What makes Citizen Schools special, and the reason I first got involved, is its apprenticeship program. For 10 weeks in the fall and again in the spring, volunteers from the community come to our school for 90 minutes once a week to teach our students about what they love. These individuals share their passions with the students, igniting a desire to learn and helping our students discover their own passions and potential careers, as well as providing caring adult role models. After 10 weeks of discovery and mastery, our students teach back to their friends, family, and communities what they've learned during their apprenticeship in a "WOW!".
I came to Citizen Schools as a volunteer teaching a poetry apprenticeship that culminated in students writing and performing their own original poetry. Since joining the staff as a Teaching Associate in January 2011, I've supported apprenticeships in computer generated imagery (in which the students created their own animation), personality psychology (in which students took and learned all about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment), Internet broadcasting (in which the students learned about how the Internet works and filmed live Ustream videos), and taught my own course on event planning (in which students planned and put on an end of semester celebration). This spring, I'm supporting "Prove Your Case," a mock trial apprenticeship, and "Be a Sports Agent," an apprenticeship on the use of statistics in baseball.
Watching students come alive as they engage in hands-on learning, connect with the interesting subject matter, and support each other throughout the semester is an incredible experience. Students who were previously disengaged and uninterested in school realize the relevance of learning through apprenticeships, recommit themselves to their studies, and take enormous pride in what they've been able to accomplish.
This year, I support a team of 6th grade students (go Team Gemini!) at McKinley Institute of Technology in Redwood City, as they get help on their homework, practice their math skills, learn what it takes to get ready for college, and most importantly discover a love of learning. I teach twice-weekly math lessons aligned with their regular school day curriculum involving fun activities. We've used bags of M&Ms to demonstrate the relationship between fractions and percents, and 100 games of Rock-Paper-Scissors to calculate probability. I communicate frequently with teachers and parents, and have built lasting relationships with my students and their families. Working with my amazing, intelligent, hilarious, hard-working, caring students has ignited my passion for teaching and set me on a career path to become a credentialed teacher.
Please join me in supporting Citizen Schools! Your generosity brings students necessary supplies, materials for volunteer-taught apprenticeships, explorations of colleges and museums, and events for families and community members.
Where does your money go?
$15.00 buys pencils, paper, books, and more - everything my students need for high quality homework completion.
$25.00 is a reward to celebrate Team Gemini's success, support, and teamwork, like a special snack or party.
$50.00 funds Math League for Team Gemini, twice-weekly 45 minute classes aligned with my students' regular school day math class to support their development of basic skills.
$80.00 sponsors an apprenticeship, a ten week hands-on course taught by adult professionals in various sectors, like "Prove Your Case" and "Be a Sports Agent."
$100.00 funds a family engagement event at my school, McKinley Institute of Technology. These are great opportunities for me to further my relationships with my students' families.
$300.00 brings students at McKinley to visit a local college, like Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, or Santa Clara University.