Building bridges and community at Summer Institute

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β€œIn nonprofit and the education sector, as challenges arise, it is easy to feel isolated. Bringing together both teams [NY and MA] allowed us to share our successes and challenges, lean on each other for advice, and learn and grow together as an organizational unit. Our time spent together allowed us to build bridges that will continue to connect us throughout the year.” - Vanessa Bishop, Executive Director, Citizen Schools Massachusetts

As we look back on a summer well spent, one of our highlights across our regions is always Summer Institute, during which our incoming Teaching Fellows (TFs) receive training, get to know Citizen Schools and meet other TFs. Our amazing regional staff in Massachusetts, California and New York welcomed each of their new TF cohorts and helped them get ready for the school year ahead.

In California, one highlight was when TFs created they own personal WOW! Boards chronicling their history and journey to Citizen Schools. The California Summer Institute sessions resulted in 86% satisfaction with training and understanding high-quality Citizen School programs.

Massachusetts and New York had the unique opportunity to bring both teams together for a collaborative experience in addition to their regular training. The objective was to create more shared experiences and an even broader community of support between the two regions.

Massachusetts TFs taught four lessons during summer programs in Boston and Somerville, adopting an iterative approach to increase student engagement between lessons. TFs also developed community asset mapping, working with stakeholders like teachers, principals and students. 93% of Massachusetts TFs reported their sessions were applicable to their role.

New York had a special focus on individual student plans, led by Special Education Teacher, Christine Longo. 88% of New York TFs agreed that these sessions provided good foundational knowledge for a successful program launch.