Citizen Schools Expands 8th Grade Academy in New York City Public Schools

Program helps students in three boroughs prepare for transition to high school  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY— September 29, 2015—This fall, mentors in East Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx will help prepare more 8th graders for high school through Citizen Schools 8th Grade Academy (8GA). The mentors, who are volunteers from corporate leaders, including CA Technologies, Fidelity, and Google, and national service members from AmeriCorps, will provide hands-on writing assistance as well as guidance with the high school application process for all 8th graders in the program.

8th Grade Academy is a special component of Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time (ELT) program that extends the learning day for middle school students in low-income communities.  Afterschool programming is a proven reform that is being championed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariṅa for middle school students in New York City this fall.

To provide its program, Citizen Schools partners with public schools to extend the learning day by three hours, providing targeted academic support, homework help, and hands-on learning opportunities, including support for an 8th grader’s transition to high school. This fall in New York City, 8GA is expanding its reach in four of Citizen Schools’ programs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and East Harlem to serve more than 100 students.

“Whether students are taking the Specialized High School Admissions Test, or applying to a college preparatory program, they will have a mentor who helps ensure they are targeting the high schools that will put them on the path to achieving their individual goals. Through 8th Grade Academy, students gain confidence and skills that will stay with them as they move into high school and onto college,” said Kathrine Mott, Executive Director of Citizen Schools New York-New Jersey. “Students in 8th Grade Academy gain real-world skills that are fundamental to success in high school, college, and careers.”

A study conducted from 2001-2010 by Policy Study Associates found students who participated in Citizen Schools 8th Grade Academy graduated from high school in four years at a rate of 71% compared to only 59% of their Boston Public School peers.

Since 2008, Citizen Schools has worked with 4,000 students in New York City. In the 2015-2016 school year, Citizen Schools will serve approximately 1,150 students. Of those students, 576 are funded through the City of New York’s Department of Youth and Community Development School’s Out New York City (SONYC) program.

Media Contact

Matt Ellis

Ellis Strategies, Inc. | 617-278-6560

 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