Citizens for Citizens Schools (C4CS) is an annual grassroots campaign in which Citizen Schools champions and staff members and our supporters commit to raising funds by sharing our mission with their friends, family and colleagues.
About Citizen Schools:
Although students from all backgrounds aspire to complete college, students from families in the bottom income quartile are less than a tenth as likely as those from the top quartile to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24 (8% vs. 82%). Three decades of education reform have not evened the playing field; in fact, new evidence indicates that “the achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier." While the causes of this achievement gap are complex, the consequences are clear: millions of young people are falling off the path to educational and economic success, limiting their own upward mobility and preventing the country from realizing its full potential.
Citizen Schools’ mission is to educate children and to strengthen communities. Citizen Schools strives to close the achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income middle school students by extending the learning day and filling the additional time with rigorous academic skill-building, hands-on apprenticeship courses and curriculum designed to prepare students to succeed in top-tier high schools and colleges.
Citizen Schools works with middle school students at a critical point in their educational trajectory. We help to fill in "the missing middle" between efforts focused on school readiness for young children and those aimed at drop-out prevention for high school students. By focusing on middle school, we capitalize on this critical developmental period and inflection point, effectively setting students' sights on high school graduation and college matriculation, while building the skills, beliefs and networks they will need to reach those goals. Our program is comprised of three main elements that provide comprehensive support to struggling middle school students.
Academic Support: We provide students with daily homework support and 60-90 minute lessons in English Language Arts and math that are designed to align with state and national standards, and are customized to meet school needs.
College & Career Connections: Citizen Schools teaches middle school students about the skills, knowledge, and motivation to succeed in school, college, and career.
Apprenticeships: Twice each week, students work alongside professional, adult volunteers from the community who share their passion and expertise in 11-week "apprenticeship" courses that culminate in public celebrations of learning (the "WOW!") and give students the opportunity to give back to their community. Working with volunteers from companies and universities, students argue mock trials, plant organic gardens, build web pages for their schools, compete in soccer tournaments, publish community newspapers, video-conference with NASA, race solar cars and much more.
Since our inception in 1995, Citizen Schools has developed a strong track record of results. A series of rigorous independent evaluations have reported that Citizen Schools' students significantly out-perform their peers on leading indicators of educational attainment, including: attendance, grades and prompt graduation from high school. Citizen Schools Massachusetts was founded at a single school site in 1995 and now enrolls over 1,400 middle school students across 6 schools, including 20% of Boston Public Schools’ 6th graders.