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Children spend just 20 percent of their waking hours in school. But a child’s capacity to learn doesn’t end with the final bell. After-school programs can do so much more than what we so often expect of them—just keeping kids off the street—and  make real impact on their education.

Citizen Schools realizes this and connect citizen teachers with middle school students to help expand their learning beyond the classroom. Why?

Because learning by doing works.

When people learn by doing, and then teach others, too, research shows that kids (and adults) learn faster and more deeply. That’s why Citizen Schools apprentices don’t just study newspapers—they publish their own. They don’t just use the Web—they design websites for their schools. The result is feelings of confidence, self-discipline, and mastery.

Every community is blessed with thousands of born teachers. Professionals and laborers, athletes and artists, young and old—all of us can teach from the unique textbooks of our lives. Citizen Schools trains and supports these citizen teachers to play powerful roles in the lives of kids, and builds strong links between parents and schools, neighborhoods and downtown institutions, and kids and adults.

Check out more about Charlotte’s Citizen School programs and sign-up to be a citizen teacher.