This past summer, Citizen Schools California kicked off the year with Summer Institute, where rising and returning campus staff came together to prepare for the school year ahead of them. New Teaching Fellows came from all over the country, eager to tackle the opportunity gap that our students face. They learned skills such as lesson planning, classroom management and culturally responsive teaching.
On June 30, a group of new players took to the field at Oracle Park before the San Francisco Giants game against the Arizona Diamondbacks! Thanks to Bank of America’s support, 9 middle school students from Citizen Schools were able to run onto the field and take positions for the Kids Take the Field presentation. Students were even able to meet the players while out on the field, an experience the students said that they would never forget!
Over 30 students from Renaissance Academy participated in the Wells Fargo Change the Future hackathon on Friday May 31st at PwC offices in San Jose, the culminating event of Citizen Schools’ semester-long Change the Future coding clubs. Teaching Fellows at both Renaissance campuses implemented rigorous weekly sessions where student groups designed application prototypes to solve an issue in their community. In preparation for the hackathon, students spent hours researching, designing, and creating business plans for their apps
This year, benefitEd was disguised as a mini mock trial. It was the Opportunity Gap vs. Citizen Schools. We honored the commitment of our long-time law partners, McDermott Will & Emery, Ropes & Gray, and Wilmer Hale. From start to finish, with close to 250 people in the room, once again, our students not only ran the show but stole it as well.
In the Citizen Schools apprenticeship, Carbon Footprint, students learn to research and analyze the carbon footprint of their school over the course of a 10-week period. Students develop skills around how to collect data, communicate with teammates, and eventually create an action plan for their school based on their findings.
This Spring is the second semester this class is offered at McKinley Institute of Technology (MIT) in Redwood City. Lead by a Citizen Teacher in her third semester, the current apprenticeship is taking experiential learning one step further, by engaging students in a process-oriented approach to increase effective recycling on campus.
During winter intersession, the six weeks between the fall and spring semester, approximately 350 students in the Citizen Schools’ California region completed an academically rigorous STEM curriculum challenge. The curriculum created and licensed by Tata Consultancy Services, allows students to design paper and electronic prototypes of an app that will help solve a community problem. During their challenge, they get the chance to practice their design thinking skills through a lens of empathy while learning about different STEM careers.
Erica Yoon, joined Citizen Schools after graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors majoring in Cognitive Science Education minor. Serving as a AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow at Greenleaf K-8 Elementary School family in Oakland, California, she says “I love this job! It is definitely a position that comes with various challenges, but the relationships I make and the improvements I see on a daily basis keep me going.” Outside of work, she enjoys going for swims, playing Monopoly Deal, and singing karaoke.
An avid soccer player, Santy explained that the only reason he even heard about Menlo School, a private school in Atherton, was because of an after-school program, Citizen Schools, where he would wait out the gap of time between the end of school and the start of soccer practice and took an extracurricular course about local private school opportunities.
A team of five intrepid students from Fischer Renaissance participated in a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Qualifier tournament at Santa Clara High School November 11, 2018 as part of a Citizen School Apprenticeship. Lead by by a team of mentors, and Americorps members James Wesselman (myself) and Jamila Mentuhotep (Citizen Schools Teaching Fellows), the team finished the fun filled day ranking 6th in the robot game outperforming experienced better funded teams.
Jacky Bailey is a volunteer Citizen Teacher who joined Citizen Schools, after moving to the Bay Area from Australia, because she missed working with students and wanted to get to know her new community. When Bailey decided to teach an apprenticeship with Citizen Schools for the second time, she wanted to ensure her students could enact and advocate for change in the real world - and not just theoretically in the classroom.
Fresh from a visit to the greenhouse and a bit of weeding in a row of radishes and pumpkins, 18 youngsters gathered to show what they’d soaked up during their field trip to the Veggielution organic farm in San Jose.
Joining the Advisory Board are Joy Harper, Tracy Meng, and Kayla Norris “All three of our newest Board members embody the mission and values of Citizen Schools and bring distinct individual skill sets. We are very fortunate to have them serve our organization as we continue to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for middle schoolers in the Bay Area ”, Maria Drake, Executive Director.
Oakland has always been an epicenter for social change in the US and those roots are reflected in Citizen Schools apprenticeships. We've partnered with community organizations who, among many things, use near peer mentoring, student-led discussion, and explorations of Oakland neighborhoods and cultural sites to build civic-minded leaders within our student body - and address relevant social issues such as violence prevention, discrimination and injustice.
This spring, we were proud to host another successful WOW! season in California. From yoga and tai chi to backpacking, web design and more, our students had no shortage of amazing apprenticeships to chose from this semester. We're so proud of all that our students have learned - and so thankful to all our amazing volunteer Citizen Teachers!
On Tuesday May 1, the Citizen Schools community gathered at the Computer History Museum to celebrate our community at our annual BenefitEd 2018 Gala. So many of our amazing partners had the opportunity to connect with our students, volunteers, school partners and each other, to celebrate yet another successful semester of hard work and apprenticeships at our WOW! Gallery, and to help transform the lives of our Bay Area students.
Yearlong apprenticeships come with a unique set of challenges; the challenge of keeping students engaged for a full year, the challenge of creating an extensive curriculum to incorporate a years’ worth of learning, and the challenge of finding volunteer Citizen Teachers willing to make twice the usual time commitment for an apprenticeship (it’s usually just one semester!). This spring, the Entrepreneurship Apprenticeship at Renaissance Academy at Fischer in San Jose, CA, a first of its kind, certainly had its share of challenges - but the outcome was more than Stephanie Lin, the AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow overseeing the class could have imagined.
On May 23 2018, Beyond Sport and the San Francisco 49ers Foundation will hold the second installment of the Beyond Innovation Summit in Santa Clara, California. Expanding on the successes of last year’s event and the subsequent launch of the Sport & STEM Alliance, Beyond Innovation will bring together global experts, inspirational innovators and committed decision-makers to discuss state-of-art approaches to leveraging sport to improve, empower and create new approaches to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Upwards of 200 delegates will explore the unique opportunity sports presents to help prevent the predicted shortfall of 85 million skilled jobs in the global economy by 2020.
This semester, San Francisco-based nonprofit Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) partnered with Citizen Schools to teach apprenticeships at two of our middle schools in Oakland: Roots Academy and Greenleaf. The apprenticeship, called Girls on the Mic, educates girls about audio technology, recording and sound engineering through music and media. The goal of the program is to drive girls’ interest in STEM and introduce them to technology-based careers in a traditionally male-dominated field.