Citizen Schools, Inc

At a Glance

National Office: 
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: 617-695-2300

Emily McCann
People Served: 
20,000
Year Founded: 
1995
Tax ID: 
04-3259160

Focus area(s):

K-12 Reform
After-School & Out-of-School
Personal & Leadership Development

Description

Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools closes the opportunity gap by connecting young people to hands-on learning and real-world mentors in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams.

Impact and Outcomes

70% of students demonstrate mastery of 21st century skills such as innovation and problem solving.
Participants are more than twice as likely to express interest in STEM careers as students nationally
Among program alumni, school attendance is higher than matched peers, reducing absenteeism by 43%.
9 out of 10 Citizen Schools alumni passed high school state exit exams in math and English.
Citizen Schools participants had a 20% higher high school graduation rate than matched peers (71% vs. 59%).

Mission & Goals

Citizen Schools mobilizes ordinary citizens to create extraordinary enrichment and academic opportunities for children from low-income families in order to erase the income-based achievement gap. We envision a day when all students will participate in a school day that builds the skills, access and beliefs required for them to thrive as students and succeed as adults. Our official mission is: Educating Children, Strengthening Communities.

 

Through hands-on, project-based learning and academic support, we:

 

●       Increase students’ access to mentors, professional networks, and career pathways

●       Develop essential 21st-century and social-emotional learning skills

●       Foster students’ beliefs in education and in their own ability to succeed

 

Citizen Schools offers programs in partnership with middle schools in low-income communities. In 2015-16, its “second shift” of more than 250 AmeriCorps members and 2,000 volunteers taught real-world learning projects and provided academic support for 4,800 students at 31 high-need middle schools across seven states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Across Citizen Schools’ partner schools, an average of 79% of students are economically disadvantaged, 95% are nonwhite, 21% are English Language Learners, and 20% have special needs. Many partner schools are struggling to reach their academic goals for students, with average proficiency rates of 29% in both math and English Language Arts. In addition to the programs that Citizen Schools operates directly, its national STEM mentoring initiative, US2020, engages companies, education nonprofits, and communities with the goal of mobilizing one million mentors in science, technology, engineering, and math by 2020. In 2015-16, US2020 reached 15,000 young people across the country.

Program

In Citizen Schools’ school-based expanded day programs, a “second shift” of AmeriCorps members and volunteers provide academic support and lead real-world learning projects in a rigorous, supportive, team-based environment. The program is designed to engage high-need youth facing multiple risk factors, helping them to stay on track during the developmentally critical middle grade years.

 

●       Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships are at the heart of Citizen Schools’ program model. In apprenticeships, community volunteers called “Citizen Teachers” team with a staff or AmeriCorps member to mentor students. Over ten 90-minute weekly sessions, Citizen Teachers introduce a new field, helping students see how what they learn in school applies in the real world. Students choose four apprenticeships annually from among those offered at their school, with topics ranging from video game programming to marketing, theater, landscape architecture, music production, and law. A trained instructor provides support for each apprenticeship, ensuring that it incorporates engaging hands-on activities, develops a 21st century skill such as collaboration or innovation, and incorporates discussion about the education required for a career in the field. At the end of the apprenticeship, students demonstrate their learning at a community celebration called a WOW!. Apprenticeships are offered in two ways: as an element of Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time program (ELT) and as a stand-alone program (AppEx).

Expanded Learning Time (ELT): Citizen Schools’ ELT programs prioritize building deep partnerships with high-need schools. At ELT sites, Citizen Schools’ site directors and AmeriCorps members are in the school all day, not only leading apprenticeships but also providing academic support aligned with standards and school priorities; engaging families; and building a culture of college and career readiness through team building, field trips, and college visits. For students, Citizen Schools extends the formal school day, providing a new team of caring adults who add 30-40% more learning time.

Impact

Citizen Schools has a long-standing commitment to rigorous measurement of impact and has engaged in continuous external evaluation since 2000.

Citizen Schools’ first major external evaluation was a quasi-experimental study of its afterschool program in Boston (its only location when the study began) conducted by Policy Studies Associates. PSA matched students entering Citizen Schools with similar peers, then tracked outcome data through high school for both groups. Among the statistically significant findings, PSA reported that Citizen Schools participants were more likely than matched peers to select a college-track high school (59% vs. 28%) and more likely to persist in a college-track school for four years (31% vs. 9%); attended high school at higher rates, amounting to more than seven weeks of additional learning time over four years; and were more likely to graduate from high school within four years (71% vs. 59%).

Abt Associates recently completed a national study of Citizen Schools’ full-grade Expanded Learning Time programs. The most promising results related to student engagement and aspirations; for example, Citizen Schools participants were more likely to report that the program helps their self-esteem and pro-social behaviors and more likely to participate in activities to learn about college and careers. Student achievement trends were positive, with average gains equivalent to an additional two months of learning.

Abt is also conducting a quasi-experimental study of the implementation and impact of Citizen Schools apprenticeships in the STEM fields that will conclude in summer 2017.

 

Internally, Citizen schools also measures several dimensions of implementation fidelity and program quality as well as outcomes that are aligned with its theory of student impact, including attendance, academic growth, mastery of 21st century skills, development of social-emotional learning competencies, and alumni college enrollment, persistence, and graduation.

Growth Plan

As of summer 2016, Citizen Schools is engaged in a strategic planning process designed to produce a growth and business plan to guide the organization through the FY2018-22 period.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: 617-695-2300
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2017

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$6,206,053
Foundation Grants: 
$4,907,525
Government Funding: 
$8,066,559
Contributions from Individuals: 
$2,209,304
Special Events: 
$1,526,333
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$100,000
Other Revenue (Description): 
rental income
Total Revenue: 
$23,015,774

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$18,001,225
Occupancy: 
$1,085,145
Travel & Entertainment: 
$366,824
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$368,713
Telephone & Communications: 
$83,787
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$1,614,050
Other Expenses (Description): 

Technology $344,271.00

Depreciation & Amortization $384,106.00

Student Transportation $152,750.00

Meeting & Training Expenses $436,220.00

Promotional Materials & Advertising $63,050.00

Other $233,653.00

Bad Debt $0.00

Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$21,519,744

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$1,496,030

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$5,259,282
Foundation Grants: 
$3,507,628
Government Funding: 
$9,723,751
Contributions from Individuals: 
$2,356,992
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$178
Other Revenue: 
$47,986
Other Revenue (Description): 
rental income
Special Events: 
$1,388,297
Total Revenue: 
$22,284,114

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$21,866,903
Occupancy: 
$726,929
Travel & Entertainment: 
$395,318
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$830,036
Telephone & Communication: 
$115,126
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$1,993,106
Other Expenses (Description): 

Technology $505,524.00

Depreciation & Amortization $447,995.00

Student Transportation $177,499.00

Meeting & Training Expenses $256,455.00

Promotional Materials & Advertising $83,885.00

Other $234,908.00

Bad Debt $286,840.00

Total Expenses: 
$25,927,418

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-3,643,304

Major Funders

All Points North Foundation

Alpha Public Schools

Alum Rock Union Elementary School District

AT&T Foundation

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Brin Wojcicki Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Circle of Service Foundation

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Corporation for National & Community Service (AmeriCorps)

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

ExpandED Schools

Fidelity Investments - National
Biogen - National

Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Independent School District

John Hancock Financial Services

Lemelson Foundation

Liberty Mutual Foundation

Linde Family Foundation

Massachusetts Service Alliance

New York City Council

New York City Department of Youth and Community Development

New York State Education Department

Powell Foundation

TripAdvisor, LLC

United Way Metro Chicago

WilmerHale, LLP