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City Year Announces Partnership with Department of Education and White House

Joins My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative to Address Chronic Absenteeism

BOSTON, MA – Feb. 23, 2016 - Representing 3,000 AmeriCorps members who currently support nearly 200,000 students in 292 of our country’s highest need schools, City Year today announced its partnership in the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Success Mentors Initiative which is aimed at reducing chronic absenteeism and improving outcomes for young people, particularly in high need communities.

The MBK Success Mentors Initiative is a partnership of the United States Education Department, the White House, The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, the Corporation for National and Community Service, MENTOR, Attendance Works, United Way, the Ad Council, Mott Foundation, Diplomas Now and City Year. The Initiative seeks to promote school-based mentorship as a solution to chronic absenteeism, which is defined as missing at least 10% of school per year, or the equivalent of a month of school.

“We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking effort to ensure that all students are engaged in school and ready to learn,” said Jim Balfanz, City Year President. “Our AmeriCorps members show up for students every day, partnering with teachers so that all students can meet their potential.”

Chronic absenteeism is an early warning sign for students that are likely to drop out of high school— a devastating outcome for young people and communities. City Year’s data driven approach is designed to ensure that students at risk of falling off-track and not making it to graduation have additional academic and social-emotional supports, anchored in a productive relationship with a caring “near peer” mentor. City Year AmeriCorps members currently are in school every day to help students feel empowered and committed to their academic goals, celebrate successes and provide research-based academic and behavioral supports to help students. City Year’s efforts have been found to help improve a number of critical metrics including reducing chronic absenteeism and helping schools improve performance on state standardized tests.

“Reducing chronic absenteeism is one of my top priorities. We are mobilizing our partners to help us get our students in school, on time, for the entire day,” said Chris Maher, Interim Superintendent of Providence Public Schools. “As a national leader in this work, City Year has been a critical partner in this effort."

“The White House and the Department of Education are bringing more resources and attention to a critical national issue. We are grateful to be part of this innovative partnership that recognizes the unique role that national service can play in helping students and schools succeed," said City Year CEO and Co-Founder Michael Brown.

City Year partners with schools in 27 cities nationwide, including in nine of the ten cities participating in the My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative (Boston, Columbus, Denver, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, San Antonio and Seattle).

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 recent third party study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to 2-3 times more likely to improve on Math and English assessments. 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 City Year’s Facebook page, and on Twitter.

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