FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIZEN SCHOOLS TEAMS UP WITH GOOGLE TO TEACH MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Students to Showcase New Skills at Google’s NYC Offices on May 23rd
New York, NY – May 22, 2011 – For a group of lucky New York middle school students, Google’s New York City offices have been transformed into their classroom. These students have been working hand in hand with Google employees – “Googlers” – during the afternoon hours to learn about topics ranging from web design to robotics. The project is part of a national partnership between Google and Citizen Schools, an education nonprofit that partners with schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities through afterschool and expanded learning time programs.
On Wednesday, May 23rd, students will gather at Google to showcase what they’ve learned in “apprenticeships” – ten week mini-courses where students and Googlers have worked together on hands-on projects that help students make the connection between school and future careers. Parents, teachers, Googlers, and community supporters will be in attendance at this science fair style event to see firsthand what new skills the students have mastered. Eight groups of students will present on a variety of topics, including graphic design, business development, web design, advertising, robotics, and healthy cooking.
Since 2006, over four hundred Googlers have been involved in teaching nearly 140 apprenticeships through Citizen Schools in California, New York, and Massachusetts. This spring, there are nearly 100 Googlers teaching twenty-seven apprenticeships nationwide, including forty-nine Googlers who volunteered to teach a total of fifteen apprenticeships serving about 230 students in New York.
According to internal surveys, 80 percent of students taking Google apprenticeships through Citizen Schools this fall expressed interest in pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career. This data is especially powerful given the current concerns about STEM education nationally. Just as the STEM field is growing and demanding new talented employees to fill jobs, our education system is struggling to produce enough highly-skilled young people ready for the challenge. Part of the problem, according to MIT, is that our students need more exposure to people who might spark a passion for STEM. According to a 2009 MIT survey, nearly two-thirds of teenagers said that they may be discouraged from pursuing STEM careers because they do not know anyone who works in these fields and they do not understand what people in these fields do.
“Citizen Schools helps Google make a positive contribution in our community by supporting efforts to promote math, science and technology on a local and national scale,” said Claire Hughes Johnson, Vice President, Google. “There’s nothing better than seeing the reward in the faces of students learning at Google. Citizen Schools makes a real difference for those great kids—not to mention the immeasurable benefit to the Google employees volunteering their time to help out.”
Last year, Google announced a $3.25 million grant to support Citizen Schools’ expanded learning programs. The organization partners closely with struggling schools across the country, including six schools in New York City, to increase student achievement through expanded hours and hands-on learning projects. External evaluations have shown that Citizen Schools students have better attendance rates, higher grades, and fewer behavior issues than their peers. Long-term, studies have shown that Citizen Schools participants graduate from high school at significantly higher rates than their peers who did not participate.
“Google and their employees are playing a significant role in setting thousands of students across the country on a path towards educational success,” said Nitzan Pelman, Executive Director of Citizen Schools New York. “We are inspired by the work that Googlers have taken on through teaching apprenticeships and sharing their talent and passion with our students.”
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 partner middle schools in eight states across the country, Citizen Schools students develop the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.
# # #