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At CCS, Encouragement Also Comes through Support

November 29, 2017
By Nicole Ruiz, McAlder Campus PR Liaison

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (Thessalonians 5:11)

We all need to be lifted up and encouraged at times. When I think of the word encouragement, I immediately think of God and how he is working through Sarah Fuccillo. Sarah is the Resource Teacher here at Cascade Christian McAlder Campus. She works with students from Kindergarten through sixth grade who would benefit from additional support in certain areas. Currently, most of her students are focusing on reading and math.

Mrs. Fuccillo works with a student
(on pajama day).

Sarah graduated from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in 2004 with a degree in Child Development, with an emphasis in Family and Consumer Science. Helping children who need a little extra encouragement in school is very near and dear to her heart, because she walks that path, having personal experience with it with her family. She loves her position, and is passionate about being able to help her students overcome any obstacles they have and gain confidence in all areas.

Already in the first year in her position as the McAlder Resource Teacher, her students are overcoming their fears in math.  In fact, two weeks ago I heard one of her fifth grade students tell Mrs. Fuccillo that she “loves math now.” Math can be challenging and very intimidating when you have trouble understanding it. In fact, it can be discouraging!

Sarah partners with each teacher to and student strategically develop an individualized learning goal. When the students come to Mrs. Fuccillo, she has them think about their SMART goals. The acronym SMART identifies the areas of focus in goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented or Relevant, and Time bound. Once the students have written down the goals they want to accomplish, Mrs. Fuccillo and the students work towards those specific goals. One of her students has a goal of reading a chapter book by the end of the semester. Each time she visits with the student, they work on reading out of a book, and he gets closer to reaching his goal!

One technique is to use games to
assist a student with spelling.

Sarah also has a few fun ways to keep the students excited about learning. Upon entering her room, she uses positive affirmation to build them up. During the lesson, she teaches all subjects from a biblical worldview.  When students finish their work, they either get a starburst from the jar or they can choose a stamp. She jokes about the fact that if the students choose a starburst, they have to close their eyes and pick one, otherwise she would only have yellow ones left. Sarah’s major goal for this year is to motivate the students. She wants to be encouraging to them, and keep them excited about learning and overcoming obstacles.

Principal Lorenz said, "We are so blessed to have Sarah as our resource person here at McAlder. She definitely fills a need we have to come alongside students who may be needing a little extra one-on-one attention to bring them up to speed. As a certified teacher she has the knowledge and passion to help our students who struggle and has such an encouraging personality. Since her office is right next to mine I have the privilege of hearing how she is interacting with her students and I am very pleased and impressed!"

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