PRESS RELEASE: Goldman Sachs Investment Helps Citizen Schools Launch New Program in NYC



Nonprofit Organization Partners with MS 331 Middle School to Lengthen School Day for Sixth Grade Students

New York, NY – November 22, 2010 – Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to extend the learning day with innovative academic and apprenticeship programs, and Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund, today announced a significant Goldman Sachs Gives donation of over $300,000 recommended by Goldman Sachs partners. 

The Goldman Sachs Gives investment supports Citizen Schools’ expansion into the Bronx at the Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation (MS 331).  The program lengthens the school day by three hours each day for all sixth graders, providing increased education time as well as hands-on apprenticeship sessions at which Citizen Teachers from businesses, civic institutions and communities teach skills necessary for success in the modern economy: leadership, teamwork, oral communication and technology.  MS 331 has been designated a SINI (school in need of improvement) by the school district and serves a high poverty student population.  The longer school day enabled by the Citizen Schools partnership is part of a transformation effort at the school. 

“If we want our children to reach their full potential, we have to provide conditions in which high levels of learning can occur for all students,” said Serapha Cruz, Principal of MS 331. “At MS 331, this means offering a longer school day that includes a powerful mix of rigorous academic support and engaging enrichment programs that kids love.”

Citizen Schools has seen great success with similar expanded learning time programs nationwide.  For example, student performance has improved dramatically at the Edwards Middle School, a middle school in Boston where Citizen Schools has helped lengthen the school day for the entire 6th grade since 2006.  Between 2006 and 2009, student proficiency rates on state standardized tests doubled. 

“We know that expanded learning time done right is an effective strategy for helping schools succeed,” said Nitzan Pelman, Executive Director of Citizen Schools New York. “We are thrilled that Goldman Sachs Gives has invested in our program and set the stage for a successful expanded learning time partnership with MS 331.  Goldman Sachs Gives is playing a significant role in setting New York City students on a path towards educational success.” 

“If we provide these students with the right tools and keep them excited about school, we will give them a greater chance to achieve success,” said Allan Levine, the Goldman Sachs partner who organized the recommendations to Goldman Sachs Gives.  “Citizen Schools’ program has proven how combining extended learning time with apprenticeship sessions can change children’s lives.”

This announcement comes at a time of great momentum for longer school days nationally.  The Obama Administration has consistently called for longer days as part of their ambitious effort to reform the nation’s schools. In fact, expanded learning time was highlighted as a key strategy to help struggling schools in the U.S. Department of Education’s blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low income children across the country.  Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools has grown into a national network of 37 “campuses” – middle school partner sites – across seven states.  The New York Citizen Schools program launched in 2008 and will serve 580 students and engage over 200 volunteers across the city this school year. 

Citizen Schools uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships after school. The organization’s programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.

About Goldman Sachs Gives Goldman Sachs Gives is a donor-advised fund—a public charity that maintains individual accounts for donors who recommend grants to qualified non-profit organizations from their accounts. Established in 2007, Goldman Sachs Gives enables Goldman Sachs and its people to leverage their donations to charities in the communities where they live and work, or elsewhere around the globe. The focus of this contribution is on those areas that have been proven to be fundamental to creating jobs and economic growth, building and stabilizing communities, honoring service and veterans and increasing educational opportunities.

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