PRESS RELEASE: Citizen Schools Receives "Community Partnership of the Year" Award from Houston Independent School District


Citizen Schools Receives “Community Partnership of the Year” Award from Houston Independent School District

Nonprofit Recognized for Partnership with Jane Long Middle School that Lengthens School Day and Engages Community Volunteers

Houston, TX – May 23, 2011 – On Monday, May 23, at the Houston Independent School District’s Volunteers in Public Schools Recognition Breakfast at Kingdom Builders’ Center, Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that helps schools lengthen the school day, received the “Community Partnership of the Year” award for their partnership with Jane Long Middle School in Houston. The organization was recognized for their innovative approach to lengthening the school day by bringing in a “second shift” of educators that includes trained educators, as well as community volunteers who teach 10-week “apprenticeship” courses to students.

In these apprenticeships, volunteers work with students one afternoon a week to teach them about a wide variety of topics and professions.  This year, Citizen Schools recruited and trained over 100 volunteers to teach at Jane Long Middle School.  Topics ranged from investing in stocks to architecture to video game design.  Volunteers have come from organizations and businesses such as Wells Fargo Advisors, Baylor College of Medicine, and ConocoPhillips and have helped students learn a range of new skills from how to build a futuristic city that uses clean energy to how to take DNA samples and conduct footprint analyses during a crime scene investigation.

“We are grateful to the volunteers of Citizen Schools for sharing their expertise with our students in order to help them forge meaningful connections to careers that require a college education,” said Kendal Bailey, Assistant Principal at Jane Long Middle School.

Through Citizen Schools apprenticeships, students get exposure to individuals and potential career paths that they may not have had the opportunity to explore otherwise.  The organization also partners with Sharpstown Middle School in Houston.

“Citizen Schools is proud to have been chosen for this award,” said Todd Litton, Executive Director of Citizen Schools Texas. “Working directly with experts from a wide range of fields helps our students connect what they are learning in school with the real world, sparks new interests, and inspires motivation for our students.”