13.5.30 city year columbus aspireDocument Transcript
1HOLLINGSWORTH, HOLLYSubject: Seeing the Impact!!From: Todd Tuney [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2013 2:08 PMTo:Subject: Seeing the Impact!!City Year ColumbusSeeing the Impact!!Dear Friends,City Years work continues to find its way into the local media. Yesterday,the article below was posted on the front page of the dispatch. The articlehighlights the impact that City Year, and our Diplomas Now partners havemade at three local high schools this year.Media mentions like this show the importance of our work in thecommunity, which could not be accomplished without your support.Help us continue to make an impact so that every student can experiencewalking across the stage at their graduation by donating here to City YearColumbus.Yours in Service,Todd Tuney
2Anti-dropout program offers graduation-like ceremoniesAt 3 schools, Diplomas Now betters the odds that at-risk kids willfinish high schoolLinden-McKinley students shake hands with representatives from AT&T,the schools and City Year during a ceremony recognizing 130 youths forhaving enough credit to move up to the 10thgrade. The groups aresupporting the anti-dropout program Diplomas Now.By Jennifer Smith RichardsThe Columbus Dispatch Wednesday May 29, 2013It looked like a graduation ceremony. It felt like one, too, with the stage filledwith dignitaries, a keynote speaker and "Class of 2016" T-shirts rolled and tiedjust like diplomas. But these were high-school freshmen. Linden-McKinleySTEM Academy celebrated yesterday because 130 freshmen earned enoughcredits to move on to 10th grade. That means they are far more likely to actuallywalk across that stage with a real diploma in 2016.
3The school is one of three Columbus City Schools that adopted Diplomas Now,an anti-dropout program, this school year. Early results show, and the studentssay, that its working. So all three - Linden-McKinley, South High and MifflinHigh - scheduled ninth-grade promotion ceremonies to cheer the teens on.Only 23 Linden-McKinley freshmen didnt earn enough credits to move on,Principal Tiffany Chavers said, and theyre headed to summer school. Manymore freshmen made it through than in previous years, said SuperintendentGene Harris, who spoke to the students from her Alma mater."You live in a community where not everybody is valuing education. Itssometimes not OK to be smart," she told them, but she encouraged them topress on and stay focused. "I am extremely proud of you. This is the first leg ofthe journey."The three schools are part of a federally funded study of the effectiveness ofDiplomas Now, which brings together the social-service groups City Year andCommunities in Schools and the high-school reform group Talent DevelopmentSecondary, which is associated with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore,Md. Teaching has been overhauled and school staff members have tracked eachstudents success in attendance, behavior and coursework.Mifflin has made the biggest gains. Robert Balfanz, co-director of the EveryoneGraduates Center at Johns Hopkins, said 55 percent of Mifflins freshmen lastschool year were at risk of dropping out because of poor attendance, behavioralproblems, falling behind in class or a combination of those. That was beforeDiplomas Now came. Now, 27 percent of Mifflin freshmen are considered "atrisk," he said.At South, the at-risk group dropped from 59 percent to 33 percent this year.Fifty-one percent of Linden-McKinleys freshmen were at risk of dropping outlast year; its 43 percent now."They helped me play sports this year. All of these years, I had never playedsports" because of poor grades, said Nelson Vargas, who wore a suit and invitedhis family to yesterdays promotion ceremony. At his previous school, "I just ranthe halls. I regret all that."Vargas said hes focused now, and Diplomas Now helped.This school year, theres "better, more effective and engaging instruction goingon," Balfanz said. There have been weekly or biweekly meetings among staff