Best Practices - Vol. IV

CITY OF EVERETT
Mayor John R. McCarthy

Everett 2000 Volunteerism Program

In 1991, the "America 2000" program was announced which initiated a comprehensive revitalization of education delivery within the nation's public schools. Superintendent Frederick F. Foresteire embraced this concept in 1992, and the City of Everett was one of the first communities nationwide to mobilize this effort. Mayor John R. McCarthy has strongly supported the establishment and growth of this program. The growing ranks of Everett 2000 volunteers include local businesses, parents, educators, civic organizations and other citizens interested in fostering the educational needs of students.

The guidelines for Everett 2000 are the eight goals set forth in President Clinton's national education endeavor, now titled "Goals 2000." The eight goals are represented by Everett 2000 subcommittees in the areas of Preschool, Competency, Mathematics and Science, Literacy, Drugs/Violence Prevention and Volunteers and Resources. Everett 2000 has supported the continued advancement of education in Everett by seeking to enhance existing education resources through volunteerism and financial support. Thus, individuals of varying occupations and interests have committed time and effort to create an environment conducive to attaining the goals of Everett 2000. There is a harmony that exists in this densely settled, diverse community, in part due to the efforts of Everett 2000. Street activity and gangs are absent and a mediation program conducted by teens has been an effective medium for conflict resolution.

The success of the program was recently demonstrated at the May 21, 1997 Everett 2000 Breakfast Meeting, attended by a record 400 individuals committed to the welfare of the Everett school system. A large component of these attendees are members of the Everett Business-Education Cooperative (EBEC), a non-profit organization made up of business leaders and community volunteers. EBEC was created to help the Everett community as it meets the challenges of education reform in Massachusetts.

EBEC raises funds and oversees the programming for Everett 2000. It assists in the identification of needs within the entire school system and the coordination of volunteers to meet those needs. These volunteers typically provide support in the classrooms and libraries and help to arrange guest speakers. A mini-grant program was created to provide funding to teachers who are exploring new techniques and developing innovative educational projects that endorse the goals of the Everett Public Schools. Additionally, school administrators may seek consultant resources with the assistance of the mini-grants.

In support of the School to Work program, EBEC has established a mentoring partnership with the community businesses that will provide technologically advanced educational, work and career-based learning experiences for all students. The City of Everett is well positioned to advance this aspect of Everett 2000 as it is the host for TeleCom City (SM), a regional telecommunications park, which is currently undergoing master planning.

This successful partnership between the Everett Public Schools, under the leadership of Superintendent Foresteire, Mayor McCarthy, business leaders and citizens will be further enriched by a $92 million new school construction program. Concerns regarding the condition of aging school facilities led Mayor McCarthy to assemble an independent commission of appropriate staff, professional consultants and citizens to address this issue. A commitment to providing the highest quality educational environment by the Mayor, the Superintendent and citizens has culminated in this plan for new school construction. During the course of planning for new schools, prudent fiscal management has permitted an additional infusion of $3 million in improvements to the existing schools. Over the course of the next 10 years, four new Pre-Kindergarten to Grade Eight schools will be built and Everett High School will be completely renovated. This plan will replace aged, overcrowded facilities and will enhance the delivery of top-notch education in the Everett Public Schools.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (617) 394-2245

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