Chanting greetings and writing raps: City Year completes first year supporting Memphis schools

May 22, 2017
The Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN)

Every school day, at least four young adults in khaki pants and red flight jackets stand at the entrance to Brownsville Elementary and belt out cheerful greetings to students on their way into the building. "Hey! It’s you! You’re here! That’s great, that’s awesome!" goes one of the chants, the "you" sometimes replaced by the name of an approaching child, who more often than not stops to give the greeters a hug or a high-five. The enthusiasm — the kind only youthful, service-driven energy can provide — has transformed Brownsville this year thanks to an AmeriCorps program called City Year. Memphis is a new market for the program, which is wrapping up a pilot year at Brownsville and Westside Achievement Middle, a state-run school in Frayser.

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