As I continue to examine how community writing is supported in urban contexts, I cannot believe I didn’t think to include to City Year. City Year is a program run through AmeriCorps, which gets involved in high-poverty communities to give support in schools. I recently learned about City Year and thought it would be an interesting opportunity to look into post-graduation.
City Year recognizes the problem of a gap between what schools are designed to do and what students actually need. There are many external factors in under-privledged communities that are stopping students from reaching their full potential. While most schools in America are designed to provide extra support to only 15% of students, 50% or more students in these high-poverty communities need that much support, either academically, socially, or emotionally. This makes for HUGE dropout rates.
AmeriCorps members are placed in the classrooms of these schools that are the most at-risk, and provide help to the teachers. They also help create a positive and encouraging atmosphere within the school, as well as lead tutoring sessions and after school activities.
The positive impact is shown through the results:
I would love to look further into specific methods for improving literacy within these classrooms. This is a perfect example of helping to improve literacy in some very at-risk, high-poverty communities. I am very interested in becoming a City Year member in my future!