City Year Seattle/King County Programs
City Year Seattle/King County corps members act as tutors, mentors, and role-models for approximately 3,000 elementary, middle, and high school youth throughout King County that have the least access to resources.
Our Whole School Whole Child program uniquely positions our diverse 17 -24 year old corps members to act as near-peers who role-model leadership and academic excellence in a way that teachers and parents cannot. WSWC is also the only program in Seattle that provides support in and out of the classroom during a full academic year. Corps members serve students whose academic needs are not addressed by a professional with a specialized skill set or certification, and who struggle because of class size, language barriers, or other class dynamics. To maximize the impact of City Year’s work, WSWC includes the following elements:
- Academic Support: Through one-on-one and small group tutoring, corps members conduct academic activities that significantly increase student learning capacities and sense of academic efficacy. Corps members are placed in schools to work directly with students who need intervention and additional assistance in math, literacy, and fluency. Each corps member is given a specific focus list of students who are not meeting English or math standards and provides daily individualized attention to help them gain a deeper understanding of academic concepts and increase confident.
- Out-of-School Time Programming: Corps members also run before and after-school programs to further support academic goals and to promote attendance, positive behavior and civic engagement. Our before and after-school services include academic coaching, enrichment and recreation activities, and service learning projects. Corps members run these programs every day Monday-Thursday one hour prior to the start of the school day and after school until 6:00pm, which provide them with a unique opportunity to bridge the school day and “out of school” time through continued academic and socio-emotional support.
Positive School Climate: Corps members facilitate lunchtime and recess programs with structured activities that address conflicts like bullying. Corps members also host events during the year aimed at engaging families in their students’ success, including math, literacy, and cultural appreciation nights.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
City Year corps members make positive impacts on the lives of all students they work with. As told by corps member Vi Ly, Kevin's story is an example of the successes City Year achieves each day:
I met Kevin for the first time five months ago when I began working as a City Year corps member at Aki Kurose Middle School. Initially, I thought that this particular 6th grader was unfocused and easily distracted. After conducting three one-on-one tutoring sessions with Kevin, I realized that he lacked fundamental math skills like basic addition and subtraction. It made sense why he was so unfocused – it would be hard to run when walking is a struggle. Starting at this level, the tutoring sessions I held with Kevin during class time and City Year’s afterschool program have really paid off. Not only has Kevin’s math grade soared (increased from a D to a B!), but his attitude has drastically changed – while he once claimed to hate math, he shared with me last week that he actually likes it now! I believe that my relationship with Kevin has been a key factor to his improvement. He looks up to me in many ways, and I’m certainly glad I’m there each day when looks up to find me.
A fundamental need of City Year's is to extend our tutoring and mentoring programs to more students in Seattle who struggle to graduate on time. To do this, City Year must grow and expand from a group of 67 full-time corps members to over 200 dedicated volunteers. By growing our capacity, we will help more students like Kevin achieve high school graduation and success in life.