Living in Cleveland
Known for its accessibility, Cleveland is a big city that is easy to get to know. Cleveland is an extremely walkable city, and its mass transit system was rated the best in North America by the American Public Transportation Association. Located on the banks of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, there are a lot of great outdoor opportunities to take advantage of, such as the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square (a huge theater district), there is a thriving music scene, as well as a many art and history museums. Cleveland is known for its delicious food, with a diverse range of cuisines, notably Polish and Italian. The Westside Market is a great way to experience this vibrant food scene, with a huge array of affordable and distinct foods options. Professional baseball, basketball, and football are played in the city, and there are several city parks to explore.
Why We Need You
Despite everything that Cleveland has to offer, some students in Cleveland face significant challenges every day. High rates of poverty, absenteeism and teacher turnover, along with low graduation rates are just some of the issues that the students attending Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) face. The second-largest school district in Ohio, CMSD serves over 38,000 students, and 100% of students receive Free/Reduced Price Lunch[i]. Many students do not have access to preschool and are entering Kindergarten at different levels than their peers. District wide, nearly 70% of students are below proficient and considered off track[ii]. Almost 22% of students in CMSD are identified as having a disability, or receive some level of special education services, and the national average for percentage of special education students in a district is 13%[iii]. This disparity leads to intervention specialists and school resources being stretched very thin.
City Year Cleveland currently partners with eight CMSD schools. At our partner schools, students move frequently and transfer schools often, which makes it difficult for them to keep up with their grade level and stay on track. There are high levels of absenteeism, and City Year Cleveland seeks to utilize its AmeriCorps members to build strong relationships with students so that students want to come to school. Cleveland is in the middle of implementing The Cleveland Plan, a rigorous plan to innovate Cleveland’s schools, and to set and reach high goals for student achievement. City Year AmeriCorps members get to see this plan in action and play a part by providing resources to schools in the district.
How You Can Make a Difference
Considering the challenges facing students in Cleveland, City Year plays a critical role in supporting students both academically and social-emotionally to ensure all students are on-track to reach graduation on time. City Year AmeriCorps members provide students with a consistent presence, and add to a school’s ability to provide students with a high-quality education that will prepare them to be college and career-ready.
City Year Cleveland is committed to helping AmeriCorps members grow professionally and help launch their careers. City Year Cleveland has staff roles dedicated to ensuring AmeriCorps members feel supported and prepared during service and beyond. There are a lot of opportunities available to build AmeriCorps members’ networks and provide them with the resources to grow. Every year, the site welcomes professionals from all different fields and areas of expertise to participate in networking events. City Year Cleveland also offers resume workshops throughout the year and hosts a career fair each Spring. Additionally, our local partners provide our AmeriCorps members with opportunities to attend fun and exciting local events such as Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians games.
Cleveland is in need of talented and passionate young people to help all students reach their full potential. A big city with a small-town feel, Cleveland offers a wide range of opportunities and entertainment for young people. Now more than ever, Cleveland is a great place for young people to make their mark and generate long-term positive impact in the community.