Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Biogen Idec Foundation Pledges Additional Support to Citizen Schools to Advance STEM Education

CITIZEN SCHOOLS CONTACT: Holly Trippett, (617) 695-2300 x1161, Cell: (301)-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BIOGEN IDEC FOUNDATION PLEDGES ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO CITIZEN SCHOOLS TO ADVANCE STEM EDUCATION

The $1.5 Million Investment Will Allow the Organization to Scale Programming Nationally; Company named “National Innovation Partner”

Boston, MA– January 26, 2015—Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with public middle schools to expand the learning day for underserved students, today announced a new Biogen Idec Foundation grant to support its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, and has named the Biogen Idec Foundation its first National Innovation Partner.

Based on a shared commitment to sparking students’ interest in science through hands-on experiences, the Biogen Idec Foundation will help launch the next phase of Citizen Schools’ national STEM strategy to improve and scale the hands-on apprenticeship model for STEM learning in Massachusetts and North Carolina and at the national level.

The $1.5 million, three-year investment will allow Citizen Schools to provide thousands of middle school students with real-world learning opportunities led by volunteer professionals and will also support a STEM curriculum development and a randomized evaluation by leading evaluation firm Abt Associates. The analysis will test whether providing STEM-focused apprenticeships leads to increased STEM interest and achievement in math and science for middle school students.

The Biogen Idec Foundation has supported Citizen Schools since 2008, providing more than $250,000 in grants to support the organization’s STEM apprenticeship programs in Boston, MA and Research Triangle Park, NC.

“The best way to engage students in the STEM subjects is by providing exciting, hands-on learning experiences with experts, like Biogen Idec scientists, who can show them what’s possible beyond the classroom,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are incredibly grateful for The Biogen Idec Foundation’s support as we work to improve educational opportunities for students in low-income communities across the country.”

“The Biogen Idec Foundation and Citizen Schools share an ongoing commitment to spark student’s interests in science through hands-on experiences and exposure to a variety of career pathways,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman of the Biogen Idec Foundation. “We are proud to serve as the first National Innovation Partner and work to improve educational opportunities and long-term success for underserved students.”

As a National Innovation Partner, the Biogen Idec Foundation will extend the innovative work of the Biogen Idec Community Lab from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The combination of Biogen’s unique apprenticeships, commitment to STEM curriculum, and rigorous evaluation is poised to transform Citizen Schools’ STEM programs.

Since 2008, 37 Biogen Idec employees have taught nine apprenticeships in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Biogen Idec-led STEM apprenticeships help students transform into junior scientists at the Community Lab. The students conduct experiments side-by-side with Biogen Idec scientists, using the same state-of-the-art equipment and tools that the scientists utilize to discover and create new medicine. The apprenticeships introduce students to practical applications of their academics and introduce careers they might not have known existed.

Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools nationally to expand the school day for children in underserved communities through academic mentoring and skill-building apprenticeships. The projects foster authentic learning experiences and are taught by volunteer professionals, or Citizen Teachers, who share their expertise and passions in engaging and innovative ways. Citizen Schools’ focus on math and science based apprenticeships are helping to improve math proficiency levels and ensure a more diverse 21st century workforce skilled in the STEM job sectors.

About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/.

About The Biogen Idec Foundation
The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples’ lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. Additional information about the Biogen Idec Foundation can be found at: www.biogenidec.com/foundation

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PRESS RELEASE: Citizen Schools to Expand STEM Footprint Nationally with US2020

CONTACT: Holly Trippett, Citizen Schools, (617) 695-2300 x1161 or (301)-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITIZEN SCHOOLS TO EXPAND STEM FOOTPRINT NATIONALLY WITH US2020

The National Organization Looks to Increase STEM Programming as it Enters its 20th Anniversary

BOSTON, MA – October 7, 2014 – Today Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced that it will be expanding its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming by retaining US2020 as a key part of its efforts to provide real-world STEM learning to middle schools in low-income communities.

Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day, mobilizing a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make connections between what they are learning now and a future career pathway.

US2020 is an initiative that has been incubated by Citizen Schools since it was announced by President Obama at the 2013 White House Science Fair. Inspired by a White House call to generate large-scale solutions to the nation’s educational challenges in the STEM fields, US2020’s goal is to match 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020.

As Citizen Schools enters its 20th anniversary year in 2015, US2020 will provide a unique opportunity to expand the depth of Citizen Schools’ services and extend its impact to new communities. There are important synergies including focusing on serving low-income communities and underrepresented minorities, a recognition that the STEM fields are vital to the growth of the country, and a commitment to connect mentors to students.

Read more…

Citizen Schools to be Featured on American Graduate Day 2014!

Live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in NYC, airing September 27 at 3PM EST

Day-long Multiplatform Event Celebrates the “Stories of Champions” — Individuals and Organizations Committed to Improving Outcomes for Youth and Raising Graduation Rates   

National Broadcast to Showcase Citizen School’ Efforts to Address the Needs of At-Risk Kids

This video will appear during Citizen Schools’ segment on American Graduate Day.

American Graduate Day 2014 returns this fall for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, will host the all-day broadcast on September 27 which will feature Citizen Schools at 3pm on public television stations nationwide. The annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2014 will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and organizations across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes.

“Every child deserves a quality education and an opportunity for success,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “The high school graduation numbers are moving in the right direction because people have stepped up as champions for students on behalf of their communities, committed to improving outcomes for all of our nation’s youth. On American Graduate Day, local public media stations will be celebrating the inspirational stories that are contributing to the progress.”

“We are proud to be included in American Graduate Day as an organization that is lifting opportunities for middle school youth in low-income communities,” said Steven Rothstein​, CEO of Citizen Schools. “Individuals and organizations have a vital role to play in ensuring that students are prepared and supported on the path to graduation and future success.”

During Citizen Schools’ segment, NBC News education correspondent, Rehema Ellis, will interview a Citizen Schools 8th grade student, volunteer, and program leader about the STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math) education focus of Citizen Schools’ program at partner school Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark. Eighth grader, Jacor will demonstrate the fun and hands-on way he learned about math and science through building a model solar and racing it at competition. The volunteer who teaches Solar Cars, Piyush Modak from Endomedix, will share the joy and professional growth she has experienced through teaching and learning from the students each week, and seeing the impact that her passion for STEM can have on kids. They will be joined by Citizen Schools Deputy Campus Director, Chanelle Baylor, to discuss the partnership between Citizen Schools and Eagle Academy that furthers student learning, while supporting teachers, and providing hands-on project-based learning. Projects like what Jacor did with solar cars allows students to transform into young scientists, engineers, astronauts, business owners, and programmers, helping them see the connections between their academics, real-world careers, and how they can achieve their dreams for their future.

Read more…

PRESS RELEASE: CA Technologies Supports Citizen Schools’ STEM Programs

Press Contact: Holly Trippett, Citizen Schools, 617-695-2300 x1161 or 301-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CA TECHNOLOGIES SUPPORTS CITIZEN SCHOOLS’ STEM PROGRAMS

Boston, MA – June 25, 2014– Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced today it has received a $50,000 donation from CA Technologies, a leading IT management software and solutions company, to help fund its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for students across six schools in Massachusetts.

Citizen Schools partners with underserved public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day by 400 hours each academic year. During the additional school hours, the organization mobilizes AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers from companies like CA Technologies who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make the connection between what they are learning now and a future career path. Over half of the skill-building apprenticeships are focused on STEM subjects and activities.

”We are proud to support the important work Citizen Schools is doing to expand educational opportunities for students,” said Erica Christensen, VP, Corporate Social Responsibility, CA Technologies. “Supporting STEM learning is a top priority for CA Technologies, and through initiatives like this we hope to help provide young people with the tools they need to succeed and encourage the next generation of technology leaders.”

Read more…

US2020 PRESS RELEASE: US2020 Announces 7 Cities as Winners of its STEM Mentoring Competition at the White House Science Fair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Responding to the President’s Call to Action, US2020 Announces 7 Cities as Winners of its STEM Mentoring Competition at the White House Science Fair

City Competition Winners Announced as Part of Multi-Year Campaign to Boost STEM Mentorship Across the Country

Media contact: Oscar Robles, US2020, 347.977.0022 (cell), oscarrobles@us2020.org

WASHINGTON, DC – Today at the White House Science Fair, responding to President Obama’s call to action to get more girls and boys engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), US2020 announced seven cities as the winners of a national competition to encourage mentoring in STEM.

Sponsored by Cisco and launched at the Clinton Global Initiative, the US2020 City Competition challenged cities to develop innovative models for dramatically increasing the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects.  US2020 is specifically focused on increasing STEM opportunities and STEM excitement for girls, underrepresented minorities, and children from low-income families.  Public/private coalitions from 52 cities across the nation applied, engaging nearly 600 companies and civic organizations.

The 7 winning city coalitions, representing over 200 companies and organizations are:

The winners will share $1 million in financial, consulting, and staff support over the next year to help start local movements around STEM mentoring, including:

  • Communications consulting and training with Discovery Communications;
  • Funds to hire a local project manager (Grand Prize Winners only: Allentown, PA, Chicago, IL, and Research Triangle Park, NC);
  • Cohorts of capacity-building  AmeriCorps VISTA members;
  •  Access to US2020’s state-of the-art volunteer matching platform, built in partnership with Tata Consultancy Services;
  • Management consulting services from US2020 and external partners; and
  • Membership in the US2020 community of practice.

The plans developed by these seven cities represent some of the country’s most innovative thinking in engaging underrepresented and underserved youth in STEM.  To learn more about each city and for local contact details, visit their mini-profile pages here: AllentownChicagoIndianapolisPhiladelphiaResearch Triangle ParkSan Francisco, and Wichita.

Cisco is a founding partner of US2020 and the official sponsor of the US2020 City Competition. Cisco continues to build upon its two-decade long commitment to STEM education, supporting major programs to develop a robust pipeline of students interested in entering STEM fields.  “Our nation faces a stark but significant challenge: how do we encourage more young people to enter STEM fields and ensure that America remains competitive on the global stage,” said Blair Christie, Cisco’s Chief Marketing Officer.  “In addressing this challenge, we open the door of opportunity to a diverse new generation of young people.  Cisco is so pleased to be a partner of US2020 and the City Competition.  It’s part of our enduring commitment to increasing America’s talent pipeline by supporting bold and innovative STEM mentoring programs.” As part of its commitment to US2020, Cisco has pledged that 20% of its U.S. workforce will volunteer 20 hours or more in STEM mentoring by 2020.

Discovery Communications, parent company to the Discovery Channel, among others, has announced it will join US2020 as its exclusive media partner.  Leveraging its entire suite of networks and services, Discovery will develop a Public Service Announcement, which will star MythBusters’ and Science Channel’s Head Rush host Kari Byron, and will be focused on motivating girls and minorities to pursue STEM careers.  The PSA will air nationally across Discovery’s portfolio of 14 U.S. networks later this summer.  Additionally, Discovery Education, with US2020, will take students on a virtual field trip to the White House Science Fair as part of their Of The People: Live From the White House webinar series.  Discovery also will provide US2020 and its partners with a day-long summit focused on building marketing and communications campaigns and launch a mentor program with Discovery’s STEM-focused employees.  “We are extremely proud to support this fantastic STEM initiative.  Education is part of Discovery’s DNA and from our first broadcast, we set out to educate and entertain viewers about the world around them.  Helping to build the next generation of STEM professionals is an important part of our mission, and we are pleased to partner on this critical program, providing resources and platforms to drive this important goal,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in partnership with US2020 and Citizen Schools, has committed 25 AmeriCorps VISTA members, an investment of more than $550,000, to do the important work of engaging communities in this STEM mentoring initiative. Fifteen of these capacity-builders will serve in the winning cities, while 10 will support efforts nationwide.  “Our nation’s success depends on helping every child reach his or her full potential in life,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “We know the difference a mentor makes, and STEM mentoring can ignite a passion for math and science, building ladders of opportunity students might otherwise never have. We’re proud that US2020 is part of the STEM AmeriCorps family — and just as proud that AmeriCorps VISTA members will strengthen STEM opportunities for students across the country.”

“Identifying and supporting programs that promote a healthy and robust STEM talent pipeline is crucial to the United States’ economic and national security,” said Pam Erickson, vice president of Corporate Affairs for Raytheon, a founding partner of US2020. “The US2020 City Competition has identified key programs that will provide new opportunities for businesses like Raytheon to help equalize access to STEM careers for underserved populations.”

Chevron announced today it has become the newest corporate partner of US2020, as part of its commitment to supporting hands-on STEM education. “Few things are more important to young people and the future of American competitiveness than a quality education,” said Blair Blackwell, manager of education and corporate programs at Chevron. “Our company not only provides financial support to hands-on and project-based STEM programs, our employees have also invested countless hours in mentoring the next generation of innovators.  We look forward to working with US2020 on expanding mentorship opportunities, especially with underrepresented youth.”

US2020 has announced a partnership with Department of Energy (DOE) and its Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  US2020 and DOE will begin working together and sharing resources including DOE’s Women @ Energy and Energy Literacy programs.  US2020 is also exploring ways to support DOE’s work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bring both mentoring and energy literacy into the outreach models for public housing authorities as part of a national pilot program.

This summer the US2020 volunteer matching platform will go live and provide cities, and corporate and educational partners with a powerful tool to engage professionals in STEM education nation-wide.  Tata Consultancy Services is a founding and technical partner and the pro bono developer of the platform.  “TCS is proud to be building US2020’s dynamic online platform that will match industry professionals with best-in-class career mentor programs, serving underserved groups, at-risk youth and minorities.” said Surya Kant, President of TCS North America, U.K. and Europe. “We are excited to see this platform support and accelerate STEM education across these impressive city initiatives, and nationally across the U.S.”

Together, these cities, US2020 and its partners are pushing forward a movement.  The vision of this movement is an America where every child, especially every girl, every child of color and every child from a low-income family, has the opportunity to be inspired to pursue a STEM career.

US2020’s founding partners are Cisco, Cognizant, Raytheon, SanDisk and Tata Consultancy Services, now joined by Chevron, with additional support coming from Discovery Communications, Fidelity Investments, HP, Salesforce, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

About US2020

US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The long-term goal of the initiative is to mobilize 1 million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020, creating millions of moments of discovery – those life changing events when children launch rockets, build robots, write a computer program, or look into the farthest reaches of the universe.  US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit, and individual partners. US2020 will be incubated by Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization focused on expanding learning time for middle school students across the country, through mid-2014.