Thanks to local support from the Biogen STAR Initiative as well as from the All Points North Foundation, this fall we are bringing our signature apprenticeship program to more middle school students than ever within the Somerville Public School District. That means more hands-on, project-based STEM learning experiences for our students, taught by volunteers from the thriving local tech community. We also expanded our program to a second school, with plans to continue growing over the next few years, and students and families are excited about it!
Winter Hill Community Innovation School, our newest campus, serves students in grades 6-8, while East Somerville Community School serves students in grades 5-7. Due to overwhelming interest at both campuses, we are thrilled to report that both programs have exceeded their target numbers! This year in Somerville we will be serving 150+ students across these two campuses.
“Seeing all these students signing up for Citizen Schools programs (and having to re-open enrollment) is the sign of a great program.”
“Seeing all these students signing up for Citizen Schools programs (and having to re-open enrollment) is the sign of a great program,” says Mary Skipper, Superintendent of Somerville Public Schools. “A key indicator of engagement is program attendance. Do you see students running in or running out of the room? For some of our students, Citizen Schools gives them a reason to go to school each day and helps them feel involved with something.”
This semester, apprenticeships are already underway, and students are participating in exciting off-campus apprenticeships Escape the Room (pictured above!), a coding apprenticeship with Microsoft, and Design Squad Global (DSG), where students explore engineering through high-energy, hands-on activities as they partner with a DSG club from a different country! Another student favorite is Maker Challenge, an apprenticeship designed and led by volunteers from Pillpack last fall expanded this year from 2 apprenticeships led by 10 volunteers in 1 school to 3 apprenticeships led by 15 volunteers in 2 schools.
“Citizen Schools gives me the opportunity to work with teammates outside standard office roles.”
“There is a feeling among our Citizen Teachers that the early enrichment programs they themselves had access to lead them to their current path. Citizen Schools helps us to foster that here in our local community,” Marc Krull, Volunteer Citizen Teacher from Pillpack. “Additionally, Citizen Schools gives me the opportunity to work with teammates outside standard office roles. The ability to work with someone in training, or finance, might not have happened without Citizen Schools. This opportunity to partner cross-teams can’t be undervalued.”
We look forward to the continued growth of our program and to deeper partnerships with the Somerville community!