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Update: City Year Jacksonville’s response to Covid-19

Dear City Year Jacksonville Community,

The safety and well-being of the City Year community—our AmeriCorps members, students, staff members, partners and the broader communities we serve — is always our top priority. Our primary focus remains keeping our people safe, healthy and supported in the coming weeks. We are taking advice from local and national leaders by ceasing physical service until our organization and Duval County Public Schools deems it responsible.

We are doing this in the following ways as of Thursday, March 19th:

  • We have been closely monitoring information about the COVID-19 virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our health department.
  • Our national City Year team has formed a COVID-19 Response Team.
  • We’ve made the decision to postpone or cancel many of our upcoming events – further information to come on this.
  • Additionally, we’re working closely with our partner, Duval County Public Schools, to ensure that our AmeriCorps members and students are safe and well.
  • We will continue to pay our AmeriCorps members during this time and provide resources for them as they continue to earn service hours remotely. The City Year COVID-19 Response Team is requesting flexibility from the Corporation for National and Community Service on AmeriCorps member hours, stipend and benefits.
  • We will not be taking requests for volunteers as of right now, our current policy is to keep our AmeriCorps members and staff at home for the safety of all.
  • Our whole corps will be working remotely with their teams. Learning and professional development is always important during this point in the service year and this remote time will allow AmeriCorps members to both serve and continue learning. We will be working to ensure everyone on our teams has access to internet and technology to stay connected.
  • Virtual learning for our students will begin Monday through Duval HomeRoom. If you have students at home please be sure to take this survey to help DCPS understand technology needs. City Year’s role in virtual learning has not been determined as of yet.

In moments like this, I hope you will remember that a crisis of this magnitude has a disproportionate impact on the families who experience food and job insecurity and live in some of the most vulnerable and systematically under-resourced communities. Now more than ever, City Year is steadfastly committed to our work supporting thousands of students in Jacksonville. Our AmeriCorps members are part of a network of caring adults in Duval County schools who are dedicated to helping students cultivate essential social, emotional and academic skills that are important for success in school and in life.

How can you support:

  • We want to extend our appreciation to our AmeriCorps members for their tireless service to the students of Jacksonville.  Email a note or photo of gratitude to Rebecca Berentsen at rberentsen@cityyear.org that will be shared with the corps and on Social Media.
  • We are grateful for financial contributions to help us provide emergency resources to our AmeriCorps members during school closures and to fill the funding gap that will result from postponed or canceled fundraising events.

We know this is a concerning time and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. I will keep you posted on new developments and any additional ways that we can continue to come together to support our city’s youth.
If you have further questions or concerns in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to: Tom Caron, Managing Director of Development.

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