SAN JOSE, California, November 5, 2010 - City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley announced today that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cisco Foundation to ensure students in Silicon Valley stay in school and on track to graduate high school on time.
"We are deeply grateful to the Cisco Foundation for their investment that will enable City Year corps members to serve more than 2,700 students in the Alum Rock School District this year, "said Beach Pace, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley Executive Director.
Every 26 seconds a student gives up on school in America. City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley corps members, ages 17 to 24, serve as tutors, mentors and role models in high-poverty elementary and middle schools. From before the first bell rings until the last student leaves the after-school programs, corps members help address the high school dropout crisis by working to improve student attendance, behavior and coursework in reading and math - which research establishes as the leading indicators of whether a student will drop out of high school.
The Cisco Foundation Community Impact Cash Grant will support more than 50 City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley corps members in serving 2,700 at-risk students in five of the most underperforming elementary and middle schools in the Alum Rock Union School District. City Year positively impacts students at these schools that feed into high schools identified as producing a disproportionate amount of drop outs in the East Side Union High School District.
Pace continued, "Students fall off track to graduation years before they set foot in high school and City Year corps members who are highly motivated and trained can keep them on track to graduate."
The Cisco Foundation Grant continues a long-standing collaboration between City Year and Cisco. Together, Cisco and City Year help students stay on track – and get back on track – to graduate by building an effective, data-driven service model and facilitating collaborative training and communication across City Year's network.
"Cisco values City Year's impact and ability to effectively unite young people to serve as mentors and tutors to children in high need public schools," said Ricardo Benavidez, Cisco community relations manager for Silicon Valley, "City Year and MIND working together provides every child they serve an opportunity to a quality education, a public service that is too often denied to our most underserved students."
Through the support of the Community Impact Cash Grant, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley will collaborate with the MIND Research Institute and implement language independent software to teach students Math skills in the City Year after school program. Together, MIND, Cisco and City Year share a commitment to closing the achievement gap and increasing the graduation rate in one of the valley's most underserved communities.