Volunteer total grows for GE Community Service Day: 2,800 to spend 22,900 hours

MILWAUKEE – What has become GE’s largest single-day Community Service Day effort will be even larger in 2012, with 2,800 volunteers spending 22,900 hours Wednesday volunteering in MPS and Waukesha schools.

The work is part of GE’s broad partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools, which includes the GE Foundation’s five-year, $20.4-million Developing Futures grant to MPS. The grant has already been used to help implement the district’s Comprehensive Math and Science Plan across more than 150 schools. Developing Futures also funded or supported the majority of 83,853 hours of math professional development for 4,174 MPS teachers aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which prepare students for college and careers. Now, 10 MPS GE Demonstration schools will be selected for additional intensive supports to become models for other schools in Milwaukee, and perhaps, across the country.

On Wednesday, GE employee-volunteers will work at 15 MPS schools painting hallways, sprucing up landscape, preparing classrooms and providing other needed support to get the school year off to a great start for students and staff. The MPS schools are: Audubon, Burbank, Curtin, Doerfler, Franklin, Fratney, Garland, Golda Meir, Hayes Bilingual, MacDowell Montessori, Milwaukee Sign Language School, Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School, Rufus King International School, Vincent High School and Washington High School of Information Technology.

“Strong buildings are a key part of strong schools,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “GE Healthcare’s Community Service Day is an extraordinary commitment to our schools, providing hands-on volunteer work and community collaboration to benefit teachers and students. As the new academic year gets underway, we are grateful for GE’s continued, involved support and their efforts to help us enhance our schools for a new year of learning. ”

Dr. Thornton is expected to join Marcelo Mosci, president and CEO of GE Healthcare U.S. and Canada Region, to thank volunteers at 11:30 a.m. at MPS’ MacDowell Montessori School, 6415 W. Mt. Vernon Avenue, Milwaukee 53213.

Media will have an opportunity to record video and take photographs of volunteers following the 11:30 a.m. remarks. Interested media are invited to attend and should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at (414) 475-8675. Twelve MPS year-round programs are back in session already along with schools on the district’s Rufus King / Reagan calendar. Most schools begin September 4, the day immediately following Labor Day.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving 80,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000, growing math standardized test scores representing 10-point growth in the last six years and growing ACT scores.