Citizen Schools + Google: A High-Impact Partnership

As the infographic below shows, Google and Citizen Schools have been working together deeply for eight years. Over 600 Googlers have volunteered their time to teach middle school students how to build robots, program video games, create mobile apps, and more. In no time students will be engineering Self-Driving Cars and design the next Google Glass. We are so thankful to the hundreds of Googlers who have joined our mission and inspired students to explore what excites them and dream of what their futures could look like.


At Citizen Schools annual gala,  A WOW! Affair, we will honor and celebrate this high-impact partnership. Claire Hughes Johnson (featured in the video above), Vice President of Google [X] and responsible for the futuristic Self Driving Cars division, will deliver the keynote remarks at the event, which will be held in Boston at the Museum of Science on April 30.

Boston-area Googlers are specially invited to celebrate! Click here to register.

To purchase your own tax-deductible tickets, visit

Learn more about Google’s partnership with Citizen Schools here.


Thermo Fisher Brings Food Science to Life

“Hey Thermo Fisher, what did you do in class today?” are words often shouted across campus during dismissal. As Rich Carey explains the day’s food science activities, student excitement is palpable. In fact, the conversation usually ends with an exclamation along the lines of “I wish I had gotten into that class!” Music to a teacher’s ears, right? But Rich isn’t your average teacher. A Manager of Technical Systems at Thermo Fisher, he volunteers as a “Citizen Teacher” with Citizen Schools.

A student makes notes in the "Ice Scream, You Scream" apprenticeship

A 6th grade student takes notes in the “I Scream, You Scream” apprenticeship

In their afternoon “apprenticeship” class, students learn about the science behind food. Through experiments in making ice cream, butter, and other delicious foods, Rich is bringing his love of science to the classroom and helping students develop skills to succeed in high school, college, and a career.

Rich’s ability to generate excitement and enthusiasm in the classroom is part of a long standing passion for teaching. Before beginning his journey as a Citizen Teacher, he has lead groups with his church and lead sessions at local school’s science fairs.

When he heard about Citizen Schools, he was hooked. “My students don’t get the same opportunities as other students. But they have just as much potential. I want to be a part of unlocking that.” Now, his “I Scream, You Scream” apprenticeship is a student favorite, earning envy from students who aren’t in the class.

This month, we are proud to recognize Rich Carey as our Citizen Teacher of the month! Meet Rich…

Read more…

Crain’s New York Business: Bringing Charter Innovations To Traditional Schools

The charter school revolution of the last few decades has transformed the conversation about education reform in America’s large cities, including New York. Data suggests that simply organizing a school through a charter agreement does not guarantee greater student achievement. But some charter schools have used their flexibility to test innovations that seem to make a measurable difference.

8719556047_0705f56835_bAnd as Citizen Schools’ New York Executive Director Kathrine Mott writes in an op-ed in Crain’s New York Business, the public school system overall should look to what high-performing charters have done in deciding what resources to invest in.

One such variable is the length of the school day.

“Charter schools and traditional public schools alike have implemented this approach in New York City,” she writes. “We are already seeing evidence that this can improve academic outcomes.”

With the right investment from policy makers, public schools can implement the innovations that work. Schools that have formed partnerships with non-profits like Citizen Schools, for instance, have been able to extend their learning time by several hours each day, and–more importantly–enable students to improve at rates comparable to the highest performing charter schools.

“There is a heated debate in New York City about how public resources are allotted to charter schools,” she writes. “Regardless of where one stands on this issue, we can find common ground when it comes to bringing some of the innovative aspects of charter schools into the city’s public schools. A good place to start is with a longer school day.”

Read the full op-ed, A Charter Lesson To Lift Public Schools, at Crain’s New York.

Citizen Schools Boston Marathon Runners Have Pride

If there’s anything we have learned about Boston over the past year, it’s that pride, perseverance, and strength are incredible forces. As a Boston-based organization, Citizen Schools is proud to have had an incredibly dedicated team running on our behalf at the Boston Marathon today. We want to take a moment to celebrate our runners and thank them for their commitment. We had the pleasure of speaking to our teammates about the reasons they are running..

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Citizen Schools’ Champions Advocate for Expanded Learning and AmeriCorps in Washington D.C.

Working as a non-profit partner to public schools across the country, Citizen Schools sees the many ways that public policies affect children, families, and teachers. So as a way of making a systemic impact on education beyond the handful of districts where we serve, we pull together a group of diverse stakeholders from a variety of cities and spend a day in Washington, D.C., meeting as many of our elected representatives as we can.

On Thursday, April 10, after an inspiring day meeting one another and taking a crash course in lobbying, 25 Citizen Schools leaders, seven middle school students, one school principal, and 14 representatives from corporate partners whose employees volunteer as Citizen Teachers descended on Capitol Hill.

Throughout the day the state teams met with congressional offices to discuss the impact of Citizen Schools in their districts and the success of Citizen Schools’ students. Their goal: to urge legislators to support expanded learning time (ELT), which helps public schools provide the academic and enrichment that middle schools in low-income communities need, and AmeriCorps, whose service members make expanded learning programs possible. Read more…