Above, City Year Los Angeles marks 10 years of service in Los Angeles schools during its annual Opening Day celebration, when 288 AmeriCorps members were sworn in.
City Year Los Angeles, an education-based non-profit, last week marked a decade of service in Los Angeles as state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León swore in 288 AmeriCorps members, the largest City Year corps in the nation.
“City Year is a transformational program that not only serves students with the highest need, but harnesses the power of public service on a national level to create a leadership pipeline for our youth,” said de León. “I am honored to swear in the 10th City Year Los Angeles corps to serve in our nation’s second-largest school district. Their proven track record of success is a testament to their commitment and passion for ending the dropout crisis.”
School Board President Steve Zimmer also participated in Opening Day, lauding City Year as a strong District partner.
“Their AmeriCorps members bring an added layer of support for students who are off track and can benefit from having a young adult in the classroom, engaging them and offering further academic and emotional support to get back on track to graduation,” he said. “We are grateful for their 10 years of service to the children of Los Angeles and look forward to many years of continued collaboration and growth.”
City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time alongside teachers in high-need schools, providing one-on-one assistance, in-class support and organizing school-wide programs. They have a statistically proven track record for helping students achieve academic success and getting them on track to graduate. This school year, City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps members will support more than 27,000 students with whole-school initiatives in 28 Los Angeles Unified schools in Watts, South L.A., Boyle Heights and Pico Union/Westlake.
Last school year, more than a third of students who were failing or in danger of failing ended with a passing grade or better after working with a City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member. Furthermore, students who worked closely and consistently with City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps members also gained an average of more than three weeks of additional instructional time per school year.
Over the past decade, City Year Los Angeles has mobilized more than 1,890 AmeriCorps members, directly served more than 22,500 students with intensive interventions and 120,000 students with whole school initiatives to ensure that students stay in school and graduate.
“The students we serve are our greatest priority, and ensuring their academic success is our ultimate goal,” said Mary Jane Stevenson, executive director of City Year Los Angeles. “By building meaningful relationships in and out of the classroom, our AmeriCorps members are positively impacting the lives of students, which has the potential to change a school and ultimately the communities we serve. We are honored to serve the students of Los Angeles for the past decade and are grateful to our school partners, city leaders, business community and our generous sponsors, for helping to make this work possible.”
A recent third-party study by Policy Studies Associates found that schools that partner with City Year were up to two-to-three times more likely to improve school-wide proficiency rates in English and math, when compared to students and schools that did not have the benefit of a City Year partnership. In addition, a recent national study by MDRC found that schools that partnered with Diplomas Now, a collaboration of City Year, Communities In Schools and Talent Development, significantly reduced the number of students at risk of dropping out, according to research-based early warning indicators.
Comcast NBCUniversal is the national sponsor of Opening Day at 28 City Year locations across the country. Representing Comcast NBCUniversal at Opening Day was Fred Maahs, Senior Director, National Community Partnerships and Vice President, Comcast Foundation Comcast. A strategic partner since 2001, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided more than $87 million in cash and in-kind support to City Year.
City Year Los Angeles is made possible by public-private partnerships between corporations, foundations, philanthropic individuals, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the CaliforniaVolunteers, AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. City Year Los Angeles’ Opening Day is also supported by AEG.