By Jessica Primavera
Citizen Teachers’ work is meant to help close the opportunity gap between students in affluent communities and those in low-income communities.
RANDOLPH - For volunteers, helping others is its own reward. But this Randolph woman received another reward as well – the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Gina Coletti volunteers for the nonprofit organization Citizen Schools. As a Citizen Teacher, she shares her professional knowledge with middle school students living in low-income communities. Citizen Teachers’ work is meant to help close the opportunity gap between students in affluent communities and those in low-income communities.
These teachers help students learn through apprenticeships. These hands-on projects allow students to make connections between the lessons they learn in the classroom and their applications beyond the classroom. Many of the apprenticeships focus on science, technology, engineering, or math.
Coletti is a Gold honoree, which means that she has taught during all four of the past four semesters. Silver honorees taught during three of the past four semesters. There were 51 Gold honorees and 61 silver honorees this year, out of a total of over 2,300 Citizen Teachers.
Citizen Schools CEO Emily Mann says that volunteers “serve not only as mentors and role models, but also motivational figures”, and that students “see possibility for their own futures in our Citizen Teachers and are inspired to set high goals for themselves.”