At Citizen Schools, we envision a world in which schools, companies, and families partner to provide students with real-world learning experiences that put them on a path to college and career success. We are thankful for our growing group of service-minded volunteer partners who are passionate about closing the opportunity gap. Fostering relationships with non-profits and universities allows Citizen Schools to provide our students with a diverse group of caring and supportive mentors. This year for the first time, Citizen Schools New York hosted a Partnership Guest Week in late April.
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.
There is now widespread consensus that young people need much more than proficiency in traditional academic subjects in order to be ready for college, the workplace, and civic life. A richer and deeper definition of readiness includes intra-and inter-personal skills and dispositions such as self-efficacy and growth mindset.
The importance of social and emotional skills in the workplace has been well-documented, but a virtual focus group of business leaders hosted by the Commission and Citizen Schools on July 25 revealed the broader array of skills that today’s employers value such as intellectual curiosity, willingness to give and receive feedback, personal ownership of problems and challenges, and recognition of unconscious bias.
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.
Citizen Schools has been awarded a $2M grant from the Biogen Foundation as part of the foundation's recently announced STAR Initiative. As 1 of 6 recipients of the STAR (Science, Teacher Support, Access and Readiness) Initiative, Citizen Schools will expand its signature apprenticeship program to provide hands-on STEM courses, taught by experts, to thousands of middle school students in the Somerville district, and to support classroom teacher instruction during the school day.
People know me as the shy girl, the mute. But I want others to know that I am more than just shy. This is not who I really am, and Citizen Schools knows it’s not who I am. I have always had a fear of public speaking, and my mom always told me that it was just a phase. She, too, was shy and reclusive, but now she's a social butterfly. I hope to become more social like her to some extent. I just don't know where to start. My Citizen Schools writing coach told me that being scared to talk in public is all in my head and it's nothing to be afraid of. I use that advice everyday to help me in speak up in groups.
In the spring of 2011, Jose Melo, a fifth grader at the Dever McCormack School in Dorchester, MA, took his first apprenticeships with Citizen Schools: It’s All About Gummy Bears and Bootstrap. In the midst of learning the science behind what makes gummy bears gummy and what it takes to program a video game, he discovered an appetite for science and math. By the time he graduated from eighth grade three years later, Jose had completed a total of twelve apprenticeships through Citizen Schools - all of which had a focus on STEM.
This past week, I had the opportunity to sit with a group of rising Boston 9th grader girls, who were both graduates of our 8th Grade Academy program and summer interns at Citizen Schools. We gathered to talk about their experience with us and the ways in which Citizen Schools is – and isn’t yet – fulfilling its promise to help middle school students launch confidently into their high school years.
Google handing over a big check to Citizen Schools in New York. Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit that partners with public schools to provide academic enrichment in under-served communities. The major financial investment of $500,000 from google will help launch a new coding academy pilot in our city students one on that will match one with a coding mentor from google.
Google's charitable arm announced yesterday that it has donated part of a $500,000 gift to support STEM programming education for middle school students in high-need Boston public school districts.
Saratoga resident Bob France was among the President’s Volunteer Service Awards recipients, winning the silver award along with 83 others across the country.
France was recognized for his work as a citizen teacher with the national nonprofit Citizen Schools, which requires him to spend hours each week sharing his expertise in his field with middle school students in low-income communities.
Every week, Norwell resident Michael Bevilacqua goes to work at the law firm WilmerHale, and spends time teaching middle school students from around Boston how to present a case to a judge.
“At the beginning, they don’t want to stand up in front of the class,” he said. “It’s amazing to see what they gain by the end of it. The shyest of them has enough confidence to stand up in front of the judge.”
"What those training sessions and your life's lessons can never prepare you for is what you will see when you realize that those faces staring back at you are our world's opportunity."
Former Teaching Fellow Ashley Miranda shares an original poem, inspired by her work as a TF in Boston. This video was shot and edited by Ashley's brother Elias Miranda - a former Citizen Schools student and current Massachusetts Board Member - with his production company EMP.
This video debuted at our WOW!NOW Gala last week, where we honored TripAdvsior as partner of the year.