"I am just SO proud of him. I had no idea he could do all of this! Look at me, following him around with my video camera! But you know what surprises me most? His 3.0!!"
- Jayshon's proud father, after watching his 10-year-old son demonstrate the journalism skills he acquired in my "ECPN SportsCenter" apprenticeship
In a 7 hour school day, a teacher has about 420 minutes to divide between an average class of 32 students, which averages out to about 13 minutes per student. A pretty low number, right? Especially given the challenges that teachers in low-income neighborhoods already face and the ever-increasing, sky-high pile of state education standards they are required to meet.
To add some salt to the wound, at the middle school and high school levels, teachers have as many as 4 or 5 classes of that 32! I don't think we need to do the math to understand that what we are dealing with here is an obscenely low amount of time to devote to each individual student.
Here at Citizen Schools, we not only give under-resourced middle school students that much-needed extra time with educators, but also the opportunity to do things outside the confines of the traditional classroom, making their education more relevant to them--an opportunity often reserved for their more privileged neighbors.
Jayshon is a perfect example of a student who benefitted from exactly that. We gave him and his fellow classmates the chance to talk and write about the things they loved (mainly, soccer and football) in a productive space and gave them the skills they needed to talk to "famous" adults. This helped him boost his confidence and made him realize, especially after talking to a REAL sports journalist and some REAL student-athletes, that the things that he is learning now in school really does matter, especially if he wants to take his skills as a journalist further in life.... And he's realizing all of this at the blossoming age of 11! At no cost to him or his father!
Of course, the funding must come from somewhere. Which is why we turn to YOU. Whether you had them or not, if you know how valuable extracurricular opportunities are in a child's life, please make a donation. Every tiny bit helps!
If you can't donate right now, think about volunteering! We help volunteers teach kids how to do the things they love (such as to build robots, interview important people, and create a banking system)!