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Through A City Education, City Year corps members share their experiences working as tutors and mentors in schools in hopes of closing the opportunity gap and ending the dropout crisis.

Across the country, during the month of February, students will be reading texts or glancing at posters celebrating inspiring black change makers, leaders and activists. But, reading text about black history isn't always enough to cultivate engagement in the subject or to understand the significance of the roles African American leaders have played in history—beyond Black History Month.

During my first year with City Year, when I initially asked some students, “Why do you think Black History Month is important?” I got a few responses such as: "I don't know...'cause of civil rights?" or "Martin Luther King Jr.?" It took me by surprise that while my school's student body was over 40 percent African American, and the students have been in school for over a decade, there was still a gap between the school curriculum and what they were retaining about our nation's past.

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