Maira Cruz's Page
Dear Family and Friends,
I started working for Citizen Schools in July 2011. I was drawn to the organization because I believed in their vision: to close the opportunity and achievement gap for low-income, underserved youth. Citizen Schools extends the learning day and engages students in real world learning by giving them access to caring adults whose mission it is to ensure that they graduate from high school with the abililty to succeed in college and career. More importantly, Citizen Schools inspires students by instilling in them the belief that they are capable and destined for success.
One of the most exciting aspects of Citizen Schools is our apprenticeships. Apprenticeships engage our students in active learning and bring new role models to students’ lives. Last semester I had the opportunity to co-teach in an apprenticeship led by Baylor Medical students. Each week our students learned about different body systems. These lessons culminated in a student led presentation at Texas Children’s Hospital. It was so exciting to see students speaking to medical students and doctors with confidence, respect, and clarity.
Our program provides students with:
• More time to learn- more than 400 hours of additional learning time each year, creating a school day comparable to that of the highest performing charter schools
• More talent and caring adults in the classroom- a second shift of educators made up of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and Citizen Teacher volunteers from a variety of professions
• More relevance in their learning experiences- hands-on apprenticeships that expose students to new career paths, college visits and community explorations, and intensive goal-setting that connects schoolwork with future success
Our ability to make an impact is made possible by donors and supporters who believe in the Citizen Schools mission and model. Join us in our mission to educate children, strengthen communities, and increase access to the American Dream.
What does your money help us do?
- $10 provides one week of special snack.
- $15 provides one month of materials for students to complete high quality academic homework during our structured homework time. (Notebooks, agendas, pencils, pens, etc)
- $20 provides one month of supplies for our CHOICE time activities where students play sports, do art projects, learn yoga, or bake in cooking class.
- $80 provides one semester of extra support for one apprenticeship team. An apprenticeship is a focused learning time between 15 students and a community volunteer with a professional skill to share. Students in the Green Teans Apprenticeship learned about sustainable and organic gardening from a Science teacher at Jane Long.
- $250 provides the support for one Team Leader to sponsor a special event for our families such as a potluck, WOW showcase (the end-of-the-year Apprenticeship fair), Parent Literacy events, or to secure a bus for an exploration (field trip) to a local College.