Some of the city’s lowest-performing schools will be getting some extra help, thanks to a $3 million gift from the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation and a year-long volunteer commitment from City Year Los Angeles. Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Steve Zimmer and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among hundreds of volunteers who gathered on September 11 at L.A. Live to begin the initiative and celebrate the largest donation ever made by the Clippers Foundation.
“Los Angeles depends on City Year as a critical partner in public education,” Garcetti said. “City Year corps members have a tremendous impact on the lives of students through their role in the classroom, and as mentors and role models. I commend them for their choice to serve and thank them for being a vital part of moving the needle on L.A.’s graduation rates.”
The $3 million gift will be used to support the volunteer efforts of City Year, part of the AmeriCorps national service network. City Year corps members — 309 of whom were sworn in this morning to serve at 26 schools in Watts, South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and Koreatown — will donate their time to provide 10,000 at-risk students with tutoring, in-class support and extended day programs that may help increase high school graduation rates, organizers said. City Year Los Angeles, which was established nine years ago, won’t be working alone.
Across the country, 3,000 AmeriCorps members kicked off their own year of service programs in 27 cities, with support from national sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal. The initiative also is supported by Aramark, which provides uniforms for the volunteers. According to a third-party report by Policy Studies Associates, schools that partner with City Year are two to three times more likely to improve on state student assessments in English and math, compared to other schools.
Additionally, City Year partner schools gain the equivalent of one month of additional learning each year, according to the report.