When Benny arrived at AF Hartford Academy Elementary in first grade, he struggled to control his behavior. Sometimes he became so angry that he stopped following directions and walked out of class. Three years later, that is a distant memory. With the help of teachers and paraprofessionals, Benny learned to work past his frustrations and enjoy school, showing his teachers and classmates respect.

Now, Benny loves math and is excited to learn division and multiplication tables. He was recently awarded a certificate for achieving more than 85 percent proficiency on his math assessment. Since he has embodied the REACH values, Benny has earned many extracurricular field trips. During one of his favorite trips, he and some of his classmates watched a live hip-hop performance. Benny was also among a group of students who showed outstanding progress in math and earned a trip to a UConn basketball game, where they were selected from the crowd to play a game during a timeout. Benny also sees himself as a leader. He and his friend wrote a letter to the school’s principal proposing a “dress down day” for all students based on success with academics and citizenship goals.

Favorite aspect of Achievement First: “I like being taught, especially math and writing. In writing, we are learning how to flesh out a story from the beginning to the end.”

Proudest moment at Achievement First: “I am most proud of controlling my anger. If I feel angry, I still follow directions. I learn a lot in class now; I feel like I am really smart about everything.”

 Back to Our People

Profile Type: