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Innovation open to all: Citizen Schools in the Innovation District

Posted by Devin Cole  March 26, 2012 11:43 AM

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citizen-schools-logo.gifStartups in the Innovation District (ID) have received their fair share of coverage recently, but they're not alone as innovators. Non-profits have taken the innovation mantle and produced remarkable results.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending an executive briefing for Citizen Schools at Fidelity Investments in the ID. Speakers included representatives from Fidelity and Google, middle school principals from Boston, the CEO, alumni and staff of Citizen Schools. I was impressed with what this organization is doing to develop the potential in middle school students to nurture a love of learning that will inspire them to succeed in high school, college, work, and civic life.

Citizen Schools partners with middle schools to extend the learning day for children in low-income communities. Its staff and volunteers partner with public schools to boost student achievement, help schools reach their full potential, and to re-imagine education in America. Their model is proving itself and they have expanded to 6 other states. Heavyweights such as Google, Bank of America, and Fidelity fund the organization and Citizen Schools has gained tremendous momentum through this support.

Whether you are a newcomer or from the area, there are numerous ways to volunteer and help grow these programs, including volunteer teaching in the afternoon hours, sponsoring a team, promoting leadership opportunities and more.

Eric Schwarz, cofounder and CEO of Citizen Schools said:

"Citizen Schools makes it possible for people from all walks of life to get in the classroom and teach what they know and love. Our staff people work with thousands of volunteers each year, including individual volunteers with a passion that they want to share and groups of employees from companies like Fidelity, Bank of America, Cognizant, and Google that support our work here in Boston and across the country. "

Sheila Cavanuagh, Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investments shared:

"Fidelity believes in the transformative power of Citizen Schools' extending learning time model to improve the academic trajectory of the students it serves. For more than ten years, we have proudly and successfully partnered with Citizen Schools to help ensure that the students we mentor, as well as those we sponsor through the 8th Grade Academy, graduate from high school and are well-prepared for college or a career. The ongoing commitment of Fidelity's employees as Citizen teachers, combined with the support of a superb team of Citizen School leaders, is a great example of how business can enhance educational outcomes and invigorate progress at the grassroots level."

Here are two special short videos that highlight work with volunteers:

Roy Fralin, Fidelity volunteer:

Cheryl Desjardin, Fidelity volunteer:

This is an important slice of how Boston is growing our students and our city.

Cheryl Meyerson is founder of new city, INC which helps companies, non profits and individuals transition into the greater Boston area. Check out new city, INC's blog the bean.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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