Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Final Message

November 23, 2010

We believe that government funding will not provide a large percent of the dollars for tutor/mentor programs. We, also, believe that it shouldn’t support tutor/mentor programs because the government funding should go to improving the community through the schools and location. The community would benefit more from improving schools, providing technological advancements to the schools, afterschool programs, and extracurricular activities and improving the environment of the neighborhoods. The government funding would be more effectively utilized in these improvements, thus reducing and possibly diminishing the need for tutor/mentoring programs that are separate from the school. Additionally, many of the tutor/programs are funded through private organizations. We feel that these private organizations would be able to provide more funding for tutor/mentor programs than the government would be able to distribute, anyways.  Elected officials could motivate private sector organization to give consistently to tutor/mentor programs by providing larger tax breaks to the private organizations. Government officials can also advocate for major private organizations to better their image in society. By perfecting their reputation, the private organization will benefit and receive more business. In the end, benefiting tutor/mentor programs and increasing their funding.

When researching the current elections it was found that $4.2 billion dollars was spent on the 2010 mid-term elections. All of that money was put towards campaigning and advertising the candidates of different parties as well as putting down candidates of opposing parties. It was also noted that in the 2008 presidential campaign seventy percent of Americans believe that too much money was being spent on the campaign and fifty-seven percent say spending should be limited. With this is mind, now is the time to motivate the public and political officials to back up the use of these funds as donations to tutor-mentor programs, instead of political advertising. As motivation for the people, this money will better their communities and provide resources to the youth of our country that are in need of better educational services. As motivation for the political parties, the people of America appear to be much more excited to vote for candidates that donate their funds, then those who over-advertise their side of the spectrum. To simplify this, donate funds and receive votes. It is an easy solution. People in America want political representation that is willing to support and help their communities, rather than leaders who bad mouth their rivals.

As this quarter comes to a close we would like to offer some advice to the new students enrolled in the tutor/mentor connection class. We had a strong focus on funding and the next step should be where this funding is being focused and what types of things can be done to increase the funding that has had a decline in this economy. Think of creative ways to get the point out there that these tutor mentor programs need more funding.  For example flyers and creative ads or events that could be hold to increase the awareness of these programs in these parts of Chicago. Another thing to look into would be the programs that aren’t just for tutor/ mentor programs and look for ways that they can be integrated with tutor/mentor programs to benefit the entire community.

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Funding for the South Shore

October 26, 2010

Each program within our neighborhoods is unique in the sense that some organizations charge for their services and others are completely free of cost. What we discovered was that all of our locations except Hyde Park and Woodlawn charged fees for different programs. One example of this was at the Abraham Lincoln Centre in Oakland where students paid for their tutoring in respect to their income. It was noted that many students went for a reduced or free price, while other students paid the full fee. So why doesn’t Hyde Park charge for their students? We analyzed the information found and came to the conclusion that since a lot of the Chicago Child Care Society’s funding comes from the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Hospital that they were able to supply their services without charging their clients. Since the CCCS and the University of Chicago work so closely together and their locations are so close, the university knows where their donations are going and therefore, they are willing to donate more money with less restrictions. They also do not run the risk of their funds drying up from the university because U of C is continuing to thrive. CCCS accept contributions of any size in forms of cash. Because of the current economic recession, they also accept pledges of any amount and pay it on a schedule. Something different and interesting is that on their website, they have listed that Stocks, Bonds or Real Property can be given to CCCS along with designations of a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Hyde Park has many individual community members who are willing to donate to both locations and can obtain financial support from bigger corporations. This is similar to Woodlawn’s Project Exploration which also receives 40% funds through larger corporations and foundations, such as University of Chicago Medical Center, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Bank of America, and the biggest one The Whiten-Newman Foundation.

In regards to the accessibility of funding all locations have adequate methods and make donating easy, but they all go about it in different ways. For instance in Bronzeville, they have a campaign gift to support their 50th anniversary Building Features so that they can update their building. They also have another donation called “Celebrated Chefs,” where if you eat at a participating restaurant 5% of your check is donated to Chicago Youth Center’s causes. Their link is http://www.celebratedchefs.com/EnrollDemographics.aspx?CauseID=5067 . Although Bronzeville is unique in providing these donation options they also has some similarities. Both the CCCS in Hyde Park and CYC in Bronzeville are funded by the Polk Bros and they have a million dollar campaign. Many of our locations allow for online donations as well. Since there is a variety of method of donation, it makes the process of donating much simpler and people are much more inclined to donate.

 

Tutor Mentoring Programs in our Neighborhood

October 13, 2010

 

DOUGLAS:

In Douglas, there are four tutor/mentoring programs that are established and serving the community. The first is Concordia Place on the Avondale Campus. They believe that quality programs should not be tied to income. They provide a sliding tuition scale for working families and nationally accredited after-school and preschool programs. Concordia offers teen leadership opportunities, senior, inter-generational and adult learning in an effort to serve all generations in Chicago. Their service is for all people of all ages from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. The second is the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School Clinic. Each year, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS), the only all-girls public school in Chicago, takes nearly 350 urban girls grade 7-12 and prepares them with the tools to graduate high school, continue through post-secondary education, and go on to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Any young woman residing in Chicago and of the right age is eligible to attend YWLCS, but admission is based on lottery with a waiting list of more than 600 students. Another program in the area is the Teen Living Program (TLP). They offer comprehensive, long-term solutions to youth without homes who strive for self-sufficiency and community connection. Teen Living Programs offers housing, job training, educational support, mental health counseling, holistic health care, and life skills training within a community of professional and passionate support. TLP’s comprehensive, long-term approach to youth homelessness reduces the number of youth who might otherwise become homeless adults. TLP also limits youth homelessness from taking root through its outreach and prevention programs in neighborhoods and schools. The fourth tutoring/mentoring location available to the residents in the community is the YMCA. The Y is a nonprofit organization that is community centered and attempts to connect people of all ages and background to bridge the gaps in community needs. With a mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. They offer many mentoring programs to inspire children for a better future.  Douglas is large location that has only four organizations that offer tutoring/mentoring programs. The area has a diverse population and requires more tutoring and mentoring locations. The current programs meet the needs of many students but a larger variety of programs would add to the betterment of the community.

 

Concordia Place

Website: http://www.concordiaplace.org/

Young Women’s Leadership Charter School Clinic

Website: http://www.ywlcs.org/about/

Teen Living Program

Website: http://www.teenliving.org/3.0/i/about/about.html

Ymca

Website: http://www.ymca.net/about-us/

 

 

HYDE PARK:

In Hyde Park, there are two organizations that offer tutoring and mentoring programs; Chicago Child Care Society and the United Church of Hyde Park. The Chicago Child Care Society was founded in 1849 to care for children left homeless by the cholera epidemic. Today, through current programs such as early childhood education program, teen parenting support, educational mentoring and family support, CCCS provides the chance for children and youth to experience positive relationships and opportunities. The Chicago Child Care Society offers programs for teens including Next Step College Readiness, Teen Parenting Initiative, Teen Alliance and Safe Life/HIV Prevention. These programs utilize the best available resources and information to recognize and address the pressing needs for today’s teens. Next Step is a college-readiness program that provides mentoring support for pregnant and parenting teens. The program, which is open to both teen moms and teen dads, begins in the junior year of high school and continues through high school graduation. Using the location of the program to its advantage, the CCCS has a direct partnership with the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Hospitals Child Car Initiative, along with many other foundations. This program serves the children in the area to grow and be successful with the support of the mentors. The second tutoring and mentoring program found in the area is through the United Church of Hyde Park. They offer tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays after school and on Saturdays by appointment only. They have a youth ministry that has a youth program on Sundays and hold many events monthly specifically for teens.  Hyde Park is such a large area with many resources that are not being taken advantage of by tutoring/mentoring programs. The lack of these programs impacts the community greatly and even though the schools are wonderful in Hyde Park, the lack of organizations is a great deficit for the community.  Hyde Park does offer a variety of only tutoring programs including Gregg Tutorial Ltd, PhD tutors Chicago, Varsity tutors, and Josh Jones Math Tutoring, but they are not as effective. Adding more tutor/mentor programs would greatly influence the children and add to the improvement of the community.

 

Chicago Child Care Society ^

Website: http://www.cccsociety.org/who-we-are/index.php

United Church of Hyde Park >

Website: http://uchpeace.org/?gadget=StaticPage&action=Page&id=20

 

BRONZEVILLE:

While researching tutor/mentoring programs in Bronzeville we came across programs that reach out to all ages. Whether someone is starting kindergarten or starting college there’s a place in Bronzeville for them. The Elliot Donnelley Center is a place for youth to go starting at age 4 and ending at age 18. The Elliot Donnelley Center in Bronzeville is one of the original 3 that was built. The center provides more than just academic help from volunteers. It provides well – trained youth development specialists who provide individual, consistent attention for social skills. The goal of the center is “ to give members life tools to use for their full potential”. Even after the school year ends the center continues to help kids out through the summer programs for ages 5- 12. The center also has special features such as a swimming pool, running track, art park, and a career readiness center for those getting ready for college.

We also found a mentoring center for adults entering college or who need help finding/ maintaining a job. The Bronzeville Community Clubhouse is a mentoring facility that equips adults with the skills they need for employment. Their computer resource programs trains all ages on resume writing and training for employment in the sector they desire. However, the program comes with a cost. It can be up to 300 a year. In an area such as Bronzeville, this is most likely not affordable. Therefore, adults may not have the full potential they need for a job. This may be a huge part of the problem why so many people are without a job, because they lack skills.

Also while researching, we found that often websites posted “ Cabrini Connections” as being located in Bronzeville. However, it is not. Therefore posting this false information gives parents and students the wrong idea and they may end up having to travel very far to get from Bronzeville to Cabrini Connections.

 

Link to Elliott Donnelly Youth Center: http://www.chicagoyouthcenters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=94

 

WOODLAWN:

A small amount of tutor/mentor programs are available in the Woodlawn area. The few that were found had limitations attached to them. One program is at a hospital but volunteers are only available Tuesday and Thursdays at designated times throughout the days. The other program called Project Exploration is a science-based program for tutoring. Although both of these programs are helpful they do not give the full attention and the help that the kids from this community need. This problem could have to do with the close proximity to other neighborhoods in the Southshore and the mentor programs found there. Expecting these kids to travel far to these programs is not always a reality. If more programs were added it would benefit this community and inspire other tutor/mentor programs in the surrounding area.

 

OAKLAND:

Oakland is lacking tutor-mentor programs. It is believed that this is due to the large number of charter schools in the area. This may not be as unfortunate as it seems, since charter schools typically cover all of the tutor aspects of a child’s education and most provide counseling services as well. It does however affect the students who are unable to attend these schools and instead are located at public schools. Since there is less funding available to these students, many of them are not getting the help that they need. Providing tutor mentor programs in areas surrounding public schools would greatly benefit the pupils in these areas. It would help guarantee that all of the kids in the neighborhood has the necessary tools to succeed.

The programs that we did discover were not exactly tutor-mentor programs, but instead programs that benefitted the entire community. These included the Abraham Lincoln Center and the Centers for New Horizons. These programs eagerly displayed signs for donations, (suggesting that they are under funded), but had clear goals in mind; To create a self-reliable community. Programs in both of these centers included sections for the elderly as well as pre-school/kindergarten students to prepare them for their educational career.

Link to Abraham Lincoln Center – http://www.abelink.org/

 

 

Link to Centers for New Horizons – http://cnh.org/

 

 

School Systems In Our Neighborhood

October 5, 2010

Bronzeville:

When researching the schools in Bronzeville, we found that the schools vary in type and rating. However, they are typically similar in size. Most primary schools have an average of two hundred and ninety students and are predominately black. The ratings vary depending on parental values or societal opinions. Typical parents noted that the schools were typically better in standards than the atmosphere in the area called for. But society disagreed, rating the schools on the location rather than the education, giving it a lower rating.

Hyde Park:

Hyde Park is surrounded by many educational landmarks, such as the University of Chicago and The Museum of Science and Industry, which greatly impacts the children living in the area. Parents are very involved in the education of the students that live in the area. Hyde Park has developed an organization called Parents United for Responsible Education that improves schools and encourages academic expectations and the building of trusting relationships. The parents of the students have created local school councils to aid in the betterment of the neighborhoods and society. There are a variety of schools in the area including: Public Schools, Magnet Schools and Private Schools.  Magnet schools are open to children all around the Chicago area through an application process but do not provide transportation.  The standards of the public schools in the area are also very high and many successful people have attended the schools in Hyde Park.

Douglas:

Douglas has a variety of schools in its less than two-square-mile area. Young families with children age elementary to high school won’t be disappointed at the varied academic options within this south side Chicago neighborhood. One of the most famous schools from the area is Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. It is named after the poet Paul Dunbar, but is currently more famous for its recent celebrity graduate, Academy Award- winner Jennifer Hudson. At Dunbar, students start to focus on career paths during their sophomore year of school. At this point, students choose from 22 vocational programs from liberal arts to sciences that will help direct and guide their studies to a career or further education in a college setting.

Oakland:

The Oakland area has a lot of college prep schools. Many of them required an admissions process and had high success rates. We believe that this is due to the rigorous academic curriculum and the activities provided by the school. The demographics were overwhelmingly African American and almost every school had ninety percent or more students partaking in their free or discounted lunch programs. The average class size was between 800-900 students for high schools and 450 students per elementary school, with the average student to teacher ratio falling at around seventeen. We found that most communities had positive comments on the schools and the students appeared to do well. ACT scores varied, but ISAT scores were outstanding.

Woodlawn:

Woodlawn is small area with predominantly magnet schools near the Hyde Park area. The schools located in Woodlawn have a large population of African Americans. Due to the closeness of Hyde Park we have come to the conclusion that the students travel there to go to school because of the better programs offered at those schools. The grammar schools that are directly located in Woodlawn lack the education that other neighbor hooding schools offer.

So what does this all mean?

It means that the schools in the South Shore area are helping students to succeed and make it in the real world. It shows us that despite the label, “South Shore,” and it’s association with the South Side, the neighborhoods of Oakland, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, and Douglas all have stable educational systems. Bronzeville is the only shaky neighborhood in the area. So how can tutor-mentor programs help? Read our next blog to find out.

A New Perspective

September 28, 2010

As the 2010 class of the Explore Chicago: Tutor/Mentor Connection, we are picking up where the last group of students left off. We are going to start covering the areas of Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Douglas, Grand Crossing, and Bronzeville. This year’s program we are in is called the Tutor/mentor connection. We are visiting different mentor programs in the city. So far we have been to Cabrini Green Connections and the Elliot Donnelley Center.  The Elliot Donnelley center is located in Bronzeville one of the areas that will be covered throughout the blog. The class also focuses on the financial aspect of how each center is funded. Tutor mentor programs help increase the success rate of the students in the neighborhoods. We will be investigating how many tutor mentor programs are in each neighborhood of the south shore. Focusing on the differences that have taken place in these neighborhoods since last year. Our intention is to increase awareness of these programs in the inner city of Chicago by giving a detailed view of what life is like for children in these neighborhoods.

YOU can be the difference

November 20, 2009

 

Each day children of the city are faced with obstacles unknown or unrecognized by adults and educators alike. Whether it is walking home from school trying to avoid of violence, or wishing they had a quiet place to study in their home, tutor/mentor programs are capable of aiding these students on the road to success.

In comparing several neighborhoods of Chicago’s south shore there are many conclusions and solutions that can be drawn.

When comparing the neighborhoods of Woodlawn and Grand Crossing, there are a few similarities. First, both these neighborhoods have few to no tutor/mentor programs. In Woodlawn there is only one available, while in Grand Crossing there are none. Whether or not there is accurate information to back the reasons to why this is the case in this area it is evident that children do need help in school because among other influences, gang violence is abundant in this area. The circumstances that these children endure each day are quite unimaginable to the average suburban student. Having more tutor/mentor programs created and availiable to these children of Grand Crossing and Woodlawn would help get these children off the streets and away from violence that could be holding them back from succeeding in school and life.

When focusing on the tutor/mentor programs in Bronzeville, it appears similar Woodlawn and Grand Crossing, there are not enough to adequately serve the student population. Throughout research, only two specific programs in the Bronzeville area were found. Firstly, a reading program called ‘Open Books Reading Buddies’ on Tuesdays for an hour at Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School. Volunteers help in this program through the organization ‘Open Books.’ Children are read to and get to improve and develop their reading skills. Secondly, there is a larger program called the Elliot Donnelley Youth Center.  They aim to reach out to at-risk, low income children from 3 to 18 years of age. The youths are provided with one-on-one support, encouragement and guidance from well-trained adults in the form of tutoring and mentoring.

Woodlawn’s program differs from area programs because its program is run from a hospital. Many of the area programs are selective in race, age or gender. In Kenwood, only African-American students are served by their tutor/mentor program. Grand Crossing is different in that it only serves girls. The tutor/mentor program in Hyde Park is similar to Bronzeville’s Elliot Deonnelley Youth Center becuase it serves both genders and serves the same age group (3 years – college/prep students.)

The children of Kenwood, similar to those in Bronzeville, Kenwood and Woodlawn, live in an area that does not supply them with the proper number of tutor/mentor programs.  These students only have three tutor mentor programs that they can go to for assistance when it comes to their academics.  There is a very high demand for tutor/mentor programs in the Kenwood area because of all of the students that are left behind.

Unlike the above, various racially and religiously segregated tutor-mentor programs serve the students in Hyde Park. These programs are unmatched in quantity and quality by any of the surrounding neighborhoods. As a result of their numerous quantities, Hyde Park tutor mentor programs should extend their reach to students in areas such as Bronzeville, Grand Crossing and Kenwood. Many of these tutor mentor programs are faced with issues such as lack of parental involvement and student interest.

There is a prominent and ongoing demand for more tutor/mentor programs in all of these neighborhoods for both elementary and high school students alike. It would be ideal for such programs to either take advantage of community centers and churches or even more convenient for students, schools could make after school programs available. These centers must also try to open their doors to a broad range of students. In many neighborhoods, programs discriminate against age, sex or race. What about the boys and girls of every age group who need somewhere to safe to go after school? What if they need help with their academics? Schools, community centers and businesses must be educated about the need for these programs and the benefits they offer students.

Another of many possible solutions to these problems is similar to an approach seen by the Metro Center for Girls. The Metro Center has a small tuition requirement to attract the attention of adults as well as students. This tuition helps attendance rates as well as parental involvement by invoking a sense of investment in the parents as well as students. Also, increased advertising and expanding many of the larger centers to accommodate students of other areas as well as possibly branching to nearby neighborhoods by donations from area corporations.

Once new programs decide to open, it will then be important to advertise and network to recruit volunteers.  Letters can be sent to successful companies and large businesses to seek financial funding and other necessary resources. These businesses can take advantage of free publicity and a reputation as a socially responsible company while reaping the benefits of a safer neighborhood as well as assisting in raising the next generation of potential CEO’s and entrepreneurs. Simply taking interest in the actions of many children’s lives is all they need to be inspired on the route to success. These businesses and corporations are as essential to students educational success and become model of socially responsibly leadership.

Concerning advice for the next group who continues this project, we suggest they introduce new ideas and questions about the problem from a whole new “hands on” point of view. There is much to be learned from experiences as compared to research. We have provided the research base and they can now use it to expand. I would also recommend remaining persistent with blog writing for exposure, encouragement and updates to anyone who will listen. It would be very compelling to meet with and publish some of these programs success stories. Attempt to help form a funding and volunteer base to assist the existing disadvantaged neighborhoods as well as exposing this issue and recruiting volunteers.

If there is one piece of advice we would pass on it is to never underestimate the power of these programs. These programs provide so much more than academic assistance. Tutor/mentor programs are some students’ only hope to being able to learn the necessary skills to graduate from high school as well as overcome the emotional obstacles they are faced with starting at such a young age due to violence at home as well as in their neighborhoods. Good luck!

Students Served In Area Tutor-Mentor Programs

November 9, 2009

Upon studying the tutor-mentor programs on Chicago’s South Shore we are now faced with the statistics on the amount children served.

Among the neighborhoods, Hyde Park seems to top the list with credible area tutor-mentor programs. This neighborhood offers a wide variety of programs from religious and racially specific to those offered by The University of Chicago. There are 2,865 K-12 students according to a 2009 census. The organizations; Chicago Youth Programs (CYP), The United Church of Hyde Park, JCC Chicago, Hyde Park Learning Resource Center, Childrens Rendevous and Neighborhood Schools all provide exponential help to the large number of students in the community with CYP alone serving 5.2% of the K-12.

In Grand Crossing, only one tutor/mentor program has been found. It is FLOW (future leaders of the world) and provides many advtanges for young girls. The census of students in k-12 is an average of 481 students (2008). Although, Grand Crossing’s charter schools hold 741 students in k-12.  Overall, Grand Crossing does not provide as many opportunities as its surrounding neighborhoods but clearly does not have the population of children as other areas do.

It was a difficult task to “track down” a Census that provides the exact number of students enrolled in schools (K – 12) in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. In the same light, I was unable to find the number of students that have access to or the children that participate in a tutor/mentor program in the Bronzeville area. According to http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Bronzeville-Chicago-IL.html the percentage of people 3 years and older in grades K to 12 is 33.2% (+- a third of the community.) This poses an opportunity for these statistics to be investigated and recorded for easier public access. (Example posting the findings on a reputable Bronzeville website.)

Kenwood offers four tutor mentor programs to the neighborhood.  There is a total of 2902 k-12 students who live in the Kenwood area.  This information was very hard to locate along with the information about how many students are helped by each tutor mentor program.  I was only able to find the information on one specific tutor mentor program and that information was vague at best.  The website stated that they have the ability to assist 250 students a week.  Overall, Kenwood is an area that is lacking enough tutor mentor programs to help out all 2902 k-12 students.

Geography and Its Contributions to Chicago’s South Shore

October 26, 2009

In Grand Crossing, The Chicago Skyway crosses through the neighborhood and Dan Ryan Express highway. There was a railroad accident in the 1900’s that formed Grand Crossing by blocking it off from all its fellow neighborhoods.

In Hyde Park there is the University of Chicago that draws interest. University of Chicago has approximately 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Also, Hyde Park holds the Science and Industry Museum as well as a beautiful lake front. Lake Shore Drive runs on the eastern perimeter of Hyde Park. Along side the western perimeter is Washington Park.

South to the University of Chicago is Woodlawn. In the neighborhood of Woodlawn, it includes East 63rd, 65th and 67th streets that cross through the center of town. Bordering this neighborhood is also Lakeshore Drive, accompanied by Lake Michigan. This town also includes the South Side YMCA, which the El train (blue line) parallels.

The neighborhood of Bronzeville is well-known for it’s landmark, the “Bronzeville Walk of Fame.” (Displaying bronze plaques of famous African Americans.) Bronzville can be distinguished by it’s art deco buildings. Close sitings include the Illinois Institiute of Technology and the US Cellular Field.

31st, 35th and 39th Street run paralell from East to West in the Bronzeville area. Running paralell  from North to South include S Dr Martin Luther King Dr, S Indianna Ave, S Michigan Ave, S State Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway (Highway 90) followed by S Halsted. Boardering Bronzeville, is South Lake Dr.

Bronzville can make use of the Red Line and Green line CTA, the Metra and Bus # 4, 3 and 55.

Kenwood is another well known neighborhood on the south-side of Chicago.  Kenwood is split down the middle by 47th street which seperates the neighborhood socio-culturally.  On the north-side of 47th street, they’re are some of the biggest homes in the city limits.  The south-side of Kenwood is almost completely single family homes due to ordinances passed in the 70’s.  The most notable landmark in Kenwood would be the Blackstone Library, built in 1902, which is a library run by the Chicago Public Library system.

Tutor/mentor Programs, Successful?

October 12, 2009

The Southeast Side of Chicago neighborhoods include several programs that offer a wide range of tutor and mentor opportunities. The variety of programs offer children, teens and young adults with the opportunity of developing skills for schoolwork and life.

One might ask, what makes a successful tutor/mentor program? Having the opportunity to talk with volunteer mentors about career possibilities is an important part in being successful in life. The neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Woodlawn, Hide park, Grand Crossing and Kenwood provide tutor and mentor programs for children, teens and young adults in their specified areas.

For instance, in Bronzeville, the Elliot Donnelley Center  provides young children through teenagers in high school with both mentor and tutor programs.  The Elliot Donnelley Youth Center also provide its members with college prep counselors who engage in insightful conversations with its high school students, also providing them with college on-campus visits as well as other field trips.

The Grand Crossing neighborhood includes FLOW: Future Leaders of the World, a tutor and mentoring program. This program is for any girls, 7 through 14 years old. Providing girls with programs that vary from proper etiquette to homework advice, this program is efficient and helpful.

In Woodlawn, the La Rabida Children’s Hospital provides its outpatients (as well as their siblings) with after-school help with homework. The volunteer’s range from college students, adults to retired teachers who help the outpatients (and/or their siblings) with their reading and math skills. This program recently won an award for Volunteer Excellence.

Kenwood provides African American teenagers (ages 14-18) with a mentor and tutor opportunity. This program is called Youth as Possibility Chicago Inc. which provides its members with a “big brother” type of mentor, as well as provide them with the opportunity of improving in their school work.

The neighborhood of Hyde Park provides a variety of tutor/mentor opportunities through the Chicago Youth Program. This program includes members ranging from ages 3 through the college level. The opportunities that this program provides are those from field trips through tutoring in schoolwork.

These Southeast Chicago neighborhoods provide a variety of programs, which members range from a young age through the college level. These programs also provide a positive experience of tutoring and mentoring the Chicago youth. Although the programs above provide a variety of opportunities for its members, only certain ages and genders are focused on in the Kenwood, Grand Crossing and Woodlawn areas.

The Grand Crossing and Woodlawn areas also provide minimal tutor/mentor programs, since there is only one program found in each of these neighborhoods.

The Bronzeville and Hyde Park neighborhoods provide many tutor/mentor programs because their members range from any age. Since tutor/mentor opportunities should be available for the youth of any age, this makes a program extremely successful.

It is imperative that the youth in Chicago are provided with tutor and mentor programs that provide them with opportunities to improve their school and life skills. Being a successful tutor/mentor program, a variety of ages should be included and its volunteers should be skilled enough to tutor young children, as well as young adults.

Introduction to the Southeast side of Chicago

October 12, 2009

The neighboorhoods of Southeast Chicago that we have researched are the lakefront hugging communities of Bronzeville, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Grand Crossing. This area is between six to eight miles south of the loop and east of the Dan Ryan. Some major points of interest in this area are the Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, the “junior” and Catherine Chapman Sports comlex as well as the Museum of Science and Industry. The transportation in these neighboorhoods ranges from the Green and Red line CTA “el” trains and the Metra.

The overall diversity of this area is lacking as we found most neighboorhoods were 78%-98% African American with the exception of the Hyde Park neighboorhood which is only 37.7% African American and is considered one of the most diverse Chicago neighboorhoods. Many of the people in these neighboorhoods live at or below the poverty level. In Woodlawn we came across the origination of the well-known gang, “the stones.” Many surrounding communities have moderate to high crime rates. All of these Southern Chicago neighboorhoods are mostly residential with a mix of housing from a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to government funded housing.

Each of these neighboorhoods has elementary, junior and high schools. The communities of Kenwood and Hyde Park offer nearly 100 after school and daycare sources while thus far Bronzeville, Woodlawn and Grand Crossing have few to none. Nearly half of the population in Bronzeville does not complete high school.

These neighboorhoods have presented diversity in educational resources as well as racial diversity. While some inhabitants of this area don’t face many chellenges some are faced with them on a daily basis. The Southeast side is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area and wears that diversity on its sleeve.