Citizen Schools

'Cracking The Case' with PwC

'Cracking The Case' with PwC

In our ‘Crack the Case” apprenticeship, students learn to become insightful marketers through careful research and analysis. Last fall, students at Isaac Newton Middle School in New York, played the role of business consultant to Ben and Jerry’s, working to determine the best choice for their newest flavor.

Led by partners and staff at PwC, the global professional services firm, students research the popularity and profitability of different flavors, and ultimately worked to build a case for their ice cream flavor - and why it should be chosen.

Dell Youth Learning Support Aims to Unlock Student Potential

Dell Youth Learning Support Aims to Unlock Student Potential

Mariana is currently fifteen years old. As many other students around her age, she enjoys playing with her little sister and learning new subjects. Mariana’s family moved to the United States from El Salvador in 2016 on a quest for enhanced opportunities. “We left so I could have additional chances to work and study,” she says. It has been arduous to move here because I miss my aunts who are still in El Salvador”.

Enrichment added at East Somerville school

Enrichment added at East Somerville school

Fifth- and sixth-graders at East Somerville Community School have additional learning opportunities, including the chance to serve as apprentices, through a new partnership. The nonprofit Citizen Schools is providing enrichment and academic support to students both in school and during after-school hours to help develop real-world skills and guide them toward college and career success.

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in Bay Area

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in Bay Area

Redwood City, CA—August 1, 2017 – Today, Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with public schools to provide academic enrichment in underserved communities in four states, is announcing a major financial investment of $500,000 from Google.org, bringing the company’s total support of Citizen Schools to over $4.5 million.

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in New York

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in New York

Today, Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with public schools to provide academic enrichment in underserved communities in four states, is announcing a major financial investment of $500,000 from Google.org, bringing the company’s total support of Citizen Schools to over $4.5 million.

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in Boston

Google.org Expands Major Funding for Citizen Schools in Boston

Boston, Mass—August 1, 2017 – Today, Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with public schools to provide academic enrichment in underserved communities in four states, is announcing a major financial investment of $500,000 from Google.org, bringing the company’s total support of Citizen Schools to over $4.5 million

TF Spotlight: Tieyenna Maxwell

TF Spotlight: Tieyenna Maxwell

I chose to serve with Americorps as a Teaching Fellow because I believe that each child deserves to be believed in. I wanted to impact my students the same way that I was impacted by my greatest teachers, with love, patience, and understanding.

AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Diego Bermejo

AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Diego Bermejo

I decided to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow in order to gain teaching experience and also be exposed to underprivileged education in order to be a catalyst for change in the community. After graduating college, I knew that I wanted to do teaching for a while. Being raised by my mom, who has been a teacher for 33 years, taught me the value of education. I wanted to be able to help students gain knowledge in places where they struggle to get it. I knew taking up a job as a Teaching Fellow for AmeriCorps, in partnership with Citizen Schools, would expose me to an environment that would help me learn about education, students, and myself.

TF Spotlight: Kern Bien-Aime

TF Spotlight: Kern Bien-Aime

"For years now I've tried to culture my love for learning and teaching, and serving has been a great exercise for this passion. The leadership and mission of Citizen Schools seem to recognize the impact one dedicated individual can have on young lives, and the communities they live in."

Shedd Aquarium program introduces middle schoolers to octopus

Shedd Aquarium program introduces middle schoolers to octopus

The octopus was not cooperating.

Instead of writhing about in its tank, demonstrating for the assembled students its size and movement patterns, the Shedd Aquarium's giant Pacific octopus was just kind of sitting there, up in a corner, a row of tentacles pressed against the glass.

Citizen Schools First Recipient of Funding from New Organization Life Science Cares

Citizen Schools First Recipient of Funding from New Organization Life Science Cares

Boston, MA - Life Science Cares, a new organization that unites the human and financial resources of the life sciences sector in the fight to end poverty in Greater Boston, has selected Citizen Schools as one of its first recipients of a donation to a nonprofit organization. Citizen Schools is a national organization, based in Boston, which partners with middle schools in six states to provide educational enrichment through Expanded Learning Time (ELT) programs held during after school hours.

Opinion: Schools Expect Too Much of Working Parents

While balancing work and family life is never a simple task, it often seems that public schools add to the problem. A few weeks ago, for instance, the school nurse rang me up: My 8-year-old daughter had a headache. Could I come by the school with some Tylenol?

Abt Associates Evaluation of Citizen Schools ELT Model

Abt Associates Evaluation of Citizen Schools ELT Model

Since our earliest days at Citizen Schools, we have invested in rigorous external evaluation to understand the impact of our program on students, school communities, and Citizen Schools volunteers, and to identify the priority areas for improvement. Today marks an important milestone in this commitment. We are pleased to release the final report of a five-year external evaluation of the Citizen Schools national Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative, conducted by Abt Associates.

6 Ways the Next President Can Improve Education

Economic opportunity is the leading domestic issue of our time—and a key to reinvigorating our economy is providing quality education and training opportunities for the about 5.5 million young Americans who are neither in school nor working. Yet the topic of education and how it affects our economic opportunity as a nation was notably absent from all of the presidential debates, which lacked a rigorous exchange of ideas on how to strengthen the country by ensuring equal opportunity for all.

Gates Foundation and Citizen Schools Using Digital Courseware to Improve Education

BOSTON – October 24, 2016 – Citizen Schools, a national non-profit that extends the learning day for students in lower income communities, will continue piloting and evaluating digital courseware to learn more about how best to integrate technology into Expanded Learning Time (ELT) for middle school students, thanks to a continued grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $250,000 grant continues the foundation’s support for the pilot program Citizen Schools launched last year. More than 1,000 students from public school districts across the country will take part in this program.  Data gathered at the sites will examine barriers to experimentation with digital courseware and continue exploring ways to improve product efficacy.

“We at Citizen Schools look forward to continuing the important work of evaluating digital courseware,” said Emily McCann, CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are in the unique position of being able to offer feedback from expanded learning sites across the country as well as offer constructive product improvement ideas based on what our students and staff learn. We appreciate the commitment the Gates Foundation has once again shown to students facing socio-economic challenges both at home and during their school day.”

Citizen Schools is offering resources and coaching at the pilot sites to facilitate planning and execution of the product testing. Year two of the pilot will include more targeted training for front-line program staff, and an emphasis on applying data gleaned from using from the digital courseware to drive academic support strategy.

The locations included in this program are:

California:

  • Joseph George School in San Jose

Illinois:

  • Carter School in Chicago
  • Woodson School in Chicago

Massachusetts:

  • Wright School in Chelsea
  • Browne School in Chelsea

New York:

  • Academy for Future Leaders in New York City
  • Renaissance School of the Arts in New York City
  • Isaac Newton Middle School in New York City
  • Global Tech Prep in New York City
  • Urban Assembly Unison School in New York City

Texas:

  • Sugar Grove Academy in Houston

The grant also supports Citizen Schools’ ongoing participation in the Learning Assembly, a national network of organizations piloting and evaluating ed-tech innovations with schools across the country. Citizen Schools will report learning-to-date from the pilot project as part of a panel discussion during the upcoming iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, Oct. 25-28 in San Antonio, TX.

 

Media Contact:

Darcie Fisher Ellis Strategies, Inc. darcie@ellisstrategies.com | 774-281-3506

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/

Thermo Fisher Donates Lab Kits to Future Scientists at Chelsea’s Browne Middle School

Thermo Fisher Donates Lab Kits to Future Scientists at Chelsea’s Browne Middle School

“When you have the right equipment, you can do the job right,” says Christian Anzueto.  “And, it makes you more excited for the job.” You might be surprised to learn the kind of equipment that’s made this 5th grader so excited.  It’s not sports equipment, or gaming equipment. Christian is talking about goggles, gloves and lab aprons: basic science lab equipment.

Parents Buy into Potential of Ed Tech; Most Don't See Learning Results

While plenty of surveys examine the use of technology in schools from the teacher or student perspective, here's one that looks at the subject from the parents' point of view. The Learning Assembly polled 1,000 K-12 public school parents around the United States on the use of education technology in their students' schools. The bottom line: They're not overly impressed.

Learning Assembly calls itself a "network of education organizations" that works with schools and teachers to implement, assess and research new ed tech. Among the seven members are Citizen Schools, Digital Promise, LEAP Innovationsand the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.

Survey results showed that while 93 percent of parents believe in the use of tech to tailor student learning, only 33 percent said schools were doing an "excellent" job of using tech for this purpose. Another 41 percent reported that the school was doing a "good" job.

While 87 percent of parents buy into the possibilities of technology to positively influence student learning, just 35 percent among those respondents whose children use devices in school say their children have learned more because of tech.

Also, most parents surveyed said they aren't confident that they understand some of the new concepts permeating schools today. For example, 44 percent said they understood personalized learning as it relates to their child's education. Forty-three percent said they felt the same about competency-based education; and 39 percent said the same for project-based learning. In fact, only three in 10 respondents (31 percent) said they believe they understand what's meant by "21st century skills."

Overall, the survey found, parent views on technology vary based on the "perceived quality" of the tech implementation. Parents reporting that their children's schools are doing an "excellent" job in that regard are two-and-a-half times more likely to report that their children learn more and that their children are more engaged than respondents who report that their schools are doing a "fair" or "poor" job.

"Parents don't see technology as a silver bullet, but the data suggests that they do see a link between smart implementation of technology and the kind of tailored, personalized education that they want and expect for their children," said Phyllis Lockett, CEO of member organization LEAP Innovations, in a prepared statement. "It's absolutely critical that we provide teachers and schools with the training and supports to use technology effectively to create meaningful, personalized learning experiences for every child."

The full results of the survey are available on the Learning Assembly website. An infographic is available here.