Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools in low-income communities to provide an expanded learning day rich with opportunities. Passionate AmeriCorps members, educators, and volunteers fill afternoons with inspiring learning experiences, turning students into young scientists, architects, lawyers, business owners, and future leaders.
There is a critical opportunity gap in education. Students in upper-income families spend 300 more hours each year with adults than do the three million students in lower-income families. Upper-income students also benefit from almost US$8,000 worth of enrichment activities yearly – robotics camp, piano lessons, academic tutoring, and more.
Together with their partners, Citizen Schools is closing the gaps between schools and their potential, and between students and a successful future. In the 2013-2014 academic year they served approximately 5,300 students, engage 4,700 volunteers, and partnered with 32 public middle schools.
Every student has the potential to succeed, but they can’t do it alone. When people work together, amazing things can happen – students reach their potential, volunteers make a difference, and schools and communities re-imagine what’s possible.
American students spend 80 percent of their waking hours out of school, but only a small percentage of public funding supports out-of-school programs.
Citizen Schools trains and supports volunteers to provide support and mentorship in middle schools in low-income communities.
CS promotes hands-on learning, discovery, teamwork, and fun – in school buildings, led by professional educators and volunteer Citizen Teachers.
CS serves 5,000 students each year in seven states.
After-school programs become a powerful element of education reform. Students graduate from high school, ready for college or the workforce. They are prepared, inspired, and supported.
Partnerships with new schools at a rate of five to six schools (2,000-3,000 students) each year.
Program support from school district budgets supplemented by philanthropic support for central functions (program design and administration, new program development, evaluation, etc.). Reliance on volunteers and AmeriCorps Fellows to maintain cost efficiency.
Eric Schwarz’s professional experience as a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a manager at City Year focused his attention on the crisis in public education in the US. He recognized that American students spend 80% of their waking hours outside of school and yet only 2% of public funding supports out-of-school programs. He founded Citizen Schools to transform after-school programs from an afterthought to a powerful element of authentic, large-scale education reform.