City Year Opening Day Kick-Off
United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) is partnering with City Year Washington, DC – a United Way NCA member nonprofit organization – to help improve the graduation rates in our community. As a sponsor of the team of City Year corps members at Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast DC, United Way is backing a team with a winning track record of success in promoting education achievement.
City Year is focused on fighting the dropout crisis by leveraging the talent, energy and idealism of near-peer corps members (youth aged 17-24) to serve as tutors, mentors and role models. City Year’s unique model deploys teams of 8-12 well-trained young people to high schools with a high number of dropouts, as well as to the elementary and middle schools that “feed” these high schools. In this model, corps members are a resource for at-risk students throughout their K-12 school careers; contributing to a positive school climate and developing service projects to engage and improve the communities around the schools.
The corps members help students succeed by focusing on the ABCs of academic achievement: attendance, behavior and course performance in math and English. Locally, City Year has had a significant impact on each of these measures:
- 83% decrease in number of students with off-track attendance
- 38% decrease in number of students with multiple behavior incidents
- 93% of students who received literacy tutoring improved their DIBELS scores
- 18% decrease in number of students failing English; 9% decrease for math
- 90% of teachers agreed that corps members provided essential academic supports that students would not have otherwise received
On Friday, September 7th City Year kicked off the new school year with their inspirational Opening Day celebration at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. United Way staff members came out to cheer our team, who were among 164 young volunteers from around the country. The Corps members got the crowd of parents, sponsors and supporters on their feet as they demonstrated their physical training techniques that help build spirit, discipline, purpose and pride. It was immediately clear that these were the right people, with the right energy, to get the job done.
The event featured a variety of speakers including Patricia Evans, Executive Director of Serve DC, Jackie Bradford, President and General Manager of NBC4, and BB Otero, Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services for the District of Columbia. Otero issued a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Gray officially marking September 7 as "City Year Day."
United Way NCA will continue to engage and support our team at Kelly Miller Middle School and provide updates on their progress as they work to promote education success in Washington, DC.
Click here to read a success story from City Year.