In April, Citizen Schools California hosted its first open house events at Elmhurst Community Preparatory School in Oakland and Joseph George Middle School in San Jose. The goal was to provide prospective volunteers with an inside look at the Citizen Schools apprenticeship model. Guests met Citizen Schools campus staff and volunteer Citizen Teachers. They observed a variety of apprenticeship classes including computer animation, debate, AdLab, and BOSS, which teaches about investing. One partner at the open house was Coaching Corps staff member, Kevin Reduta. Coaching Corps is a national nonprofit that enlists volunteer coaches to provide full season sports programs to students that wouldn’t normally get them. Volunteers from Coaching Corps have taught apprenticeships like basketball and soccer at Elmhurst Community Preparatory School. Reduta commented that sometimes his volunteer coaches are interested in teaching something beyond sports. He’s excited to have the opportunity to connect his passionate volunteer base to other types of Citizen Schools apprenticeships.
After visiting the BOSS apprenticeship, Reduta noted, “You can learn about numbers all day in the classroom, but when you learn about stocks and bonds by practicing investing with someone who does that for a living, it feels much more relevant.” It was clear to him that the Citizen Teachers were responsible for student engagement. “The kids knew what the class was about. They knew the goals and objectives and they wanted to be there.”
We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Coaching Corps, and to hosting more events that provide the opportunity for partners and prospects alike to see apprenticeships in action.
Missed the open house? Get back on campus in May to hear students teach back what they’ve learned this semester at final presentations (we call WOW!s). Click here for a list of event details.