City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization that helps students to stay in school and on track to graduation, announced that it will standardize and scale its after-school middle school program with the support of a three-year $2.5 million grant from New York Life Foundation.
“We are grateful and proud to welcome New York Life as City Year’s newest national partner,” said Michael Brown, CEO and co-founder of City Year. “With help from this partnership, we can scale up our innovative after-school program to impact as many as 150,000 middle school students, providing kids with academic support and skill-building enrichment activities.”
“City Year’s mission and the New York Life Foundation’s focus are clearly aligned. We see the need to do more to keep middle school students in school and on track to graduate,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer for New York Life Foundation. “We invested in City Year because they have a successful track record of helping students improve their attendance, behavior and course performance—all of which are proven indicators of a student’s likelihood to graduate from high school.”
In 26 cities across the country, City Year strategically partners with school districts and community leaders to raise achievement in the lowest performing schools. Targeting the high schools with the lowest graduation rates and their feeder elementary and middle schools, City Year establishes a continuum of programs for students as they matriculate through elementary school, middle school and the ninth grade, ensuring that struggling students receive the personalized support they need to graduate prepared for college and a career.
City Year, with New York Life Foundation input, will select up to 24 schools over the course of the three-year grant. In these communities with diverse populations, City Year will update and strengthen its after-school curriculum, provide staff training and pilot the enhanced after-school program before the full launch of the program. The partnership will result in an after-school program that has the potential to impact an estimated 150,000 middle school students at full scale.