Students from Chelsea public schools, including those that participate in Citizen Schools’ Expanded Learning Time, will kick off the new school year with 900 donated backpacks full of pencils, notebooks, rulers, and more. Citizen Schools, an organization that empowers public middle schools in low-income communities with longer learning days, received the backpacks filled with supplies as a donation from Kronos Incorporated, Mass.-based global leader in workforce management solutions.
Committed to supporting organizations that encourage, educate, and train the next-generation workforce through its GiveInspired corporate giving program, Kronos made the donation in recognition of Citizen Schools, an organization that inspires the future workforce. Kronos also joined forces with its partners Cognizant, The WFC Group, Workforce Insight, and one of its leading retail clothing and accessories customer to further add to the contribution.
“Kronos is excited to help Citizen Schools ensure that its Chelsea students have a great start to the school year,” said Liz Moughan, director, retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos. “At Kronos, we value the impact of giving back to our communities and investing in the future and we collaborate with a variety of causes and organizations that focus on growing and empowering the next-generation workforce. For these reasons, we recognize and value Citizen Schools’ tremendous contribution and are humbled and pleased to organize the backpack donation.”
Media is invited to the presentation of backpacks during a back-to-school event on Thursday, August 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the Williams Building, 180 Walnut Street, Chelsea. Liz Moughan, senior director of the retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos, and Megan Bird, executive director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts, will be on-site distributing backpacks to students along with employees from both Kronos and Citizen Schools. Chelsea city manager Tom Ambrosino is also expected to be on hand.
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization based in Boston, which provides academic support and enrichment to middle school students from high-need districts in six states. Volunteer teachers lead Expanded Learning Time (ELT) programs in subjects such as robotics, financial planning, and marketing during after-school hours. The organization’s mission is to help children from low-income school districts overcome the opportunity gap that exists between them and kids from more affluent communities.
Citizen Schools operates in two Chelsea middle schools, the Joseph Browne School and the Eugene Wright Science and Technology Academy, and will serve about 900 students this year. The dropout rate in Chelsea is more than triple the state average – 6.4 percent compared to 1.9 statewide. After the first year Citizen Schools partnered with Chelsea schools, English Language Arts proficiency rates improved by 16 percentage points. In addition, about 50 percent of Chelsea students come from homes characterized as economically disadvantaged and for 80 percent of those students, English is not their first language.
“Citizen Schools is proud to join forces with Chelsea Public Schools and Kronos,” said Megan Bird, executive director, Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “These backpacks and supplies will help prepare our students and get them excited for the start of the school year.”