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CITIZEN SCHOOLS TO EXPAND STEM FOOTPRINT NATIONALLY WITH US2020
The National Organization Looks to Increase STEM Programming as it Enters its 20th Anniversary
BOSTON, MA – October 7, 2014 – Today Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced that it will be expanding its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming by retaining US2020 as a key part of its efforts to provide real-world STEM learning to middle schools in low-income communities.
Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day, mobilizing a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make connections between what they are learning now and a future career pathway.
US2020 is an initiative that has been incubated by Citizen Schools since it was announced by President Obama at the 2013 White House Science Fair. Inspired by a White House call to generate large-scale solutions to the nation’s educational challenges in the STEM fields, US2020’s goal is to match 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020.
As Citizen Schools enters its 20th anniversary year in 2015, US2020 will provide a unique opportunity to expand the depth of Citizen Schools’ services and extend its impact to new communities. There are important synergies including focusing on serving low-income communities and underrepresented minorities, a recognition that the STEM fields are vital to the growth of the country, and a commitment to connect mentors to students.
“It is crucial to expose middle school students to engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals, who connect the dots between the STEM subjects and everyday life,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are excited to expand our reach with US2020, which has already made great strides to positively impact communities across the country, including cities beyond Citizen Schools’ current footprint.”
“Millions of scientists and technology experts have the ability to inspire students who need their support most,” said Eric Schwarz, Executive Chairman of US2020 and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools. “US2020 and nonprofits like Citizen Schools are helping STEM professionals provide a level of engagement that can change the trajectory of STEM education nationally by equalizing access to STEM experiences and careers.”
US2020 is helping to build the national supply and demand for STEM mentors by partnering with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits, matching committed volunteers with quality programs and evaluating volunteer and student impact. To create powerful STEM movements at the local level, US2020 launched a City Competition and identified seven winning cities in May. As a part of this “City Network,” the cities have access to a variety of resources to help scale high-quality STEM mentoring efforts, ranging from financial and consulting support to an increase in capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA members."
Discovery Communications, the parent company to the Discovery Channel, joined the initiative in May as an exclusive media partner. On October 1, Discovery released a Public Service Announcement, starring MythBusters’ co-host Kari Byron, promoting STEM education and mentorship. The PSA will air nationally across Discovery’s portfolio of 13 U.S. networks.
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 http://www.citizenschools.org/.