In North Carolina, and across the nation, schools are struggling; this is no secret. It is most obvious in low-income urban areas. Our students are falling far below grade level and drop out rates are horrendous. Of course, none of this is new information. We've seen this problem escalating for a while. Our schools are losing high quality teachers as money and funding are pulled from school districts, and some are shutting their doors permantly leaving valuable resources unutilized. Schools don't have the resources to offer students a wide variety of experiences with extracurricular activities. Many schools, have opted to cut Art, Music, and Athletics in order to fund tutorials and to buy new technology for students. Still, these schools are performing at an alarmingly low rate, and the answers and remedies given by the government just aren't working quickly enough.
What if there were an answer:
Citizen Schools is at the forefront of a national movement in education reform. Our mission is to partner with middle schools to expand the learning day for these students in low-income communities, not only in North Carolina, but across America.
Many people speak and write of children from these neighborhoods, but too often, our students turn into just another statistic, number, or political platform. I began my work with Citizen Schools almost 2 years ago because I believe in the mission. I was one of these students, these statistics, but I had the love and support from my extended family and community. One of the many reasons students are failing is because they lack this network. Citizen Schools partners with not only the middle school, but the surrounding community to provide students with the opportunities they are missing out on. When you actually walk into one of these schools, and work and talk to the students, their parents, and their teachers, it becomes very obvious these kids are striving to succeed. They are not lazy, angry, or worthless as so many stereotypes would brand them. Education itself has not failed them, it has simply failed to keep up with the pace of the world. Citizen Schools gives middle schools the opportunity to re-imagine the school day and provide students with the time and opportunity they need to be successful in the 21st century.
In order to support Citizen Schools in this reform movement, I am striving to raise $500 to contribute to the program here in North Carolina. Any donation you contribute will help us fight this battle. We will be able to turn our schools around and prepare our students for success in the future!