For Immediate Release
Citizen Schools Teams Up With Bank of America and Fidelity Investments® to Teach Middle School Students Across the Country
Corporations Commit to Help Bring 15,000 Volunteers into the Classroom
Announcement and Call for More Support Made at the Clinton Global Initiative’s “CGI America” Event
Chicago, IL – June 29, 2011 – Today, at CGI America, a nationwide gathering hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, Citizen Schools, one of the nation’s leading education organizations that partners with low-income middle schools to extend the learning day with innovative academic and apprenticeship programs, announced a commitment to work in partnership with leading companies, such as Bank of America and Fidelity Investments®, to mobilize 15,000 volunteers to help transform public education in America. Citizen Schools will recruit and train 15,000 volunteers, including 5,000 STEM (science technology, engineering and math) professionals, over the next three years. These volunteers – Citizen Schools calls them “Citizen Teachers” – will teach “apprenticeship” courses to small groups of low-income middle school students – grades 6th through 8th – once a week for ten weeks. In these apprenticeships, volunteers work with students one afternoon a week to teach them about a wide variety of topics and professions from robotics to architecture.
Bank of America and Fidelity Investments are leading the way in helping Citizen Schools meet their commitment. Together, the companies provided hundreds of volunteers to the Citizen Schools program last year and they have committed to increase their volunteer efforts in the next three years. Last year, Bank of America provided nearly 600 volunteer hours and created the Entrepreneur Apprenticeship to teach children about starting their own business. In addition, the bank developed financial education workshops with both Citizen School students and parents that will be implemented later this year. This year alone, nearly 200 employees from Fidelity Investments taught apprenticeships, ranging from financial investments to website development, or volunteered for Citizen Schools events involving over 400 students from over ten schools across the country.
In partnership with these companies, Citizen Schools will bring real world experts into schools and expand the learning day by 400 hours a year for each student, setting tens of thousands of students on pathways to high school, college, and career success. Volunteers help students make the connection between math and architecture, engineering or business, and see how writing connects to marketing, journalism and communications.
“As a major employer and leading financial institution, Bank of America has a vested interest in making sure the next generation is ready to take on a leadership role in our communities – whether in the corporate world, nonprofit, government sector or other areas,” said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We are proud to support Citizen Schools as they provide at risk youth with opportunities through hands-on apprenticeships; that in turn provide a strong foundation for self-sufficiency and future success.”
Citizen Schools is actively recruiting more companies to join the effort, citing the program’s long-term results as a motivating factor for companies. External evaluations have shown that Citizen Schools students attend more school, get better grades, perform better on standardized tests, and graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers who did not participate in Citizen Schools.
"As a 15-year partner of Citizens Schools, Fidelity has welcomed the chance to involve our associates in helping middle school students reach their full potential," said Sheila Cavanaugh, senior vice president of Community Relations for Fidelity Investments. "We've gained as much as we've given and we'll continue to engage our associates in the important work of strengthening our schools and our communities."
“This initiative will bring corporate and civic volunteers into schools to make learning relevant and close the achievement and opportunity gap for students in high-need middle schools,” said Eric Schwarz, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are grateful for the deep commitment of financial and human capital from Bank of America and Fidelity Investments and look forward to engaging even more companies in the effort. By effectively tapping into this reservoir of talent, we can once again make America an engine of opportunity.”
About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a leading national education initiative that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities across the country through afterschool and expanded learning time programs. The organization mobilizes a second shift of afternoon educators, who provide academic support, leadership development, and "apprenticeships"—hands-on projects taught by volunteers from business and civic organizations. At 37 middle schools in seven states across the country, Citizen Schools students develop the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.
About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is delivering on a 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2010, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States. As a global company doing business in more than 150 countries, Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, bank associate volunteers contributed more than one million hours in 2010 to enhance the quality of life in their communities worldwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.7 trillion, including managed assets of more than $1.6 trillion, as of May 31, 2011. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.