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York Students in Schools turns 21

Posted on 2 June 2015

The University of York’s award-winning York Students in Schools (YSIS) scheme celebrates its 21st anniversary this week.

Established in 1994, YSIS has grown from a small tutoring group in York’s Department of Biology to a large scale project that places over 700 students a year in 50 local primary, secondary, sixth form and special schools around York.

Now based in Careers, YSIS has placed over 9,000 students in local schools during its 21 years. In 2003, the scheme received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Award and in 2015 was recognised by Higher York for its outstanding contribution to the community.

Lyn Whiting, YSIS Co-Ordinator at the University of York from 1996 to 2009, said: “YSIS is an extraordinarily successful volunteering programme run by the University of York.  It enables students from any department and any degree level to spend time helping in classrooms in York schools and to become involved in their new community. It aims to support teachers and to raise the aspirations and achievements of young people.

“From small beginnings, YSIS has grown into a huge scheme and become a welcome and valued contribution to education in York. It makes a difference.  It changes lives. It’s a brilliant scheme and gives much pleasure to many people.”

YSIS’ 21st anniversary will be commemorated with a drinks reception from 4.30 – 6pm on Thursday 4 June in Heslington Hall. Past and present YSIS student volunteers, teachers and members of the YSIS steering group are all invited to attend. The event is organised by YSIS Student Managers who help run the scheme.   “The Student Managers make YSIS what it is. I'm in awe of all they give to YSIS.” Lyn Whiting added.

Emily Mondon, a YSIS volunteer and third year undergraduate in English Literature, said:  “My placement introduced me to the varied and consistently rewarding nature of helping children to reach their full potential. As I now hope to work within educational charities, I am able to draw upon real experience of what motivates and drives children in and out of the classroom. It has certainly been one of the highlights of my time at University!”

Dan Bodley, Deputy Headteacher at Fulford School in York, said: “I’ve been involved with YSIS since 1999 and it remains as one of the most outstanding volunteering schemes in the country. Volunteers help with pupil support in lessons, mentoring, raising aspirations and growing awareness of higher education.”

Robert Partridge, founder of YSIS and now Director of Student Opportunity at the University of Leeds, added: "Congratulations on turning 21 YSIS! I can't believe how much you've grown. Don't ever lose your youthful energy and infectious enthusiasm which inspires everyone it touches."

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