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Celanese and City Year Partnership Help Dallas Students Succeed

The Celanese Foundation is proud to partner with City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization, to bring to Dallas a proven national educational program to improve educational outcomes for at-risk students.

Established in Boston in 1988, City Year partners with public schools in 25 high-poverty urban communities to help students graduate from high school ready for college. City Year’s diverse teams of AmeriCorps members serve full-time in the highest need elementary, middle and high schools, where they directly support student engagement and academic achievement in and outside of the classroom. Corps members provide one-on-one and group tutoring to improve literacy and math skills, and work to promote a positive school climate by hosting a variety of evening and weekend events designed to engage students, their families, the school community and the local community.

Dramatically Improving America’s High School Graduation Pipeline

The City Year corps, now exceeding 2,800, provides one-on-one support for students, supports teachers in their classrooms, and leads before and after-school programs and schoolwide initiatives to improve student academic achievement and school culture.

To respond to the challenges facing public education, City Year’s AmeriCorps members work in schools full-time providing academic support and after-school programming. The objectives of the program include improving attendance, student behavior, and course performance in English and mathematics. Reaching high-risk students and addressing the early warning signs of risk can make the difference between whether or not a student makes it graduation.

Making Better Happen in Dallas

City Year believes that education has the power to help every child reach his or her potential. However, in high-poverty communities there are external factors and obstacles students are faced with every day that can interfere with their ability to get to school ready to learn.

City Year will begin supporting students in Dallas for the first time during 2015. A group of Texans committed to education – leaders from corporations and foundations, city government, and Dallas Independent School District (DISD) – helped make City Year Dallas a reality, and the Celanese Foundation has been a critical founding partner from day one.

City Year’s most unique asset is its AmeriCorps members. Young adults, ages 18-24, engage in a year of demanding service to help students succeed in school and stay on track to high school graduation.

The Celanese Foundation is sponsoring a team of City Year AmeriCorps members at Roosevelt High School in East Oak Cliff, a struggling district south of downtown Dallas on the edge of transformation.

City Year’s Team Sponsor Program provides a unique opportunity for partners to engage with our AmeriCorps members. Through the program, the Celanese Foundation and Celanese employees will partner with the 10 AmeriCorps members serving at Roosevelt High School to make an impact in the Dallas community by investing time, resources, and talent. This sponsorship also entails contributions to the individual leadership and professional development of the AmeriCorps members through programming, participation in high-impact service projects, and helping transform schools.

During 2015, City Year corps members will have traveled from across the nation to call Dallas their home for the next few months. The idealistic young Americans provide individualized support to at-risk students, while also establishing an overall positive learning environment in schools that need us the most. It’s their dedication and hard work that’s helping students reach their full potential, while also having a positive effect on the community as a whole.

City Year Dallas is deploying 20 highly skilled corps members to serve in two high schools as part of a pilot. Together, this team is positively influencing close to 2,000 students. When the City Year Dallas program officially launches the following year, 50 corps members will be serving in five high-need schools operated by DISD.

The Dallas Potential

The Dallas, Texas, metropolitan area is the ninth largest city in the United States, and one of the three largest in Texas. City Year Dallas will partner with the DISD to address the needs of students and ensure that they are college and career ready. DISD serves more than 157,000 students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade, in 220 schools. While DISD has a relatively high graduation rate, only 14 percent of its students graduate ready for college. The majority of students served by DISD are from minority populations – 70 percent Hispanic, 23 percent African American – and 89 percent are economically disadvantaged.

City Year has local support from Dallas’ leaders who believe that City Year corps members can significantly help students to meet their potential. During the last year, City Year has worked with local champions to integrate City Year into the Dallas community and secure necessary financial support. During the startup year, City Year will serve in two schools with some of the greatest need in the city.

Get to Know City Year

City Year was founded on the premise that corporate and nonprofit partnerships can and will create stronger communities and a better future. The foundations that work with City Year recognize the importance of social change and value the impact that can be made when a student reaches his or her full potential. This mission aligns with the Celanese Foundation’s commitment to improving fundamental educational outcomes for students.

Watch this video that highlights the inspiring work that City Year’s young leaders are doing to ensure that students in the highest need schools have the supports they need to reach their potential in school and beyond.

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Twitter: @CityYearDallas

Instagram: @CityYearDallas

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