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A Quiet and Safe Space

By: Hannah Fussy, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving at STRIDE Academy

“The students I support recently experienced their first full week of in-person learning during this school year. While serving in-person, myself and another Promise Fellow use a room we’ve set up with tinted lighting calming items, and colorful wall decor. One afternoon, as I was walking back to our room, I saw a student I support talking with a teacher in the nearby gym. Both of them looked slightly troubled. The teacher stopped me to ask if the student could hang out in the room to make a phone call, and I welcomed them inside to do so. The student, who seemed nervous, agreed to come in. I assumed that they may just need a break, and this was one of the first times they had been in our room, so I offered them some quiet space. After their call, the student shared some things with me that they may need to get through the day, including more time in our Promise Fellow room, which they considered to be a “safe space”.

During the time I spent with this student that day, I wondered how this situation would have turned out had there been no Promise Fellows or alternative space available. Would they have had to go to the principal’s office, or back to class? Would they have been able to make a phone call without worrying about others listening? Our room served a great purpose in giving this student privacy and a feeling of security. I hope that they, and many other students, feel safe in utilizing this space while navigating their needs as we continue in-person learning.”

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