City Year NH AmeriCorps members pledge to serve Manchester students

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MANCHESTER, NH – On Sept. 8, 61 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.

First Lady of New Hampshire Valerie Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, Manchester Chief of Police Nick Willard, and McDonough Elementary School Principal Ken DiBenedetto, along with other community leaders, joined City Year AmeriCorps members to officially kick-off a year of full-time service in eight Manchester elementary schools.

This year, City Year New Hampshire celebrates its 18th year working with local students, schools and communities in New Hampshire. 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 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 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. During the 2016-2017 school year, 78 percent of students in grades 3-5 tutored by City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps members met their annual growth targets in literacy, and 62 percent of students moved from off- to on-track in their socio-emotional skill development.

“As a young student, I would have benefitted from having City Year in my classroom,” Valerie Sununu said in her opening remarks.

City Year AmeriCorps members are young people, between the ages of 18-25, who dedicate a year or more to national service. 74 percent of the 2017-2018 City Year New Hampshire members have college degrees or some college courses and are racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse, as 10 different languages are spoken among them. In addition to providing academic and behavioral support to struggling students, these young people also serve as role models and mentors who closely resemble the demographics of Manchester’s student population.

“Our members are here to work alongside us, to help provide our kids with that extra needed support. This year 65 percent of City Year members came to serve here from various states across the country, the rest, came from neighboring NH communities, except for one who calls Manchester his home. These idealistic, thoughtful and kind young folks are enriching our community, and increasing our capacity to help our kids realize their fullest potential,” said City Year New Hampshire’s Executive Director and Vice President, Pawn Nitichan.

Comcast NBCUniversal is the national sponsor of Opening Day at 28 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.

“This is no small or insignificant commitment. Your work truly matters. It matters to Comcast NBCUniversal. It matters to the community. And, perhaps most importantly, it matters to the students you serve,” said Sara Dionne, Senior Director of Human Resources for Comcast NBCUniversal Northeast Region. “But this work is not without challenges, and they can be daunting. But know when you face those challenges, that all of us are in your corner.”

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.


About City Year:
City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at www.cityyear.org, City Year’s Facebook page, and on Twitter.

About Carol Robidoux 5555 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.