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Citizen Schools

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Youth Development - Business, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: Citizen Schools partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country.

We mobilize a second shift of afternoon educators, who provide academic support, leadership development, and "apprenticeships"—hands-on projects taught by volunteers from business and civic organizations. At Citizen Schools, students develop the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.


Citizen Schools was founded in 1995 to educate youth, strengthen communitites and bring new solutions to the challenge of young adult education. Citizen Schools uses the out-of-school hours (80% of a child's waking hours) and a high quality apprenticeship learning model to change life trajectories for low-income, middle school children.

In 2009, Citizen Schools operated at forty-four sites, serving almost 5,000 low-income students in twenty school districts across seven states and engaged approximately 4,000 volunteers.

Students are enrolled for the entire school year and participate in an integrated program of skill-building, leadership, and teamwork. Citizen Schools works with students intensively and consistently to build students' academic skills and expand their opportunities.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 CitizenJoe


Rating: 5

Together with two friends, I taught US government, campaigns and elections last fall at Elmhurst Community Prep in Oakland. The Teaching Fellow assigned to us helped prepare a semester-long scope and sequence for our class, and helped manage our group of great middle school kids. As a first-time teacher, this was a great help. The students were very engaged and excited, and we culminated the semester with a mock election for Congress. I've always wanted to teach and this was a great way to do it!



Rating: 5

My lawfirm is a corporate sponsor of Citizen Schools. Being involved in their program makes my company a nicer place to work. It brings employees together for an event we can all feel good about and it gets us out working in the community, meeting great people and great kids who we otherwise wouldn't know.



Rating: 5

I became involved in Citizen Schools as an apprenticeship teacher after participating in their 6 Degrees event, which was promoted through my workplace, Cisco. I decided to become involved as an apprenticeship teacher. I taught the Campbell Creative Crew class where student learned about advertising and the skills needed to create an ad campaign resulting in their own campaign development. The apprenticeship program is a place to teach what you love to students who require and desire knowledge on how they can become anything they want to be if they stay in school and go to college. The Citizen School staff at Campbell Middle School run a tight ship - keeping students inline, engaged and aware of their own brilliance. I have a long history of volunteering, fundraising and board membership with nonprofilts supporting children over the years. Citizen Schools currently has my attention and commitment - both heart and soul. I am excited to start my 2nd semester of the Campbell Creative Crew apprenticeship this week.

Jalessa B.


Rating: 4

Last winter I had the opportunity to participate in a shadowing experience (externship) in Oakland, CA and was very impressed with the students respect for the staff and the staff's ability to create an environment where authority figures worked for the students and not for the school. They catered their program to fit the needs of the students at their school and the students showed them a lot of respect.