Educational and School Resources for parents, school professionals and others

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee and the Conference website,
Join the Conference, help support our work.
Join the Schools Committee- Chair Camille Hamilton-Doyle with Nancy Baum

To this page's index. Public and private schools are in Schools Directory (Schools on left bar). Here: Preschools, tutoring, resources, higher education.
HPKCC resources: About HPKCC Schools Committee.
Shortcut to Search Institute Promise study of how American youth are doing and the 40 assets they need to acquire.

10-year facilities plan:
If you would like to read some of the draft document, the section about Hyde Park schools starts on p. 194-
For more information: Adrienne Garner at CPS: or


CPS new Student Code of Conduct- pdf overview

Letter from CPS superintendent on utilization/closings, Jan. 25, 2013


See report on ABCs of CPS in Friends-Drive page.

Race to Nowhere.

Pages related to this page, in addition to links from the left:

FOR YOU: HPKCC Youth Programs Database spring 2008:
Visit After School, other Kids offerings expanded
CPS After School Matters
Schools Committee homepage
Schools Directory
News of and from Schools
Test Scores and School Rankings page- including IllinoisReportCard links
Renaissance 2010 Plan discussion (cache)
Developmental Assets Building; Conference Reporter on Assets and After School programs
Community Schools- coming to your school! Is your school and community up to this?
Promise Zones/Communities

Kenwood Academy
Canter Middle School
University of Chicago and schools initiatives and research (about) homepage
Schools initiatives, resources and research results
Organizing schools for Improvement
Defining Excellence
Charter school discussion
Chicago Academic Games League
Help Line-children
To's directory of Calendars and Directories

To a more complete description of the CPS After School/Office of Extended Learning Opportunities programs (separate page).

Chicago Public Schools website ( or
****Communities in Schools tips from group discussions at I House March 2011. In pdf.
Race to Nowhere page

Watch for the Hyde Park Herald comprehensive back to school pull outs, spring and fall.


About education, meetings, classes, workshops, resource bases etc.

HPKCC Schools Committee. Contact HPKCC Schools Committee meets 4TH THURSDAY (except summer) at Kenwood Academy media center Enter parking lot door 6, go right 2 corridors then left- half way down on left is the media center.

See our Youth Programs Databases.

Visit the following for advice on children facing summer school or "not passing".

See also Options for Knowledge annual guide (applications for these schools and programs are due 3rd Friday in December)- contact the Office of Academic Enhancement, 773 553-2060,

Studies from Chapin Hall that might be of help: Chapin Hall website (at U of C): evaluating After School Matters, How Active are Teens, and Adults and Bullying: Go to ttp://

Getting ready for school: health formsOctober 15 is the annual deadline for all students to be up-to-date on their health forms (vision, dental, physical, immunizations.) Proof must be provided or they face exclusion. Printable forms are online from CPS. Exam is required for entering grades K, 6, 9 prior to October 15.
Vision- K and any student enrolling for the first time in CPS.
Dental exams by a licensed dentist - if in K, 2, 6 - prior to May 15 of current school year.

So, schedule visits now to physician or clinic, or at a school health center. Call Coordinated School Health at 773 553-1830.


Volunteering in schools- as of 2018-19 year, there is a new volunteering protocol for working/helping in schools. Depending on whether involvent is "level 1" or "level 2" background checks and fingerprinting may be required. Check at the schools. Check with UC Neighborhood Schools Program on accelerated accreditation.


EDUCATOR AND STUDENT EVENTS The University of Chicago's Civic Knowledge Project affords a number of free and highly practical opportunities for Chicago Public Schools to develop programs and resources recommended by the CPS Environmental Action Plan. The CKP opportunities include: 1. Free, hands-on workshops (for parents and teachers) on site at your school on Sustainable Savings: How Going Green Can Save Your Soul and Your Money; 2. Tree In tours to help your school learn about and appreciate the ecological role of the trees in your neighborhood; 3. School garden consultations, offering user-friendly, step by step help planning your school garden and networking connections to relevant experts at the University of Chicago; 4. Creative ideas for getting your school Green Club going and making its activities relevant to many different areas of the curriculum--e.g. by hosting an Enviro-Bike Club, or an Environmental Advocacy public speaking program. Please visit the CKP's Partnering for a Sustainable Chicago network at for more information about our various programs and activities. We make the humanities real!

Find out where it's at for youth today and ideas from youth on how adults can help and teens can help each other. C.R.I.M.E teen's book C.R.I.M.E (replacing violence with compassion, respect, inspiration, motivation and empathy (avail. on Amazon and at Loyola U Bookstore),,

Curriculum and Resources Posted – Free for download!
Climate Change: Biological and Social Implications, Arts in education.

Don't neglect your public library.

Greening Your School Workshops
Download resources presented at the September and October Greening Your School workshops. On September 26th and October 24th, 2008, more than 85 Chicago area educators and administrators attended the Greening Your School workshops organized by the University of Chicago's Program on the Global Environment and Sustainability Council . Suzanne Carlson, Environmental Program Manager in the Office of the CEO for Chicago Public Schools, and Bart Schultz, Director of the Civic Knowledge Project – Sustainability Partners Network, were just two of the presenters who addressed topics ranging from "What Defines a Model Green School" and "What the University of Chicago and CPS are Doing to be Sustainable". Participants left with a greater understanding of what it means to be a sustainable school, as well as with the tools to help promote green lifestyles more comprehensively to their students.

Library and school management online firms include

Scholarships available

Scholarships- The National Online Directory of Scholarships (NODS) has launched a new web site
at to help students easily find scholarship opportunities and education grants.
The web site promises to post a new scholarship opportunity every single day.

There are tons of scholarship search engines, of which is one.

As the current school year winds to an end, many students are preparing to embark on their first year of college. Inevitably, part of that planning is figuring out how to pay. Below are a few resources I'm happy to share.

If you have questions about these or other programs, please give my office a call at 773-667-0550 or send an e-mail to

Web Site Publishes Listing of Top 2011 Scholarships For African American Students

-- Features Over 100 Different Financial Aid Opportunities --, a popular online resource for African American high school and college students, has published their annual listing of 2011 scholarship opportunities. The scholarships vary in criteria, award amounts, and deadline dates, but are available from over 100 different companies, organizations, and foundations.

Combined, the scholarships amount to more than $5 million in funding for minority students. Majors that qualify include science, echnology, engineering, communications, journalism, nursing, education (teaching), and more. The money can be used for tuition, books, and residence at most universities, colleges, and even private schools in the United States.

The published listing includes the following programs: Best Buy Scholarship, Burger King Scholars Program, CIA Undergraduate Scholarship, Dell Scholars Program, Gates Millennium Scholarship, HBCU Study Abroad Scholarship, Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship, National Black Police Association Scholarships, Thurgood Marshall Fund, Tylenol Scholarship, United Negro College Fund, Vanguard Minority Scholarship Fund, Xerox Minority Technical Scholarship, and many more.

To see the complete listing of scholarship opportunities and their related application details, visit

Illinois Student Assistance Commission In 1957, state lawmakers created the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to help make sure that financial considerations don't prevent Illinois students from realizing their postsecondary educational goals. ISAC's mission is to make college accessible and affordable for all Illinois students. It's by far the largest provider of financial aid in the state.

More available

2011 City Youth Council Applications For Chicago Youth Ages 15-23
Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation 2011 Undergraduate Scholarship Application

Chicago Park District 2011 Financial Assistance Program- check

ISAC is a one-stop financial aid center, offering a comprehensive array of programs and services. At every stage of the financial aid process, ISAC is there, acting as a centralized source of information and guidance. ISAC administers most of the key state and federal grant,scholarship, loan and prepaid tuition programs available to postsecondary students. It annually awards close to $750,000,000 to nearly 250,000 qualified applicants.
As a one-stop center, ISAC tries not only to broaden access to postsecondary education, but to simplify the process of reaching that goal as well. Visit to learn more about how ISAC can assist you.

Conference of Women Legislators Scholarship

The Conference of Women Legislators (COWL), a bipartisan coalition of women legislators in the Illinois General Assembly, awards a limited number of scholarships as part of its mission to promote economic independence, community service and leadership development. The scholarship program is geared to ward mature women who want to earn a college degree. Each grant is $2,500.
Scholarship applicants are required to enroll in an Illinois accredited college or university for a minimum of seven credit hours to qualify, which means the scholarships are available to part-time as well as full-time students. In addition to academic achievement, the scholarship committee also considers the applicant's commitment to community service. Applications must be postmarked by April 09, 2010. Awardees will be notified of the decisions by May 7, 2010. Scholarship applications may be downloaded from the COWL website at

A snapshot" Area demographics (2000 census. May run from north of 47th. From Chicago Public Library)

Ethnic Grouping (2010 Census)
African American 43.3%White 41%
Hispanic 5% Asian American 11%
Native American 0-0.2%
Other 0-0.3%

Age distribution (1990 Census)
0-17 years 19.6%
18-34 years 33.8%
35-64 years 33.1%
65+ 13.5%

Average School Years Completed: 12.8Schools Served: Elementary: 17
High School: 4 Shared with other branches: 1


vice Area Population: 50,084

(more in reports in the Schools homepage.)

On the 23rd of September, 2008 the HPKCC Schools Committee hosted a Networking Dinner for nearly forty neighborhood school principals and chairpersons of Local School Councils in the Canter Middle School gymnasium. This was an important occasion because neighborhood schools heard from consultant Sheila Wesonga about ways to look for and apply for grants to augment school programs and also how to craft the proposal to give it maximum weight. According to Ms. Wesonga, there are 6 steps to successful grant writing: planning, researching, organizing, writing, submitting and follow-up. Follow-up is often forgotten and can be crucial to the uccess of future grant writing events. She coined the phrase “Unity amongst the community!” In order to successfully educate a child, says Ms. Wesonga, the school, parent and community MUST work together. “We must unite and use all of our uniquely special skills to have a positive impact on




Higher education in Hyde Park and beyond (To seminaries etc.)
College / University and guide to finding, getting prepared for college Black Excel's African American Student's College Guide has been recommended as one of the best search-and-information sites. Recommended as direct, free and not selling things.

Scholarships: See above for some options.

Selling textbooks? visit

There are also many books on applying for college and win a share of the scholarship money that goes begging.
One that walks one through the life-approach and skills needed is Anthony Moore's Scholarship Rich:
Get paid (not played) to go to college! 773 636-4505.

Check also with Gear Up Chicago, related to UC CUIP program:, (.htm?) Kenwood Academy's Brotherhood and Gear Up are just as few aids.

Office of the City Clerk of Chicago with the Tax Assistance Program offers one-on-one training on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Illinois! 529 Tuition Program. Every Tuesday evening 5:30-7:30 January 29 2008- April8 (no appointment). 121 N. La Salle Room 107.312 466-0771,

A board with lots of information that is also interactive for SPORTS students and parents is BOTN Industries:
Topics covered- some transportable to any scholarship or admission- include
•contacting coaches,
•profile creation,
•guest playing and changing teams,
•tournament selection,
•NCAA rules and regulations,
•NCAA division selection,
•team selection,
•showcasing costs,
•team philosophy,
•negotiation skills,
•college athletic scholarships,
•academic scholarships, and
•many others.

Trinity Higher Education Corporation, outreach of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago. The THEC Mission is to promote, support, and facilitate the pursuit of higher education among underserved and under-represented communities within Metropolitan Chicago and it’s surrounding areas. As we work towards multiple objectives, which are designed to empower those we serve to gain a comprehensive perspective in regards to higher education, THEC delivers a set of services designed to accomplish the task of meeting each individual goal. Some of the greatest minds in history have passed through the halls of the many institutions of higher learning. The goal of humanity should be to ensure that all who seek knowledge be given an opportunity to pursue it. Includes ACT test prep, HCBU campus (Historically Black) tours, Wright-Purnell College Placement Center, Educational Talent Search, Gear Up, MLK College program, and events such as college tours, English Lab and Math Lab. 1947 W. 95th St. 60643.

Jobs and learning/growing opportunities outside the classroom:

HPKCC's Youth Programs Database-
Expanded and topical HPKCC After School programs and providers database-
Project Exploration's nationwide and local opportunities in Discover Your Summer (book form or online at
Black Excel KidSmart Summer Jobs database at
CUIP Chicago University Internet Project: (.htm?)
Gear Up Chicago-
Chicago Park District-
Chicago Public Schools-

City of Chicago-
Visit our Helpline and Government Services and Resources pages.

Divinity Schools (more in Religious Organizations resource directory)

Tutoring, after/'tween/summer schooling (More in Community Support Resources). Formal schools--see Schools Directory and After School, out-of-school and other Kids offerings.
KidStart--see in Help Line page/Children.

Are you looking for affordable tutoring for your child?
The Neighborhood Schools Program’s
Maroon Tutor Match:

One-on-One Tutoring and Community Space Tutoring
is here to help!
One-on-One Tutoring
How it works: Our University of Chicago tutors will list their areas of expertise, and parents
provide information about their student to us. We match tutors to students, and parents
contact the tutor directly to arrange a time and venue for tutoring to take place (online or inperson
for the highly affordable rate of $12/hr). Learning happens!
To arrange for tutoring, please go to
Free Community Space Tutoring
In addition to our private tutoring options, we will also provide FREE tutoring in community
spaces to students who live in our mid-south side neighborhoods. We will be continuing our
partnership with the University Church at 5655 S. University Ave. Maroon Match
Tutors will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm in the University
Church Library (next to Fabiana’s Café). Students will be able to receive tutoring support
for one hour per day. Maroon Match Spaces work on a drop-in, first come/first served basis.
Maroon Match provides one-on-one tutoring to students who attend partner schools of the University Of Chicago’s
Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP). For nearly 40 years, NSP has supported students who reside in the Hyde Park,
Woodlawn, Bronzeville, Washington Park, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, South Shore, and Oakland
neighborhoods, and these students are also eligible to utilize our services.
Questions? Contact Akanksha Shah (, Maroon

Most schools as well as parks with fieldhouses have afterschool and day0ff from school programs that include tutoring, some schools have mandated on-site or web tutoring under "No child left behind."

Some online tutoring providers: There are many commercial tutoring companies (may be expensive) including Education Solutions, Huntington, Kumon (which has a local school at United Church of Hyde Park), Kaplan, Princeton, Sylvan, and web based such as Brainfuse and Tutorial School .)
Academic Approach provides ACT test preparation as well as English and vocabulary building courses for freshmen, sophomores and more courses. Seems to be user friendly.
There are many online/in home programs now, such as ClubZ., 708-534-3981.
Educate Online. DeSonta Tillman |Territory Manager, Sales Educate Online, Inc. Office (312) 421-2440 Cell (312) 282-7690, 420 North May Street Chicago, IL 60622. Desonta.
Google Tutoring and Literacy Resources: Publications. Live online: and many more.

Most schools as well as parks with field houses have after school and day-0ff from school programs that include tutoring, and some schools have mandated on-site or web tutoring under "No child left behind." There are many commercial tutoring companies including Education Solutions, Huntington, Kumon, Kaplan, Princeton, Sylvan, and web based such as Brainfuse.) Tutoring is a major initiative of the Blue Gargoyle,
To Chicago Public Schools Office of Afterschool Programs,
CPS Student Zone:, (see below) Education Station and Homework Mastery Center,
Schools post-homework, notices etc. are in CPS' School Notes. More on online tutoring a bit further down.

New in Hyde Park: American Kidz childcare and Social Skills Superstars: Strategies for Social Success. In Windermere House 1642 E. 56th St. (on S. Hyde Park Blvd. side).
Social Skills (Dr. Chrisna Perry) holds weekly social skills classes for studens K-4: children's literature, instruction, roll playing, play. Especially for children with challenges. 312 217-1868, 5-6:15 Mons, Tues, Weds, Ths depending on grade.
American Kidz is in Windermere House, address 5548 S. Hyde Park Blvd. 6 weeks to 6 years. (tours can be requested online) 312 951-5439. Dir. Wendy Kroeker. 6 am-6:30 pm. Education-based curriculum. Does not take Action for Kids or other governmental assistance. 6 classroms accomodte up to 96. Enrichment brought in- yoga, music, foreign languages. Field trips to MSI. Healthy snacks.

Baby PhD Childcare Network.,, 5411 S. Dorchester. Includes programs for toddlers and a bit older in Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, as well as serving as an umbrella and referral for childcare and preschool providers in the area. Funded in part by the University of Chicago. More about them in the Helpline and Educational Resources pages. At the Neighborhood Club: Baby PhD ( infant and toddler play group activities all week long range from motion to rhythm, dance, storytelling/reading, languages, sign language for, game- $5 drop in, $40 t0-pass, free to members.
Spring 2010 Spanish if sufficient interest.
If enough parents are interested, Baby Ph.D. will sponsor a special Spanish Language Class this spring. The class will be offered by the new Hyde Park location of Lango Kids (see The cost of the class will be $80. The price includes 10 - 45 minute classes including all materials for art projects games etc plus one book, CD, set of flashcards and doll for each child. Please contact Sarah at right away if you are interested in having your child participate.
Related? Neighborhood Parent Network- including Fairs such as at HP Neighborhood Club- check there or with babyphd. Find in Facebook or resources. Free Tutors Help, Inc. links to 14 free home tutoring websites, from subjects to ranking and admissions tests.

A large online source is
Look for more private tutors, tutor connectors, or tutoring services (none of which this site can vouch for) at
, (connects local tutors with parents and children in need of academic tutoring), http:/ and similar sites on search engines. is a worldwide registry of tutors in all subjects worldwide, with a premium $ for profile listing, otherwise free. It's for person on person linkup, not for "online" tutoring, although the tutor can arrange to tutor online. Some are university, others not. Most pupils are high school.
Another online match service is

Another, which guarantees state-certification, is EleMental Learning: (home page) Or, if you prefer, the webpage which is specifically for Chicago area folks. It is located at:
Many advertise tutoring in the neighborhood. One example: Tu 3-5 and Sat 12-3 by appointment for high school students and elementary Monday 3-5 at Hyde Park West Apartments, 5235 S. Cottage Grove- call 773 324-7600.
Tutoring Services
is a national online match-finder, esp. math and science.

To Chicago Public Schools Office of Afterschool Programs,
CPS Student Zone:,
Schools post homework, notices etc. in CPS' School Notes.

In addition, The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, the Hyde Park Art Center, Blackstone Library offer classes including day-off-from-school programs. For such and general cultural classes check the Cultural Resources Page or the Cultural Calendar. Ask local churches and synagogues also. See also the Recreation and Fitness Resources Directory, Nichols Park Gym.

Don't ignore the many resources of the University of Chicago, including online such as CUIP. Details in the UC and Schools Page and the sections of the Afterschool page. All this is part of a larger panoply: South Side Scribblers targeted to Englewood and other struggling communities, American Investment Fellows (high schoolers learning to invest!), Civic Knowledge (Odyssey, Neighborhood Writing Alliance for disadvantaged adults esp. in Hyde Park area, SPLASH-CASCADE), SmARTkids, Career Pathways Initiative jobs and training for Woodlawn, Neighbors-Law School tutoring program esp. for Hyde Park high schoolers. Collegiate Scholars is another.

See also resources and research findings of the Urban Education Institute including the Consortium for Chicago School Research ( or and Chapin Hall (click About).

Working with UC's Urban Education Institute are Chapin Hall Center for Children, School of Social Service Administration.
Find out about holistic family approaches including assets and promises approaches in this website. There are studies and evaluations of such programs and what is available, for example from the Chapin Hall website (at U of C):evaluating After School Matters, How Active are Teens, and Adults and Bullying: Go to
Chapin Hall, 1313 E. 60th St., 773 753-5900, fax 773 753-5940. Dir. Matthew Stagner. Lots of research papers! involved in Elev8 and Woodlawn Promise- bringing services into the schools in conjunction with afterschool programs.

A UC-related student organization that makes college a reality for poorer students and and provides real mentoring, resources, tutoring is the Chicago Scholarship Foundation (formerly Scholarship Chicago.) It covers the five-year stretch from college application to college graduation and job-finding. It has matriculated students from 87 schools public and private. It interviews juniors for 55 spots plus 20 more through partners, selecting for drive and promise, not "achievement." GPA 2.5-5, AP or not acceptable. It does not target specific ethnic or economic groups and has students from nearly every city neighborhood and ethnic group, and tries to target the most needy and the whole city. 54% of families have have income under $20,000 and some over $100,000-- income doesn't tell the need story! It's not the financial help (which usually includes only a crucial bit such as $5,000 over 5 years--used to leverage into a total of $1 million a year other scholarships) but the mentorship that sets this program apart. Workshops and events are critical elements, including helping the students find their resources, financial and other, apply et al. A big event is one that is far more than a fair with many colleges of many kinds interviewing-- there is a college for every student. Then, when in college, an older student at that college becomes the student's mentor. It's about building community. Then there are the summer workshops with career-directed corporate internships that also teach community involvement. Meseret Negash, Dir. of Programs. 55 E. Jackson Blvd. Suite 1010 Chicago, IL 60604 Phone: (312) 784-3300 Fax: (312) 784-3301

University of Chicago's Center for Infant Studies seeks participants (0-5 years) for research on cognitive development and language acquisition. Play games and find out what children are thinking. Older and younger siblings welcome. 773 702-2246.

SAT PSAT etc. prep courses. Such services are said by research to be a mixed bag-- the key benefit is getting practice, not necessarily content!In addition to such nationwide companies as Kaplan, or smaller web-bases such as (by U of C alumni), there are small tutorial groups such as:

Alumni in Public Schools, other UC initiatives- see in U C and Schools.

Major Hyde Park and some Mid South Tutoring and similar programs. Visit also AfterSchool expanded database- tutoring and academics section. Actual schools including preschools are in Schools Directory.

  • The Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network. Sarah Diwan. 5411 S. Dorchester, 60615., Director Sarah Diwan, Ph.D 773 256-0955, Project Assistant William Hill, Mentor Teacher Sara Davis, BA, c/o A centrally coordinated network of Professional Home ("PhD") Daycares and nannies dedicated to serving Hyde Park families and University of Chicago faculty and staff-- now moving to serve expanded whole community. Registration required 773 256-0955. Many day-school classes are in a nearby home settings. And daily programs in Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.
    Services for families include Daycare info and referrals for children 0-3, Assistance setting up and maintaining nanny-shares, Parent education., Drop-in Activities for children 0-3 in music, art , book club, Spanish, sign language. For providers: On- and off-site training and mentoring in setting up an effective, high quality, home daycare business in the Hyde Park community.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago tutors in Hyde Park (and many other) schools. To volunteer. 312 727-0637.
  • Black Star Project, Black Data Processors Association encourages schools, families, students to participate in its High School Computer Competition. Students learn html, web page design, flow charting, Java, other applications. Starts January, 2005. Black Star Project Director Philip Jackson, contact Catherine Jackson- BSP sponsors many clubs and programs, including at Afrocentric Bookstore, 4655 S. King Dr., and the University of Parenting at St. Paul and the Redeemer.
  • Black Star's programs are for youth and for parents (based at St. Paul & the Redeemer): 312 842-3527,
  • Blue Gargoyle CLOSED.
  • Calvert House. Tutoring at Calvert House Roman Catholic campus center, 5735 S. University. Laura Lecompte at 773 288-2311. For students in grades 2-12 Tu and W after school and Sat. morning or afternoon.,
  • Centers for New Horizons After School Programs (hq. 3950 S. State), 773 667-0666. Not sure how close nearest is.
  • Chicago Academic Games League A committee of HPKCC, this program brings kids from several schools to the UC Lab School monthly for math game teaching. Participating schools must cosponsor and provide a teacher. There is an annual tournament. Contact University of Chicago Service Center.
  • Chicago Freedom School, 719 S. State St, 3N Chicago, IL 60605, 312.435.1201, Classes for youth and adults in civic responsibilities and putting freedom into action.
  • Computer Training Institute of Chicago. Paul Johnson, Program Director. 773-952-6030. In Hyde Park at 1424 E. 53rd St., Ste. 204, Chicago, IL 60615. Training in small classes in Adobe suite, Microsoft Office suite, CompTDIA A Plus, M Computing, Cisco Networking, Medical Billing and Coding, Project Management, Six Sigma, ESL.
  • Creative Mansion Children's Academy. CLOSED PERM.
  • Digital Youth Network. 1050 E. 47th St. Akili Lee (? Digital Youth Network trains youth in schools including Kenwood Academy in media productions and arts ranging from the bits and final productions to producing their own portfolios and resumes.
  • Education Station. Free in conjunction with CPS and schools. Small group. Parent Helpline 800 246-2154
  • Futureworld Learning Centers Nfp, 1744 E. 55th St. Chicago, IL 60615, 773 256-1570, details at 312 719-4907. Ms. Parham. http:/ or Links other than email do not currently work.
    Before and after school centers- partnering with computers in park fieldhouses, internet fun learning, afterschool homework help using computers and competition and teaching blitz math, speed reading, photo/graphics, website creation. Can be affordable or free.
  • GenTech. Founded by Hyde Parker Deborah Thompson to provide technology and entrepreneurial camps, tutoring and experience. In 2010, students invented smart phone apps that are already in production and use! 7 week camp for ages 8-17. Also includes classes in video game creation, website creating, 3-D animation. They hardly know they are doing work or research. 93% show gains in math, 98% gains in reading., 773 324-7772.
  • God Squad Christian Summer Camp. 6-14 yrs, 12-5 M-F. 4941 S. Drexel Blvd. 773 548-0400.
  • The Homework Mastery Center. 5220 S. Blackstone? Listed in search as at 1424 E 53rd St. Chicago, IL 60615, 773 684-2555. K-12. State approved, certified teachers on staff.
  • Hyde Park After School Programs. 5234 S. Blackstone Ave., 773 363-5844.
  • Hyde Park Art Center. 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. 773 324-5520. Creativity and Summer camps, - in the Cultural Calendar.
  • Hyde Park Development Center- closed.
  • Hyde Park Learning Resources Center. 5114 S. Dorchester. 312 209-3852. Call and ask for Lillie Goodwin, Tutoring and homework, test preparation centering on academics for all grades. 2 pm earliest to 6 pm. Safe Haven.
  • Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. 5480 S. Kenwood. 773 643-4062. Year-round Before and After school and Days Off, Summer Camp 7 am-6 pm ages 6-12 Reg. opens May 2.
  • Hyde Park Parent Support Network- parents and young kids play interactive, stimulative games. 5230 S. Blackstone. 773 684-2555.
  • Hyde Park Young Life. Marlena Fleming, Director. Contact Info: Young Life Hyde Park c/o Donna Dortzbach 4524 S. Ellis Ave. Chicago, IL 60653. 773 540-8860, (search by zip then click Hyde Park). (Also given as 5421 S. Dorchester #1 60615. Cell 312 245-3364 but this is not in their website.) Faith based tutoring and mentoring and empowerment groups in Kenwood Academy, Canter (including an after school dance class) et al, Kenwood Park fieldhouse, and more is combined with hands on ministry and service projects, training, field trips and mentoring opportunities for teens. From a national faith based organization that has lots of camps et al.
  • Ivy League Tutoring., 7134 S Jeffery Blvd. Chicago, IL 60649. (773) 752-2222
    One-to-one tutoring, elementary through adult, leading to success including at top flight universities. Targeted especially to an African-American population. Office near the University of Chicago. Carol Young or Adrian Hunter at 773 752-2222.
  • Kemit Learning Center. Professional day care in a home environment. Full curriculum lead by a certified teacher- Spanish, Music, Educational field trips, Yoga, baby sign language. After school care incl. transportation, Ages 6 weeks-to 7 years old 773 268-4454.
  • Kenwood United Church of Christ, 4600-08 S. Greenwood, 773 373-2861. Tutoring, recreation, arts, crafts, Bible class for ages 6-16 Saturday noon-3 pm.
  • Kumon Math and Reading Centers. 1525 E. 55th St. Ste 202. Use the general no. 800 937-6284. (look for Chicago-area-tutoring)
  • Literacy Works (773 334-8255).
  • Little Black Pearl Workshop. 1060 E. 47th. 773 285-1211. An extraordinary new facility- arts, computer, tutoring, restaurant. Adding music, family progs. in early 2005.
  • Music Teachers of Hyde Park. 773 643-9251. (Ties in with Hyde Park Youth Symphony and Blackstone Library 4thonday recital series. (See Cultural Resources, Cultural Calendar).
  • New Ways Learning. NewWays Learning works with adults, youth and children to develop the skills for success. We Work To Reach Your Goals. NewWays Learning is a place for thinking and learning. Learning is a process between students and teachers. We begin with... the goals you want to reach. Tutors work with students to reflect on learning, celebrate success, learn from mistakes and move forward to make new goals.
    You Can Work On Many Kinds of Goals: One to One Tutoring, Home Schooling, Reading, Writing and Math. Learn English (ESL), Study for the GED, High School Prep, Middle School Prep, College Prep, (ACT/SAT), Job Readiness and Employment Skills and Computer Skills.
    Our goal is to help you reach your goals. We will do everything we can to help you find a tutor at a cost that you can afford. Our students never pay more then 10-15 dollars an hour. NewWays Learning also offers free services to several students each year who qualify.
  • The Next Step. A program for teen mothers to transition from high school to junior college. By the Junior League and UC Pediatrics Dept., 5440 S. Drexel (Friend Center), 773 834-4504. Search in
  • hold this space for Text and Tutor book-ordering and one-on-one web based personal tutoring. Coming late 2004.
  • Parent Cooperative for Early Learning. Monica S. Foster, 5300 S. Shore Dr. 883 784-6363, Fax 773 684-0142.
  • Parent Support Network- see Hyde Park PSN
  • PhD Tutors Chicago. These are U of Chicago PhD candidates in various fields who will tutor, for fee.
  • Church of St. Paul and The Redeemer seeks volunteer tutors for 1st and 2nd graders and students. Wednesdays, 3:14-4:15 starting in January. Linda Thisted, 773 947-9243.
  • Strive. From Ellis Avenue Church, 5001 S. Ellis, 773 268-4910. Provides after school and summer tutoring for grades 1-12.
    Strive programs are also run in schools by University of Chicago tutoring programs.
  • Sylvan Learning Centers now located in the Del Prado, 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. 773 288-8888.,
  • Tutor-Spree. Lots of local and Chicago tutors in a wide range of fields, from U of C and other current college students to persons active in many fields.
  • Varsity Tutors Chicago. A private, in-home tutoring company employing many UC students and grads. K-12 academics or test prep. $65-$75 per hour with package discounts. 5656 S. University, 847-840-2442.
  • Windy City Cares mentoring. Just getting started, seeking mentors? Contact Bernard Key at
  • World of Words will be in fall 2008 be teaching kids who want a writing career and helping them get published. Will serve 29th to 71st, State to the lake. Location and more info as available.
  • Youth at the Crossroads. 1300 E. 47th St. Suite 223, Chicago Il 60653, Assist youth in creating and achieving goals including networking, entrepreneurship, college and scholarship searches, life skills, mentoring, counseling, tutoring.
  • Other summer camps: Ancona School, Hyde Park Art Center, Hyde Park Neighborhood Club Jewish Community Center, Little Black Pearl, Parks, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Summerlab, U of C Super Summer Sports Camp, and more. (See in Afterschool page-Camps.)
    Chicago Youth Centers-Donnelley is one of several working in local and nearby CPS schools, in this case Price and Harte. See in Afterschool.

Chicago Child Care Society
5467 S. University Avenue. 773 643-0452.
Nancy Johnstone
Since 1849, Chicago's and Hyde Park's oldest child welfare agency. To safeguard vulnerable children and reinforce their families first.
Child and Family Development Center serves 2-5s in Community Day Care for working parents. There is also Homeless Day Care and Protective Day Care. Takes both community and DCFS kids including pick up to and from shelters. "
Clinical family services such as foster care and adoptions. Licensed therapists. Next Step program prepares teenage mothers with one child for college.
In summer of 2010, CCCS assumed a former Blue Gargoyle literacy/GED program for parents of children 0-3, thanks to a grant from the Barbara Bush foundation. The program starts October 1. CCCS will also have a new Early Head Start program and expanded HIV program. The former, made possible by a large grant, includes home visitation -- 4 home visitors will each visit 12 families a week. The HIV program is for youth and one of few agencies that actually received more from the state. It includes not only focus groups (small-group orientation on lifestyle changes) but for CCCS to teach its HIV education presentation in schools , testing, counseling.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club will be ramping up its programs ages 0-18 starting fall 2010 with a youth and childhood only focus. See in News of Collaborers.

Youth Pride Center and services. Youth of gay etc. affiliation or questioning. Serves c. 200 ages 13-19 from HP Neighborhood Club and 4950 S. Dorchester. Includes "University" life readiness by age 21, support groups, Frankie the Magazine, YPC Entertainment (which brings in performing artists from major schools and theaters) , advocacy Foundation, trips to affiliate clubs/programs in other cities and other parts of Chicago. Engagement in school, commitment required. 5480 S. Kenwood, 773 382-0511, for full prospectus.


Additional providers of programs and resources in schools and parks and libraries and for educators

  • Bridge Educational Services., In several mid south schools and programs outside. Emphasizes connected learning, compassion, and problem-solving/posing skills with custom solutions related to self improvement, academic enrichment, human agency, cultural literacy, character development. Provides workshops for educators and education consultants, program assessment, curriculum design. Areas: literacy and creative ars, educational technology, diversity and cultural awareness, leadership development, male mentoring, 21st century skills, character, ambassadors of culture, critical thinking, youth development to created students who are curious, invested, analyzers, culturally astute and empowered.
  • E Learning for Schools. A new program designed to teach savvy computer, internet and technology skills to classes of parents and children, elementary and middle, school leading to Technology Certification. The standardized global curriculum is on line and looking for a 60-parent pilot for 8 weeks and to help schools develop their technology plan that is entry to funding. Will be a modest charge to school and parents. Nitin Hemmady. http://www/elearning,
  • Futureworld Learning Centers, 1744 E. 55th St. Chicago, IL 60615, 773 256-1570, details at 312 719-4907.
    Before and after school centers- partnering with computers in park fieldhouses, internet fun learning, afterschool homework help using computers and competition and teaching blitz math, speed reading, photo/graphics, website creation. Can be affordable or free
  • Hyde Park Young Life. Marlena Fleming, Director. Contact Info: Young Life Hyde Park c/o Donna Dortzbach 4524 S. Ellis Ave. Chicago, IL 60653. 773 540-8860, (search by zip then click Hyde Park). Faith based tutoring and mentoring and empowerment groups in Kenwood Academy, Canter (including an after school dance class) et al, Kenwood Park fieldhouse, and more is combined with hands on ministry and service projects, training, field trips and mentoring opportunities for teens. From a national faith based organization that has lots of camps et al.
  • Iris Reading- speed reading. Free classes in Blackstone Library but also on line. For local: select Blackstone Branch.
  • Urban Gateways Center for Arts Education. All kinds of programs in schools, including instrument donation (x252). 312 922-0440.

    Debating and debate teams and leagues can be a real skill and confidence builder. To learn more, visit NAUDL or Urban Debate,

Adult continuing education, GED (limited listings) (see also Cultural Resources directory)

Parent Information & Resource Links (the list is far from exhaustive; a few of these are to alternative approaches to education, many are for profit. Note, we cannot vouch for every site or its safety.) More complete contacts and descriptions in the Helpline child or mentoring sections or in Schools Directory as appropriate.

Almost anything from the Urban Education Institute or Chapin Hall Center for Children

  • Catalyst-Organization for Chicago School Reform (Community Renewal Society)
  • Center for Urban Pedagogy (Philadelphia based alternative approaches to learning and change, based on exploring the world around us)
  • Chicago Community Trust including Chicago Matters
  • Chicago Public Education Foundation
  • Community Media Workshop (posts information, papers for and about communities and their orgs.)
  • Designs for Change
  • IFF (formerly identified as Illinois Facilities Fund; furnishes research results on performing and non performing schools and neighborhoods)
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Mid South Education Association, an advocacy and lsc/teacher/parent support and training provider, offshoot of KOCO. Jitu Brown,
  • Neighborhood Capital Budget Group (closed?)
  • Ounce of Prevention Fund
  • Parenting 4 Academic Success. Small organization led by Pricilla Dixon that gives info and advice to parents on understanding and navigating the system and making best choices for their children.
  • Pedagogical Factory (Stockyard Institute?)
  • Pure (Parents United for Responsible Education)- advocacy, information, lsc training.
  • Relocation Guide-Hyde Park
  • SEPA updates
  • Working In the Schools-connected to South Side Volunteers
    Working in the Schools (WITS) is a literacy organization that increases
    the reading proficiency and learning capacity of low-income and minority
    students in Chicago Public Schools. WITS recruits and supports dedicated
    business, government, and community volunteers who deliver measurable
    and consistent tutoring and mentoring services. Founded in 1991 by
    Chicagoans Joanne Alter and Marion Stone, WITS began at one urban school
    in the Cabrini Green housing development. Today, WITS hosts more than
    1,300 volunteers consisting of corporate and government employees,
    retirees and community volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. Through
    the programs at WITS not only do the students benefit but the schools,
    teachers, volunteers and business partners benefit from the experience
    as well.


    WITS provides volunteer opportunities for businesses,
    organizations and individuals. The Power Lunch and Workplace Mentoring
    programs are sponsored by businesses and organizations as volunteer
    opportunities for their employees. Individual volunteers participate as
    Early Childhood Volunteers, Classroom Assistants or in the Saturday

    Programs for Individuals:

    Early Childhood - Once or twice a week volunteers travel by school bus
    to an elementary school and work with three and four year old students
    using dialogic reading. (All volunteers are trained prior to first

    Classroom Assistants- Volunteers are assigned to one classroom and work
    either one on one, in small groups or with the whole classroom.
    Assistants volunteer for 3-4 hours a week, once a week.


Recommended recent books

"Crossing the Finish Line" includes parents' checklist.
"How to Walk to School" recounts a turnaround of a Lakeview elementary school by UC alum parents. Jacqueline Edelberg and Ruth Kurland.
"Organizing Schools for Improvement", based on Chicago experience. Penny Sebring and the Consortium for Chicago School Research.
" Tag, You're It! 50 Easy Ways to Connect with Young People." By Kathleen Kimball Baker.
"The Courage to Be Yourself- True stories by teens about cliques, conflicts, and overcoming teen pressure." Edited by Al Desetta.

CPS, Chicago Public Schools Department of External Resources and Partnerships/CPS Partnerships Office, interim dire. Lisa Wiersma (llwiersma@). In or go to
773 553-1540, Fax 773 553-1541.

CPS is the nation's third-largest school system- 600+ schools, 45,000 employees, 425,000 students (85% low income). In 2006, 62.5% met or exceeded state standards (up 15%)

Chicago Public Schools Department of External Resources and Partnerships

Goals: Garner resources in the form of money, materials and volunteers in order to promote student achievement and improve education.

Free Things for Schools. Businesses and individuals contact the Department. If accepted, the gifts (tax deductible) are posted on the CPS Free Things website. First come, first served. Telephone: 773 553-1540.

Futures Exchange- companies, organizations and individuals are paired with Chicago public schools. To request a partner, visit and click Futures Exchange, or email

Principal for a Day. Site (in CPS Partnerships Office) and signup:

Volunteers- directory of opportunities.

CPS Dept. of Child and Youth Services: Daisy Lezama, 313 743-0258, Patrick Milton after school programs school applications.

Reference Links for Resources (grants): (Only some of these actually provide funds, but they have extensive lists.)

After School Matters

DonorsChoose. Teachers submit proposals for materials, experiences for their projects.

Donors Forum. A host of links and descriptions, on line or on site, for foundation and other giving.

Fundsnet Online Services. Hundreds of links to funding sources and tips on grant-writing and fund-raising.

Illinois State Board of Education. Formula and competitive grant programs.

Mickey's Place in the Sun Grants and Grant writing Resources.

The National Center for Education Statistics announces the availability of QuickStats, a new data tool, at QuickStats allows public access for data consumers -- such as policy makers, legislative staff, journalists, students, and others -- to answer questions using data collected by NCES.

Research Grant Guides, Inc. Publishes directories for grant-seekers. By state, profiles with verified areas of support, restrictions, etc. Google the names to find lots others- and a scam-identifier site.

The Foundation Center (Online)

U.S. Department of Education. Notices from the Federal Register.

Welcome to School Grants Googling here gives lots of leads including grants FOR schools and for paying for school and college. Incl.

Women's Sports foundation


Programs and resources of Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and its
Mid South Education Association

A response to massive school closures and transformations and the 2004 Mid South Plan and an outgrowth of KOCO ongoing education initiatives, MSEA was formed. It meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Kennicott Park fieldhouse, 4434 S. Lake Park. Contact is Jitu Brown, 773 748-7500 or

  • With ACORN and Target Area Development Corporation administers $1.5 million in Grow Your Own Teachers Act funds: to place 1000 new teachers by 2016;
  • LSC Facilitator Institute preparing parents and community members to become certified LSC facilitators;
  • Working with others on legislation to strengthen the LSC legislation;
  • Advice and counsel to LSC's on how to work effectively;
  • Teacher Recruitment, Training, and Development (Teacher Training Institute at Lane Professional Development;
  • Education Forums and Local School Support, assists area schools to plan and implement parent involvement strategies. Works for revision of school closing policies to ensure the process is respectful of parents and community.


Connecting with Tweens, age 11-14

Recommended by Kiwanis Int'l: " Tag, You're It! 50 Easy Ways to Connect with Young People." By Kathleen Kimball Baker.

Based on Kiwanis Magazine, December 2009. By Matthew Gonzales.

Remember when you were in middle school: self-consciousness, peer pressure, insecurity reigned supreme!
Tweeens need mentors to help them not just cope but become tomorrow's leaders.


  • Daydream believers-- about the future, relationships, anything!
  • Super-connected to family and friends--and every kind of social media
  • Book-smart. Don't believe they don't read. Including coming-of-age (Louis Sachar's Holes, The Twilight and Gossip Girl for girls
  • Make-up and appearance driven
  • Hip to square: more likely to regard parents as hip than prior generations, so adults just try not to be uncool in front of their friends.
  • Under pressure. Achievement-oriented kids whose parents value grades are really in the pressure-cooker; and they all dread "tell me your plans."
  • Keyed into imagination and fun-- that's the easiest way to connect with them (they will come up with projects!), and when you work with them, let them enrich and give zest to your life, while knowing you are making an impact and teaching and helping them (including by example) the importance of helping others.

Clicking with tweens four ways:

  • Watch what they watch on TV: MTV and BET are called the "Adolescent Resource Center."
  • Find a photo of yourself when you were that age and try to remember what it was like.
  • Listen Well- engage and pay attention, let them practice being part of conversation and decision-making
  • Be ready for anything! They are all over the developmental map.


Have no fear. Learn what makes teens tick. Then tap into their energy, passion and techno-savvy.
Remember they are busy-- many have jobs, extracurriculars, or are socializing--and connecting 24-7. And driving, and with lots of responsibilities at home.
Many are advocates on issues-- these hit them in the heart.
Their academic competition is fierce, and the consequences loom.
Music matters.
They are at once conformists and distinguishing themselves

Four ways to connect:

  1. Respect their quirks.
  2. Try texting
  3. Laugh a lot
  4. Chill out and just be yourself.

A book: The Courage to Be Yourself- True stories by teens about cliques, conflicts, and overcoming teen pressure. Edited by Al Desetta.



Search-Institute's American- National Promises Study of how American youth are faring in getting the needed life-skill sets, "Every Child, Every Promise." Visit also Promise Zones, Assets-building proposal.

See also in related pages: Portal to youth program/provider databases,
Schools Committee's Assets-Building idea
. Promise Neighborhoods Programs.

Below to the "Building Assets" 40 assets/skills for adulthood.
Web link to the Study and surveys:

A survey based on research findings including by Dr. John Heckman of the University of Chicago was formulated and run by The Gallop Organization as a 15 minute survey, and the results were parsed by age and demographics (with corrections for undercounts).

The 5 "Promises" or global conditions and prerequisites for success are:

  • having caring adults around
  • having safe places and constructive use of time
  • general health and healthy development
  • effective use of marketable skills and engaging in lifelong learning
  • tries to make a difference by helping others

These in turn are evaluated for translations or further realizations in, for example good grades, avoidance of substance abuse and unsafe sex, volunteering experience, sense they are thriving and have control (See the "assets", below.)

Basic findings are that only a minority give evidence that most or all the promises to them are fulfilled (but these give clues to what works). Experience is often very uneven--strong in one promise or skill but weak in others. A slight majority have overall positive outcomes. There is a strong problem of equality. A child's best "chance" is to be a 6-7 year old girl who is white and from an affluent, well-educated family.

"Building Assets": 40 assets children need to master to become successful adults

The Search Institute encourages a one-on-one approach with youth and has identified and categorized 40 needed assets. These were assigned to 8 developmental areas, and each was surveyed, revealing a very wide disparity between acquisition of related assets, strong correlation between the number of assets acquired and positive behaviors and attitudes (specifically exhibiting leadership, maintaining good health, valuing diversity, and succeeding in school--the weakest correlation, though) and avoidance of high-risk behavior (alcohol, violence, drugs, sexual activity). Only 8 percent have the benchmark 31 of 40, more than half have 20 or fewer. The lack of assets is spread quite evenly over gender, grade, and geography. The need for communication and real dialogue comes out clearly, as it does in Dawoud Bey's new book of teen photos and views, Class Pictures-- a parent of teens must reading.

Categories. The first 4 are external, dealing with structures, relationships, and activities that create a positive environment:

  • Support: Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate and accept them.
  • Empowerment: ...need to feel valued and valuable, safe and respected.
  • Boundaries and expectations: ..need clear rules, consistent consequences, and encouragement to do best.
  • Constructive use of time: ...need opportunities in and out of school to learn and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.

The next four categories reflect internal values, skills, and beliefs to function in the world.

  • Commitment to learning. A sense of the lasting importance of learning, belief in own abilities.
  • Positive values. Strong guiding values, principles for healthy life choices.
  • Social competencies. Skills to interact effectively with others, make difficult decisions, cope with the new.
  • Positive identity. .. believe in their own self-worth and feel they have control over what happens to them.


Here are the assets by category (weak=30% or less perceive it, strong=over 47% do)



1. Family support (very strong)
2. Positive family communication (weak)
3. Other adult relationships-- 3 or more non parent adults
4. Caring neighborhood
5. Caring school climate (weak)
6. Parent involvement in schooling (weak)


7. Community values youth
8. Youth used as resources (weak)
9. Service to others (hour or more per week) (strong)
10. Safety (at home, at school, in neighborhood)

Boundaries and Expectations

11. Family boundaries- clear rules and consequences and monitors whereabouts (strong)
12. School boundaries (strong)
13. Neighborhood boundaries- neighbors monitor youth behavior (strong)
14. Adult role models (weak)
15. Positive peer influence (very strong)
16. High expectations (strong)

Constructive use of time

17. Creative activities (3 or more hours per week) (weak)
18. Youth programs (3 or more hour per week) (strong)
19. Religious community (one or more hours per week) (strong)
20. Time at home (out with friends doing nothing 2 or fewer hours) (strong)

Internal assets

Commitment to learning

21. Achievement motivation (very strong)
22. School engagement (strong)
23. Homework (at least an hour a day) (strong)
24. Bonding to school (strong)
25. Reading for pleasure (3 or more hours a week) (weak)

Positive values

26. Caring (strong)
27. Equality and social justice (strong)
28. Integrity (acts on convictions and stands up for beliefs) (very strong)
29. Honesty (even when it's not easy) (very strong)
30. Responsibility (accepts and takes) (very strong)
31. Restraint (important to be not sexually active, use alcohol or drugs)

Social competencies

32. Planning and decision making (weak)
33. Interpersonal competence (empathy, sensitivity, friendship skills)
34. Cultural competence (with people of different backgrounds)
35. Resistance skills
36. Peaceful conflict resolution

Positive identity

37. Personal power
38. Self-esteem (strong)
39. Sense of purpose (strong)
40. Positive view of personal future (very strong)


HPKCC Schools Committee Prospectus for an assets ("promises") building program and coalition for the Hyde Park-Kenwood area

Eye on Neighborhood Schools: Developmental Assets Program Outlined by Schools Committee

From the July 2009 Conference Reporter. By Nancy Baum

There are, according to the Minneapolis-based Search Institute, 40 different kinds of experiences, relationships, opportunities and personal qualities that children need to have in order to succeed in life. These experiences include exposure to the arts and performance of volunteer work, etc. The Schools Committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference is proposing that a coalition of parents, teachers, community organizations and churches be built in order to help shepherd the students in our neighborhood along. Whatever experiences are not being provided will ultimately be provided. To this end, a staff person will be hired to maintain communications and to coordinate the program that would be established.

After-school programs tend to peter out after age 12. Few want to deal with children that are older. Indeed, Canter Middle School was an outgrowth of the sensed community need for a special school for this transitional age group. Schools and community might do better if they knew what types of experiences children need or are lacking. Our schools are places where parents need to feel more comfortable about sending their children. A child from Kozminski might know about the Hyde Park Art Center, but since it is on the other side of Hyde Park, might not choose to go there. The access to programs for children is uneven.

Some suggested activities are Junior Achievement, Junior Great Books, Café Society, ecology movements, city gardening, etc. Kids would be invited to participate in different organizations. How do we go about selling the idea to parents?

In search of a model for a program that might be doable in Hyde Park, four members of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee, Gary Ossewaarde, the Rev. Larry Turpin, Ismail Turay and Nancy Baum, met with Ida Lynn Wenhold, the executive director of “Kids Matter” in Naperville on March 3, 2009. Ida Lynn explained that the program in Naperville came at the impetus of Edwards Hospital, the local hospital in Naperville. Edwards noticed that many of their adolescent patients were showing signs of abuse and neglect and wanted to do something about it. A Developmental Assets Profile Survey, an abbreviated 15-minute survey, revealed that, though there was a lot of parental support, family communication was poor and service to the community was low. The Profile Survey can be viewed online at A three-pronged approach was conceived in order to reach the community: 1) Programming, 2) Asset Education and 3) Coalition Building.

Programs were developed in giving service to the community, through a Volunteer Fair and obtaining jobs through a Job Fair. Of course, eventually, fund raising became a major undertaking because of all the publicity and materials that were needed to get the word out to the community. Funds came from Chicago United Way, Chicago Trust, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, and from businesses. Coalition-building took place among schools, police, counseling centers, etc. A tracking system was put into place.

How were parents taught about Assets Education? Parents got information to read. A publication called “E Blast” was given to schools to put into their newsletters. Assets Tips and Assets Bingo were created. Printed material was gotten into peoples’ hands by kiosks set up at store cash registers, placing into magazines and newspapers, etc. Businesses were approached to come up with ideas to make children feel more welcome. School resource officers and social workers helped with materials distribution. Other ideas are to get college students to come to schools campuses to talk about college or even become big brothers and big sisters. A special program for girls was established called WINGS. An Equal Opportunity Award was established by the mayor’s office to honor some ordinary kid, perhaps someone who volunteered to clean the streets. Table toppers with family trivia topics were placed on tables in restaurants to get the conversation going.

Needless to say this was an exciting prospect, but decidedly a very large project. We of the Schools Committee have ideas about how to go about implementing a project like this, if needed. To establish need we would like to distribute the 15-minute survey to all students ages 12-19 in Hyde Park. We would need the participation of the principals of all the schools in the neighborhood. Then, once the data were analyzed and needs identified the idea would have to be sold to the community and initial funds would have to be found. We have huge resources available in this community: that could lend full weight to the Community Conference to move forward on this. The Conference has already pulled together a data base of programs available to our youth. It can be found on Rep. Currie and Alderman Preckwinkle’s offices put out an annual booklet listing schools and programs for children.

In addition to finding out what children’s emotional needs are vis a vis the community, the schools have material needs that must be met. But this is a question for another time.



A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (email).
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