Are all schools equal? Do all children receive the same quality and quantity of education and enrichment activities? Do all communities across America provide the same resources to their students to help them achieve their goals?
Of course not! While this may be the ideal we strive for, there is, nonetheless, an opportunity gap in education. In particular, students from upper-income families spend over 300 more hours each year with adults than students from lower-income families. They also benefit from almost $8,000 worth of enrichment activities (statistics compliments of Citizen Schools).
Citizen Schools, an organization based in Boston as well as in six other states, works to eliminate this opportunity gap by providing students with Expanded Learning Time (ELT). The organization extends the learning day by connecting students who are eager to learn with adults who are dedicated to teaching. Sounds like a perfect match to me!
Last week Citizen Schools brought together over 200 educators and district leaders from seven states for its annual ELT Partnership Summit. The two-day conference, part of which was held at our NERD center for the second year in a row, featured a variety of workshops, guest speakers, and a keynote address by Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. We were also excited to hear that Citizen Schools staff and volunteers in STEM fields also joined the conversation to share how real-world STEM experts fit into the ELT model.