On Friday, Sept. 9, 70 City Year AmeriCorps members pledged to support more than 4,000 students this year at the Opening Day Ceremony for City Year New Hampshire, an organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed.
Governor Maggie Hassan, Mayor Ted Gatsas, Manchester Chief of Police Nick Willard, and others joined City Year AmeriCorps members as they officially kicked off their year of full-time service in eight Manchester elementary schools.
Governor Hassan stated, “Providing our young people with a positive education experience is essential to the future growth of New Hampshire, and for nearly two decades, City Year New Hampshire has dedicated its efforts to ensuring that some of New Hampshire’s most at-risk and disadvantaged young people have the opportunity to learn, grow, and to lead. City Year New Hampshire has made an important impact in the lives of thousands of Granite State students.”
Comcast NBCUniversal is the national sponsor of Opening Day at 27 City Year locations across the country. A strategic partner since 2001, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided more than $87 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 3,100 diverse young leaders, serving 205,000 students in 300 high-need urban schools this year.
Kerri St. Jean, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the Northeast Division of Comcast, and Vice Chair of the City Year New Hampshire Board, joined us at the event and offered her congratulatory remarks.
“We are proud to partner with City Year to address one of the most pressing issues facing our nation: ensuring that every child has the chance to succeed,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, and City Year Board of Trustees Member. “City Year has a proven track record of keeping students in school and on the path to high school graduation, and we are pleased to share with them a commitment to public service, volunteerism, and the development of youth to become leaders in their communities.”
City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time alongside teachers, tutoring students one-on-one, providing in-class support and organizing school-wide programs to increase academic achievement and student engagement. A recent third-party study by Policy Studies Associates found that schools that partner with City Year were up to two-to-three times more likely to improve school-wide proficiency rates in English and math, when compared to students and schools that did not have the benefit of a City Year partnership. In addition, a recent national study by MDRC found that schools that partnered with Diplomas Now, a collaboration of City Year, Communities In Schools and Talent Development Secondary, significantly reduced the number of students at risk of dropping out, according to research-based early warning indicators.
This year City Year New Hampshire will celebrate its 17th year working with local students, schools and communities in New Hampshire. During the 2015-2016 school year, 75% of students in grades 3-5 tutored by City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps members met their annual growth targets in literacy, and 83% of students moved from off to on track in their socio-emotional skill development.
“Our members will work hard, very hard, bridging the opportunity gap and helping students believe in themselves and reach their full potential. We’re honored to be partnering with eight Manchester schools, which is only possible given the support of our partners, the business community and our generous sponsors, our champions, and our AmeriCorps members and their supportive families and friends,” said Pawn Nitichan, City Year New Hampshire Executive Director and Vice President.
City Year New Hampshire is made possible by a public-private partnership between corporations, philanthropic individuals, the Manchester School District, Volunteer NH, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.