The nonprofit organization Citizen Schools strives to close the opportunity gap between students from vastly different economic and social backgrounds. The organization partners with middle schools to lengthen the learning day for students in low-income communities.
This week, Citizen Schools partnered with three East Harlem middle schools to begin their apprenticeship programs in STEM, arts, culture, media, marketing and law/government. The organization brings in a “second shift” of full-time, part-time and volunteer educators from a variety of companies to provide academic and career support. The three East Harlem schools that will participate are Global Technology Preparatory, Issac Newton Middle School and Renaissance School of the Arts.
Citizen Schools offers 38 apprenticeships over a 10-week period, which, for these three Harlem schools, started the first Monday in March.
The classes that are offered include “Travel Guides,” with Alliance Bernstein at Global Technology Prep; “Lego Robotics,” with Google; “Cartooning,” with Creative Art Works at Isaac Newton Middle School; and “Invisible World,” with NYU School of Medicine at Renaissance School of the Arts.
Katherine Mot, executive director of Citizen Schools New York-New Jersey, commented on the success of the program, saying, “We’ve seen year after year that the key to student interest is firsthand experience … Apprenticeships help transform science, technology, engineering and math from abstract to tangible concepts for our students, which make a difference in their long-term success.”
The program will run until May, when students will make presentations based on the culmination of the apprenticeship experiences to their teachers, volunteers, families and friends.