A walk with the FYCC kids!

by Mira Carberry, FYCC Lead Teacher, Primary Grades
The Janice Mirikitani Family, Youth, and Childcare Center (FYCC) supports families by providing childcare for children ages 2 to 5 and afterschool programming for students grades K-5.  Today, I am going to take you on a walk through a typical day with the 1st and 2nd grade classroom at FYCC!
“Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends…”
2:30pm: Robin and I leave FYCC to pick-up our students at Tenderloin Community School.

2:45pm: Robin and I arrive at the school.  The playground is buzzing with laughter and shouting.  Some students are playing tag or hopscotch while others are being shuffled off to clubs and afterschool programs.  Our students have their backpacks on and they are standing in a nice, neat line.  It’s time to go!
3:00pm: We walk down Larkin Street and turn the corner onto Ellis Street, passing by the variety of restaurants, corner stores, hotels, autobody shops, and social service agencies characteristic of the Tenderloin neighborhood.
3:15pm: We arrive at FYCC and students rush to their classrooms for choice time.  During this time students can play with toys or games or do an art project.  Jason and Gabriel are playing Connect Four, Giovani and Sha’Nell are trying to build a tower of blocks that will reach the ceiling, and Mr. Luis and Lucero are coloring pumpkins and dinosaurs—all in the same classroom!

3:30pm: Snack time!  Every day we provide a healthy snack for our students.  Today it’s apples and pretzel sticks.  Lucero says, “Yum!”

3:45pm: Shhhh…it’s quiet homework time so students are working on homework or reading.  The teachers dance from desk to desk, trying our best to help each student with their homework.

4:15pm: Group Time.  All the students are sitting at their tables as we discuss our activities for the day.  “Today,” I announce, “we are going to the 3rd through 5th grade classroom for spooky storytelling in celebration of Halloween!”
4:30pm: All the classrooms are gathered in the basement.  The lights are dim and haunting music fills the room.  Ms. Gabby and Mr. Paul are performing a reading of the children’s book, “Brujitas” or “Little Witches.”  Ms. Candice is our AV expert, projecting the pages of the book so all of our students can read along.
Next, Ms. Tiffany does a dramatic reading of the classic scary story, “In a dark, dark room.”  As she reads the final sentence of the story—when the ghost emerges from the dark, dark room—our very own ghost comes running through the classroom!  The students are screaming until they realize that the ghost resembles Mr. Anthony—then they rush toward him to give him big hugs!
500pm: We are back in our classroom for another round of choice time.  At this time, families start to come and pick up the students.
5:30pm: All the students have been picked up and the teachers are tidying up their classrooms before they leave.
“…Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.”
~Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends