Scholar Spotlight (See All)

Amai Murray (301)

by Ms. Holly

After a long school day, many students love walking home or taking the school bus with their friends. They enjoy a snack before starting their homework or maybe even a little TV time. Staying after school in a school building is not high on the priority list for most 3rd graders. Not unless you're Amai Murray, that is.

Amai Murray (Ms. Bennett/Ms. Maison, 3-301) looks forward to the after school program at Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School every Tuesday and Thursday. She thinks it is a great place to build up her skills in Math and ELA. Teachers at REACS and tutors are available to coach students in subject areas, as well as assist with homework. Amai loves staying at REACS to complete her homework most of all.

Amai is a passionate, self-motivated learner. She is very responsible, focused and always gives 100% in everything she does in the classroom.

"I get to finish my homework without any problems," she said. "At home, I rush through it and when I do, I have to erase everything and fix my mistakes. After school tutoring gives me a lot of time to finish my homework and do it the way it should be done," Amai said.

When the after school program began, Amai wasn’t too happy about it. She actually didn’t want to attend. As a member of the Springfield Riflettes, she is a cheerleader for a football team called the Springfield Rifles. The Springfield Riflettes have practice on Mondays and Thursdays, so Amai was disappointed when she was told that she would have to miss a day of practice in order to attend tutoring after school. She wished that she wouldn’t have to go. Then she remembered something Ms. Bennett said to her and she decided to give it her best shot. "Ms. Bennett said that tutoring helps us get ready and it is to get ready for the state test," Amai remembered. She realized that as a third grader, it would be her first time taking the New York State Common Core Exams in Math and ELA. She wants to be prepared the same way she always wants to be prepared for football games. She loves cheerleading practice because that is when she works hard at learning her dance and cheer routines. The more she practices, the better she gets. Amai wants to be as prepared as possible for the state exams and working with her tutor is how she will get there. Instead of going to cheerleading practice two days a week, she now goes only once a week.

"I’m happy about it now," she said about tutoring. Amai takes full advantage of having access to teachers and tutors at her disposal after school. As one of five children, she has developed a strong sense of leadership and independence but she still likes having someone to lean on when she needs to.

Her leadership qualities shine in the classroom where she is a Table Captain. "I keep my table together," Amai proudly said. Sometimes that is a little hard if her table mates get off task for a little while. It gets Amai upset and she wants to let them know right away that they have to be quiet so they know what’s going on. She doesn’t want her table to miss out on a single moment of instruction, especially during Social Studies.

"I love ELA and Math but now I love Social Studies more because Ms. Maison makes it so much fun," Amai said. In Social Studies, the class completed a unit on The Harlem Renaissance and listened to songs from legendary jazz composers like Duke Ellington. One of Amai’s favorite units was on Ancient Egypt.

"Ms. Maison let us build our own pyramids," she said. "We also get prizes, like pencils or erasers. We learn something new all the time. The novel studies [in ELA] and Social Studies are my favorite," Amai said.

Currently, class 3-301 is learning about elections and the democratic process. They had a primary election for Class President and Vice-President and created campaign posters. Amai, a presidential candidate, loved filling out the ballot.

"I want to be president but I didn’t vote for myself," she admitted. "I voted for Anthony (Cappuccio) because he’s responsible and fair," she said.

Amai’s teachers are proud of her maturity and responsibility. "Amai is a passionate, self-motivated learner," Ms. Bennett shared. "She is very responsible, focused and always gives 100% in everything she does in the classroom." These characteristics are what we expect of our scholars at Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School and it is wonderful having a scholar like Amai who continually tries to embody them. Her plan is to take all the lessons she has learned from her teachers and family and take them with her to college and beyond. Amai’s family is the inspiration behind her goal of becoming a family lawyer and a judge. We are confident that Amai will continue to make a difference in the classroom. We wish her the best in the classroom election and know that she will be a good sport regardless of how many votes she gets. With Amai running for President, it offers us all some hope for the future.

Amai's Favorite Things:

  1. Pizza
  2. Playing with her siblings and watching Steve Harvey's "Little Big Shots" on TV
  3. Cheerleading
  4. Celebrating birthdays
  5. Reading My Weird School Daze books by Dan Gutman