Our public schools need additional capacity to help students reengage with their learning, reconnect with their school community, and recover from disruptions caused by COVID-19.
An infusion of proven supports delivered by caring, trained adults will not only accelerate pandemic recovery efforts, but it will also help to address long-standing educational inequities that deny opportunities to children of color and children growing up in lower-income households.
Student success coaches
How can we provide this additional capacity? Each year, thousands of young adults who are eager to contribute to their communities join the national service program AmeriCorps. Many AmeriCorps members choose to serve full-time as student success coaches (SSCs) with City Year, the nation’s largest provider of K-12 SSCs. Student success coaches become part of the fabric of schools and provide academic and social-emotional supports to students throughout the school day — additional capacity that helps students feel a sense of belonging, build their confidence, and reach their full potential.
Research shows — and teachers can tell you — that to thrive, children need safe and welcoming learning environments; access to positive and consistent relationships with caring adults; and opportunities to develop their talents, recover from setbacks, and set goals. Academic and social-emotional learning are intertwined, whether that’s mastering fractions or learning how to work in teams.
Enabling childhood success
Across the country, SSCs are serving students as tutors, mentors, and role models. Teachers have partners they can count on in the classroom, and schools are able to run after-school enrichment programs. Evidence demonstrates that the more time students spend with a student success coach, the more likely they are to improve their social, emotional, and academic skills — with students who are furthest behind benefiting the most.
Millions of AmeriCorps alums say their service experience has had a positive impact on their lives and shaped them professionally and as civically engaged leaders. We hope young adults across the country will answer President Biden’s recent call to serve students as tutors and mentors and apply to a program such as City Year today.