A Worthwhile Cause Worthy of Your Vote

By M. David Peterson
December 31, 2008

Update: Voting for the first round is closed and while it was down to the wire, Citizen Schools held onto the 3rd position, making it into the second and final round. Voting will open up again on January 5th. Stay tuned for more details.

Thanks to all of you who helped!

[Original Post]
When I was in Boston this last September I was fortunate enough to be introduced to John Werner, one of the founders of, by John Palfrey who thought I could be helpful in helping John achieve success with Citizen Schools on the Web 2.0 front. Expect to hear more about this both worthy and worthwhile cause from me in the future.

In the mean time, John needs your help to hold on to 2nd place in the competition, Education category. The top three from each category move onto the second round, making it one step closer to an opportunity to present their ideas in front of President-elect Barack Obama and Congress.

Voting for the first round closes tonight. Please vote!

More info on Citizen Schools as found on their page linked to above follows inline below.


Mobilize mentors, tutors, and "citizen teachers" to help kids succeed

We recommend a call to millions of college students, young professionals, and baby boomers alike to serve as volunteer "citizen teachers," tutors, and mentors, coaching high-risk kids to success through proven models.

One in four U.S. students is dropping out of school and the situation is even more dismal for low-income and minority students. Our society must develop a capable workforce and, in order to accomplish that goal, education can't remain an insider's game. We need to inspire more talent in education - not only full-time teachers, but also volunteers who bridge the school day and after-school learning hours.

President-elect Obama can channel the extraordinary civic energy created by his campaign to recruit one million volunteers to support and extend the work of full-time teachers, expand the learning day, and cut the nation's drop-out rate in half.

At Citizen Schools (, we have seen that children can accomplish great things when they have more time to learn, more caring adults, and more hands-on learning that engages them. A decade of evidence shows that when disadvantaged students spend their afternoons on well-structured academics and real-world learning projects with community members, they outperform their peers across the board. Our students graduate from high school and go on to 4-year colleges at significantly higher rates than their peers.

We can expand these successful strategies by passing the Serve America Act and the TIME Act - legislation introduced in Congress in 2008. We can also build from the proven models of Citizen Schools, Experience Corps, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and others to recruit engineers, artists, web designers and more who can teach what they know and love. These Citizen Teachers could serve as a second shift of educators with the potential to dramatically lift student learning and engagement.

- Eric Schwarz (Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools), Boston, MA Dec 19 @ 10:55AM PST

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