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Carrie BrennanOur annual CITYscape newsletter hits mailboxes this week. Below is the opening letter by Executive Director Carrie Brennan. To read the full publication, click here.

To all of our old friends and new – we have so much to share with you! 2016 was a busy and exciting year and 2017 promises to be the same.

Since our last Cityscape landed in mailboxes 15 months ago, we have fully embarked on our new mission and future. We share a few of the many highlights in these 8 pages and invite you to stay connected with us throughout the year to be a part of what’s happening.

So many have been involved in our growth and evolution in the past 15 years (yes, our nonprofit first incorporated in 2002!), and so many more are engaged with us now as we embrace our new mission and expand our work and our impact.

I warmly welcome those who are just getting to know us and express deep gratitude to those who have been rooting for us for a decade or more.

In July, we officially brought together the two Paulo Freire Freedom Schools and City High School under one umbrella. We now serve 335 students a year across grades 6 through 12. Our amazing staff includes 40 educators devoted to student success everyday and many part-time instructors who bring in passion and expertise in the arts, fitness and other fields.

Why the big shift? Our schools are small by design and we want to keep them that way. Their size and human scale are part of their power – and bringing them together ensures their long-term sustainability.

Coming together is not just about streamlining and sustainability though. We want to have a greater impact on the field of education and on the daily experience of students and teachers in schools in Southern Arizona and beyond.

As part of the Impact priority in our CITY 2020 strategic plan, we are

  • Opening our doors and inviting others in to observe schools and classrooms and share our experiences and practices. What does innovative teaching and learning look like in real time, both the challenges and the successes?
  • Collaborating with community partners to advocate for teachers, schools, and education.
  • Hosting community conversations to examine education issues and models.
  • Preparing to renovate 37 East Pennington Street to create an innovation lab that serves as a forward-thinking model for teaching and learning practices and spaces.

In this issue of CITYscape we feature some of the ways we are working toward our new mission and future, but not all. I invite you to learn more, stay connected and get involved!

The CITYccl.org website is our hub for updates and links to opportunities. Sign up for our monthly email. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Enroll in a workshop. Create a profile on CommunityShare. Come to an Edcamp. Read our blog. Invest with a donation. Join me for a coffee and tour.

To all of our volunteers, donors, mentors, partners, alumni, families, and all-around champions … on behalf of all of us at CITY Center, I thank you for being a part of our world and work!

Email [email protected] to join our old-fashioned snailmail list and we’ll send the annual newsletter to your home or office. Download the 8-page publication here: PDF version.