Dear Family and Friends,
As you know, I have been involved with Citizen Schools since its founding in 1995, first as a board member and now on the staff. I feel passionately about the impact that Citizen Schools is having on the lives of the 5,000 students that we're working with across the country as well as the role we're playing in shaping broader policy discussions around education reform.
As I've seen the organization grow, I also think about the individual lives it has changed. I remember meeting Shellice when she was in 8th grade, taking an apprenticeship at Citizen Schools in Japanese. With the help of Citizen Schools, she enrolled at Snowden International High School where she studied Japanese. Shellice is now at Hamilton College.
Citizen Schools does both a rigorous and magical job opening up pathways for students like Shellice whose view of their future is limited by what they know of the world and the educational opportunities they have. By partnering with middle schools to expand the learning day and by bringing citizens into the schools to teach middle school students about their professional and personal passions, we are able to open up students' minds to a range of ideas about who they are and what they will be in the future - and what it takes to get there.
Currently, about half of the students who enter urban high schools actually graduate. Data from our external longitudinal study completed by Policy Studies Associates indicate that Citizen Schools participants had a 20% higher high school graduation rate than matched peers. Heightening students' aspirations and making the importance of college in reaching them evident are critical to our impact.
If you can make a contribution to support Citizen Schools, I would be very grateful.
With love and thanks,