2015-09-24

City Year New Hampshire Kicked Off their Year
of Service in Two Additional High Need Schools

70 City Year AmeriCorps members will serve in 8 Manchester schools to help students stay in school
and on track to graduate high school, ready for college and career success

Manchester, NH, September 19th - 70 City Year AmeriCorps members, 20 more than last year, pledged to make a difference in the lives of more than 4,000 students in Manchester schools. City Year New Hampshire is an education-focused national service organization dedicated to helping students get back on track to graduate, ready for college and career. Similar Opening Day events are taking place this fall across City Year’s national network as 3,000 AmeriCorps members –the organization’s largest corps, to date--begin their year of service in 27 U.S. cities, serving 195,000 students in nearly 300 high-need schools.

The Opening Day event at Southside Middle School engaged over 200 participants including family of our corps members from all over the US, community leaders, teachers and champions. Inspiring remarks were made by important community leaders including, Major General (Ret.) Ken Clark, Mayor Ted Gatsas, and Superintendent Debra Livingston. The ceremony was highlighted by each AmeriCorps member’s “I Serve Statement”, a reason why each member choose to give a year of their lives to serve our community. The members also took a public pledge to serve our community and country to the best of their abilities.

Prepared remarks were shared by Senator Jeanne Shaheen who said “City Year’s devotion to the children of our state and our country is essential for a brighter future for all of those involved…” Added, Senator Kelly Ayotte “Your choice to serve your community, your country, and your fellow Americans embodies the greatest notion of living a life greater than yourself.” 

“These kids are missing out on thousands of opportunities in their short lives. It really is a crisis and we must come together to help bridge this terrible opportunity gap. And this is where our City Year AmeriCorps members come in.” said Pawn Nitichan, Executive Director and Vice President of City Year New Hampshire.

Comcast NBCUniversal is the national sponsor of Opening Day at all 27 City Year locations nationwide.  A dedicated partner since 2001, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided more than $85 million in cash and in-kind support to City Year. During that time, City Year has grown from nearly 700 City Year AmeriCorps members to a corps of 3,000 diverse young leaders.

“This year will be an incredible year of learning and development for Manchester’s children,” said Kerri St. Jean, Senior Vice President of Human Resources of the Northeast Division at Comcast NBCUniversal and City Year New Hampshire Board Member. St. Jean’s sentiment was one that was echoed throughout the ceremony. Principal Shelly Larochelle of Northwest Elementary School, one of City Year’s two new schools this year, said, “What stands out already with the Northwest City Year Team is their deep sense of commitment and understanding of how they can make a difference in a child’s life…Northwest is so lucky to be working with such an amazing group of City Year AmeriCorps members.”


Northwest Elementary Team with their Principal Shelly Larochelle

Following the ceremony, City Year AmeriCorps members and community participants engaged in painting projects throughout the school and celebrated with a community cookout.

Nationwide, City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools, providing students with tutoring and in-class support, extended day programs, as well as organizing school-wide initiatives to increase academic achievement and student engagement. A recent third-party study by Policy Studies Associates found that schools that partner with City Year are two to three times more likely to improve on state student assessments in English and math compared to similar schools. It also found that City Year partner schools gain the equivalent of one month of additional learning each year.

City Year New Hampshire is made possible by a public-private partnership between corporations, philanthropic individuals and key supporters such as AmeriCorps, Volunteer New Hampshire, Comcast NBCUniversal, the Manchester School District, RiverStone, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Lincoln Financial, Cityside, Lois G. Roy Dickerman Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Granite United Way, and many more.

Wish to view more photos of our event? Check out our Flickr page here.

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