City Year Kicks-Off Program To Support Students In Five High-Need Dallas Public Schools
City Year, the education-focused national service organization that helps students and schools succeed, today announced the launch of a leading-edge program to build the academic and social-emotional success of students in five high-need Dallas public schools. The program is a partnership with the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and was piloted in two Dallas ISD schools earlier this year. City Year is dedicated to keeping students on track to graduate high school and currently operates in nearly 300 schools in 27 cities around the country serving 195,000 students.
In her remarks to the Inaugural Opening Day of City Year Dallas, Margaret Spellings, the Former U.S. Education Secretary and now President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, said, "You all recognize that what students need most is someone who cares about educating them to high standards, with high expectations. Someone who won't give up on them. Students will aim high if they know someone believes in them. That's why City Year is focused on helping every child reach his or her potential, especially in high-poverty communities where students need the most support."
Forty-nine City Year Dallas AmeriCorps members will support more than 5,000 students at Roosevelt High School, H. Grady Spruce High School, E.B. Comstock Middle School, Francisco "Pancho" Medrano Middle School and O.W. Holmes Middle School. City Year deploys diverse teams of highly trained AmeriCorps members to work full-time in schools, where they tutor students one-on-one, provide in-class support, and organize school-wide programs to increase student academic achievement and engagement.
City Year's Whole School Whole Child Model Yields Results
"City Year represents a unique opportunity to bring a powerful and proven program to support the needs of students most at risk within the Dallas Independent School District," said Mark Rohr, CEO, Celanese Corporation and Board Chair of City Year Dallas. "With City Year's support we're confident our regional programs focused on improving educational opportunities and building college and career readiness for those most in need will be greatly improved."
A recent national study conducted by Policy Studies Associates found that schools that partner with City Year were two-to-three times more likely to improve school-wide proficiency rates in English and math, and gain approximately one month of additional English and math learning, when compared to students in similar schools that did not have the benefit of a City Year partnership.
Last school year, the City Year Dallas pilot program had 20 City Year AmeriCorps members serving 600 Roosevelt High School students and 1,400 H. Grady Spruce High School students. Said Brian Lusk, Executive Director of the Spruce Feeder Pattern, Dallas ISD, "I really appreciate the support City Year provides in cultivating school climate and culture for our students and staff. It empowers both students and staff to achieve. Thanks to City Year Dallas, I believe we will continue to see our student achievement move in a positive direction."
Cross-Sector Community and Business Leaders Champion City Year
"City Year is grateful to our partner, the Dallas Independent School District, and the remarkable cross-sector group of community and business leaders who worked so hard to make City Year Dallas possible," said Michael Brown, CEO and Co-Founder, City Year. "We look forward to working collaboratively with them to help the students of Dallas stay in school and on track to graduate ready for college and career."
City Year Dallas was made possible through the support of City Year National Leadership Sponsors Celanese and AT&T, as well as United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The Meadows Foundation, the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, and the Mark and Rachel Rohr Foundation. The Celanese Foundation, AT&T, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas will also sponsor the AmeriCorps teams at Roosevelt High School (Celanese), H. Grady Spruce High School (AT&T), and E.B. Comstock Middle School (United Way), as part of the City Year Team Sponsorship program.
Among the many community and business leaders who have championed City Year Dallas are its Founding Board Members: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas President and CEO Jennifer Sampson; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; Dallas City Council Member Adam Medrano; and civic leaders Pam Gerber and Charles Glover.
"By aligning ourselves with partners like City Year, our collective impact is much stronger, and has more potential to advance the lives of thousands of young people," said Jennifer Sampson. "It is partnerships like these that drive real change in communities. We believe City Year Dallas could be a true home run."
Mayor Mike Rawlings stated, "I am impressed with City Year's track record of results across the country and think it is the right time to bring an established, scalable national service model to Dallas. Through City Year, we have the ability to close the achievement gap and help our students and schools succeed."
Councilman Adam Medrano also commented: "As a current City Council Member and former School Board President, I have a strong commitment to the students of Dallas. Based on what I've seen, I can think of no stronger partner for our lowest performing schools than City Year."
Dallas Native Leads City Year Dallas Team
"It has been heartening to see the communities in Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, and the Bachman Lake area welcome City Year Dallas AmeriCorps members with open arms," said Alex Enriquez, City Year Dallas Executive Director and Vice President, a graduate of Dallas ISD schools (Bryan Adams), who served with City Year Washington, DC before returning to Texas. "It is a great honor to help bring this amazing organization to Dallas, my hometown, and to lead our corps members as they provide excellent service day in and day out."
Today's launch event included the site's Opening Day ceremony, when City Year Dallas AmeriCorps members recited the City Year and AmeriCorps pledges to publicly show their commitment to the communities they serve and officially kick off their year of national service. Opening Days are held at all 27 City Year sites and are sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, City Year's national Opening Day sponsor. A dedicated partner since 2001, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided more than $85 million in cash and in-kind support to City Year. Aramark serves as City Year's national uniform partner and outfits the more than 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members and staff across the country, which includes the iconic red and yellow City Year jackets. A City Year national leadership partner for nearly eight years, Aramark is working to create innovative solutions for corporate service and community impact.
About City Year
City Year is an education-focused national service organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. City Year partners with public schools in 27 urban, high-poverty communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and Johannesburg, South Africa. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide support, to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, school district partnerships, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at www.cityyear.org, City Year's Facebook page, and on Twitter.