For Cristina Byce, a little bit of kindness and a lot of patience go a long way when teaching her Pre-K class. Byce, 25, is a recent graduate of Ohio State University and is passionate about her job even when it challenges her.
“I actually went to school for journalism, but I’m now in grad school for my teaching degree,” says Byce.
Her passion for teaching was evident as she interacted with her class, and it seemed to be a natural fit for her carefree personality.
“We have a lot of fun here,” said Byce smiling while the children laughed and played on the rooftop jungle gym.
The children at the Gesu School are typically from single-parent households and face poverty and violence in their neighborhoods, but the smiles on their faces as they play during recess would never allude to a rough background.
“Usually the only break I have is when they nap! I’m pretty worn out by the end of the day but I really love it,” Byce explained as she led us out of the hot June sun.
She offered a tour of the school and talked excitedly of the renovations that the school has undergone over the years, including two new floors that have expanded the school, and the ever-growing technology labs that were installed through the generous donations of others.
The Gesu School provides a safe haven for children in the rough neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. The school thrives off of the generosity of others and the passion and enthusiasm of the teachers and administrators who believe in it.
By Kayla Murphy, James Schlucter and Mike Mastrangelo
Group 22, North Central Philadelphia