Columbia, SC — As Congress considers plans to eliminate AmeriCorps, City Year, Teach for America and other national service programs are providing urban and rural S.C. school districts with cost-effective human capital solutions.
If our state’s graduation stats represented rushing touchdowns or points scored, the fans would revolt. AmeriCorps allows City Year to get in the game and provide the right support at the right time.
City Year corps members commit to an 11-hour workday in Columbia and Swansea for a $12,000 annual stipend. We are not taking jobs away from licensed educators or eliminating the critical role of parents and families. City Year is part of the support team, like the strength and fitness assistant coach brought in to improve literacy and math skills. Nobody is asking for a handout.
School districts invest because they need a variety of affordable solutions to achieve academic improvements. Corporate partners, foundations and individuals invest because they know if we want a champion league education system in South Carolina, everyone has got to have skin in the game. City Year helps fill the gap with a research-driven strategy proven to keep more students in school and on track.
Each morning, 24 City Year members offer power greetings to students and staff as they enter the school. They know how to spot and respond to critical early warning signs that a student is at risk of dropping out — the ABCs of poor attendance, behavior and course performance. Like the most devoted fan, we never miss an opportunity to cheer for the students as they get off the bus at Hyatt Park, C.A. Johnson, W.A. Perry, Gibbes and Sandhills Elementary School.
City Year is passionate about our role as the premier nonprofit pep squad for student success. Corps members serve as “near peers,” and inspire students to set high expectations and work hard to achieve their full potential; 75 percent of sixth-ninth graders we tutor improve at least one letter grade.
We will not sit quietly in the stands while education takes a beatdown. As Congress looks for savings, it should not look at AmeriCorps. Any good sports fan will tell you, you don’t throw out one of the best plays at the most critical moment in the game.
Executive Director and Vice President
City Year Columbia