Michigan.
My service site is Adrian Middle School 7/8, located in Adrian, Michigan and like every other school, has wonderful opportunities to implement new and exciting programs for middle school students! However, we face a few challenges. Our main challenge is getting students to complete all their required class assignments in order to pass their classes.
I was placed at the middle school to implement a new program known as ZAP, or Zero’s Aren’t Permitted! The program is held over lunch where students are given their missing assignments upon arrival. I am SO proud to say it has been a success! When I began this school year I was given a goal to reduce students’ 40% failure rate to 20%…. I am ecstatic to say that number was decreased to 18%! Way to go middle schoolers!!
Just recently TWO teachers approach me (one with a yummy cookie) and thanked me over and over for this program. They said if this wasn’t here these students would just continue to slip through and the work would never get done! It’s so nice to be appreciated!!
I am looking forward to implementing two new programs very soon where we take middle school students who have been trained, to the elementary school, to read specific books on conflict resolution and the other being an after school program for young boys who exhibit characteristics of shyness, lack of friends, and similar personalities. The program will provide male mentoring.
This year has been great and I have learned that even the smallest things, such as a smile or help with an assignment, will make a difference to a child! I am extremely proud to be a VISTA and chosen to build the capacity of Communities in Schools and the middle school students at Adrian Middle School 7/8. Check out our website to learn more about our agency and the services we offer http://www.cislenawee.org/.

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