It's Time: Celebrating 20 Years of Citizen Schools

Guest Post from CEO Steven Rothstein

Over the past six months, as I have traveled the country and spoken to students, parents, AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows, principals, Citizen Teachers, and supporters, I have heard many stories about your experiences with Citizen Schools. There are many stories about moments in time when a call to action was made, and answered, with tremendous results.

I heard about Eric Schwarz and Ned Rimer who stood up 20 years ago and said: It’s Time to change the way people relate to our schools, and prove that everyone can help to close the opportunity gap for students. That call was the spark that led over 100,000 citizens to impact the lives of over 40,000 students.

I heard about the time, ten years later, when we decided: It’s Time to spread this idea to communities across the country. You answered the call and helped bring Citizen Schools to places like California, North Carolina, Texas, and New York.

I heard about the moment five years ago when we decided: It’s Time to prove that we can help close the opportunity gap for every student at the schools we serve. From that our Expanded Learning Time program was born, and together we proved that more learning time combined with more involved citizens can generate a powerful impact.

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This year, as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, it is my humble belief that we have arrived at another of these moments in time. I believe that because of the passion and commitment I have heard from you. I believe that because I have seen what you have already accomplished. I hope you join me in saying once again: It’s Time. It’s time for Citizen Schools to reach hundreds of thousands of students with our program and our ideas. This will be the challenge of our next 5, 10, and 20 years. I hope you join us in meeting it. If the past is any guide, I’m sure that you will.

In Service,