Summit to Support Expanding Learning Opportunities for Middle School Kids Kicks-off in Washington, DC

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Features D.C. Mayor Bowser, Congressman Honda (CA-17), School & District Leaders

“Expanded learning opportunities are essential for all students—particularly for students in middle school, who are often overlooked during these critical years in their education,” says Steven M. Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools.

Education thought leaders from the public and private sectors convene in Washington, D.C. today for “Meet in the Middle: A Summit on Expanded Learning,” a daylong event hosted by Citizen Schools and Higher Achievement. The event is in partnership with other leading organizations seeking to increase student access to high-quality learning opportunities, especially for middle school students. The timing of this Summit is fitting as the U.S. Congress works to reauthorize the nation’s most prominent K-12 education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“Expanded learning opportunities are essential for all students—particularly for students in middle school, who are often overlooked during these critical years in their education,” says Steven M. Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “High-quality expanded learning programs provide middle school students with important real-world learning opportunities and mentorship that help them excel in the later grades and beyond, regardless of their income or background.”

Speakers such as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; Congressman Mike Honda, US Representative (CA-17); and Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service, are but a few who will share their voices on the value of expanded learning at the event. Expanded learning programs enrich education for students by enhancing their classroom experiences through mentorships, apprenticeships and additional academic and social-emotional supports. The Summit unites a powerful community of champions to elevate the importance of these supports to advance student learning. It leverages the collective voice of this community to demonstrate the value of expanded learning and grow impactful, sustainable programming.

“At Higher Achievement, we know that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not,” says Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer of Higher Achievement. “Expanded learning opportunities that combine caring mentors and rigorous academic lessons should be available to all students. Working to secure sustainable resources for expanded learning benefits every child and every school.”

The Summit will include the release and discussion of the report, Putting the Pieces Together: Sustainable Funding for Expanded Learning Time in Public Schools on sustainable funding for expanded learning time by Education Resource Strategies (ERS) and Citizen Schools. ERS is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming how school systems organize resources so every school succeeds for every student. The report findings reveal pathways and policy solutions for how districts and schools with high-need students could sustainably fund a portion of expanded learning time by reallocating existing resources.

To this end, the Expanded Learning Summit brings together community leaders dedicated to supporting the growth and on-going impact of expanded learning opportunities and high-quality programs at local, state and national levels. To learn more about the Expanded Learning Summit, visit http://www.expandedlearningsummit.org.

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About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org.

About Higher Achievement
Higher Achievement's rigorous afterschool and summer academic program closes the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. The program's proven model provides a rigorous, year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. On average, 95% of scholars who complete Higher Achievement graduate from high school on time. For more information, please visit http://www.higherachievement.org.

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Devin Boyle