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FAQs: parents, guardians & caregivers

Learn more about the City Year service experience with our frequently asked questions for parents, guardians and caregivers.

We want to extend a big congratulations to our newly accepted City Year AmeriCorps members for our upcoming service year beginning summer 2021! During this exciting time, we know there must be several questions running through your mind as our incoming City Year AmeriCorps members prepare for this opportunity.

After applying and accepting an offer to serve with City Year, there a few more steps to complete before the service year begins:

  • Preparing for service,
  • Relocating if applicable
  • Attending registration day

After accepting their invitations to serve, all incoming AmeriCorps members will receive a series of invitations to join informal webinars with critical information specific to service at their given location where they will learn more about each phase of their journey to starting service such as a welcome to their city, information about securing housing and registration day details.

Our team of service year advisers are here to support our young people every step of the way as they prepare for service. We highly recommend that our incoming AmeriCorps members be the main point of contact with their service year adviser. Any questions you have as a parent, guardian or care giver should be raised to our service year advisers directly through our incoming AmeriCorps members. In the meantime, please review our most frequently asked questions below.

What housing/relocation support will my child receive?

Our dedicated team of service year advisers are here to support incoming City Year AmeriCorps members every step of the way as they prepare for the start of service. For city-based information around when to start looking for housing, resources for finding housing and roommates (it’s very common for City Year AmeriCorps members to live together as roommates) and recommendations around where to look for housing, please visit the pre-service engagement portal housing page which can be shared by service year advisers if it hasn’t already been shared.

All incoming City Year AmeriCorps members who are relocating 50 miles or more for service can receive a $500 (pre-tax) one-time relocation payment. In order to be eligible for this benefit, they must have relocated at least 50 miles to start service and be accepted, confirmed and have started service.

If an incoming City Year AmeriCorps member is 17 years old when they start service and is looking to sign an apartment lease, they will need to sign their lease with a co-signer over the age of 18 years old. If available, we recommend looking into apartments that typically rent to college students because it’s more common for them to rent to younger folks, and they may be able to have an individual lease from roommates.

What do social outings look like for those under 21? Are there others in that age group that they will be able to hang out with while in the city?

Typically, City Year AmeriCorps members live together as roommates during their year of service. We highly recommend that City Year AmeriCorps members live with roommates during their service year (whether with fellow City Year AmeriCorps members or others) to cut down on expenses and build community. Each of our City Year locations are in cities filled with young people, packed with history and culture to explore and have lively sporting events, expansive parks and outdoor spaces and so much more!

Will my child be able to come home for holidays?

Yes! In general, City Year AmeriCorps members can anticipate having a break of approximately two weeks around late December to early January. Additionally, City Year recognizes the following 11 holidays as days off:

  • Labor Day
  • Veterans or Indigenous Peoples’ Day (holiday chosen by local City Year site leadership)
  • Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth

Every AmeriCorps member can request up to 12 days of pre-planned time off. This time can be used as needed for personal reasons such as sick days, doctor’s appointments, religious observance and grad school or job interviews. Use of these days must be approved by the AmeriCorps member’s direct manager ahead of time.

City Year AmeriCorps members will have training and professional development days during their schools’ spring break period, which will be facilitated by City Year staff.

Are we allowed to visit them while they are in service? Can family members join service days?

Over the course of the service year, there are several opportunities to get involved in events at local City Year sites. Across all our locations, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service events are the largest of the year. Additionally, all City Year locations will have other service events with volunteer opportunities throughout the year. We encourage you to check out the events section the website for the City Year location where you would like to volunteer.

What type of professional development will they receive?

Throughout the year, City Year AmeriCorps members will receive extensive professional development.

City Year AmeriCorps members have a whole team of staff available to support their learning and development. Although a senior member of their team and their manager will be the staff they work with most closely, they will also receive support from a team focused on helping them feel confident and competent in serving students and reflecting on their own growth.

Basic Training Academy

The first four weeks of service are an intensive training and community building time called Basic Training Academy. Although skills for tutoring and service students are important, they only work when built upon a strong foundation, and the relationships they develop with their peers and teams are critical for delivering the best possible service to students.

For that reason, Basic Training Academy is focused on 1) building community, 2) learning the theory behind our service model and the work you do with students, and 3) the very basics of building relationships students and in schools.

Learning & development days

Once the foundation is built, we will slowly begin providing training in more specific student support and tutoring skills. This more specific training starts around the fifth week of service.

Observations, coaching, feedback, formal performance conversations

In order to support our AmeriCorps members in developing their service skills, their Impact Manager will occasionally observe them in action with their students. Afterwards, they will provide a space for them to think critically about their service and ways that they would like to improve. They will provide AmeriCorps members with feedback and resources to support their growth.

Career services and networking opportunities

Throughout the service year, there will be many opportunities to consider and plan for next steps after City Year. These include:

  • Career Planning conversations with managers
  • Networking events
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Connections to our corporate partners
  • Training in career topics (resumes, cover letter, interviewing, etc.)

What supports will City Year AmeriCorps members have while in the classroom?

At the start of the service year, every City Year AmeriCorps member is assigned to a school team. From there, each member of the school team is assigned to a specific classroom where they will partner with the classroom teacher. AmeriCorps members will work alongside their partner teacher in the classroom every day. In addition to working closely with a partner teacher and receiving ongoing tutoring and social-emotional learning training, City Year AmeriCorps members will collaborate with the senior member of their team and their manager in school every day.

Learn more about service with City Year

Looking to learn more about a year of national service with City Year AmeriCorps? Contact us today.

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