Archive for November, 2009

A Final Blog – Group 2 (2009)

Conclusions

Comparing our neighborhoods, we were able to draw a couple of conclusions. First, we realized that many of these children come from low poverty areas, which can affect them in many ways. One way that they can be affected is by lowering their educational opportunities. Children growing up in these neighborhoods see crime, gang violence and drug dealing, and sooner or later they become immune to it. Once they become immune to these types of activities, they will soon forget about their education. Also, having to grow up in a neighborhood where the community doesn’t emphasize education advancements, it’s more likely for children to do poor in school.

When comparing out neighborhoods, we realize that each one has a couple of private/public schools and at least two tutoring/mentor programs. However, we recognize a difference between the numbers of schools within each neighborhood. For example, the Ukrainian Village, Albany Park, and Logan Square have many public schools compared to other neighborhoods. Yet, we should keep in mind that some of our neighborhoods are much bigger than others.

Towards the end of the research, we have become conscious of the fact that many of these neighborhoods are still in need of tutoring/mentor programs. Despite a school’s general academic standing, there will always be children that are in need of extra academic help. There will also always be children that need more positive reinforcement during their journey towards higher education. They should also understand that even though there are tutoring/mentor programs in their neighborhood, not every child has the chance to join, simply because tutoring/mentor programs have very few slots to offer.

Solutions

A way to also help these neighborhoods is by encouraging individuals to volunteer. By volunteering, they can help kids who need extra academic help and more positive influences. It is imperative for other students to volunteer to help other students. Despite all the negative statistics recently created about adolescents, there are still a large number of teenagers that can make a positive influence on another individual. These adolescents can work to help their less fortunate counterparts, who may not have had the same amount of positive reinforcement during their childhoods. Having a high number of volunteers, it not only informs children that they have someone to come to when they need assistance, but there is someone that cares about them and their education.

A bigger solution would be for corporations and the government to take a higher interest in these tutoring/mentor programs and donate. They should come to understand that tutoring/mentor programs are crucial to a productive learning environment. Tutoring/mentor programs are in need of funds every year, and it’s important they receive them in order to keep helping children. There is an increasing variety of negative influences that may affect a student’s ability to succeed in school. If children are unsuccessful with receiving an education, the future of the world will be greatly affected. This, in turn, will then affect the success of the government and multiple corporations. The children of today are the future, and everything should be done to help them succeed.

What about the future?

To the next group who will pick up where our class has left off, we suggest to do as much as you can with this assignment. Work together, and use each other’s strengths.  Come up with new ideas to inform the Chicago area of what being a “tutoring/mentor program” means. Clearly from our posts, we liked to post pictures. That was our way to make our posts more visually appealing. What we never did, but could have been persuasive, was profiling different students in individual tutoring/mentor programs. Sharing success stories of students who have attended or are currently in tutoring/mentor programs may have a bigger impact on the reader.

More importantly, understand the importance of tutoring/mentor programs. Know that what is commonly overlooked is the struggle of some students in relatively good schools. At any school, regardless of its academic profile, there will be a number of students that need additional academic help. Take note of the students you encounter at the individual programs you discover, and be aware of your own classmates in school. As in the case of some students at DePaul University, there are students that are in need of more help with academic work. Seeing this first hand in college and during high school, it is evident that tutoring programs are important.

Best of luck with continuing our work with this assignment. You may not realize this upon being assigned to work on this blog, but this project is a beautiful thing that will make a big impact on the Chicago area, and you’re prospective on tutoring/mentor programs.

Sincerely,

Group 2

Ana P., Arlene H., Jazmin S., Jessica N., and Raul O.
Explore Chicago 111, Growing Up in Chicago
Class of 2013

UPDATE: Statistics

Greetings to our readers on this lovely week before Thanksgiving!

As we bring this November to a close, giving thanks to all of our blessing, we, Group 2, would like to remind you of the various blessing available to everyone. These particular blessing come in the form of the variety of tutoring/mentor programs that can be located in all Chicago area neighborhoods. Although this blog is dedicated to the programs available to students on the northwest side of Chicago, we would encourage further investigation in the other tutoring/mentor programs in other Chicago neighborhoods. To find a program in your own Chicago neighborhood, feel free to use the Cabrini Connections Program Locator:

http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net/

Our group would also like to take this time to announce that we are accepting program recommendations for review on our blog. The only rule about the recommendations is that the program must be located in either Albany Park, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, the Ukrainian Village or West Town.

Please write your suggestions in a comment either on this blog or on our resources page. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Group 2

A Calvin and Hobbes Moment.

Statistics

Logan Square:

Logan square has a total of six nearby schools, which include grades pre-k to 12th. In addition, Logan Square has an average of two tutoring/mentor programs which are: ASPIRA and Boys and Girls Club.

After having research on Logan Square, I was able to find that in the year 2005 the number of children from ages 0-17 had a population of 3,000-7,000. Records also indicate that averages of 5,887 children, in grades of k-12, are enrolled in a local school. This indicates that most children from age five and up in the Logan Square community are enrolled in a school.

On the other hand, statistics demonstrate that the number of pre-k slots per child ages 3-4 in 2006, are of a ratio of 0.26 to 0.42. Also, the number of after-school program slots per youth 13-17 according to the Census tract illustrates that in 2006, there was a ratio of 0.12 to 0.24.

In conclusion, it is clear to see that not every child in the Logan Square area is enrolled in a tutoring/mentor program. Furthermore, the slots offered in after-school programs are low compared to the population of children in Logan Square. In addition to, most of the programs are only offered to a specific age group, meaning that not every child in Logan Square has the opportunity to be in a tutor/mentor program. Therefore, it’s important for the programs that are established now, to continue on expand as much as possible.

Little Italy and Greek Town

Little Italy and Greek town are both popular neighborhoods which makes them condensed with people. Among those people are children of different age groups that need schools and after school programs that will provide these children with education outside of the classroom. Tutor and mentor programs do just that. They give children of different ages the opportunity to have fun while learning. Unfortunately, when combining these two communities there are only 2 tutor mentor programs available for about 750 children from grades K-12.  One of these organizations is Mercy Home for Boys and Girls which hold about 130 children ages 11 to 21, and the other is Midtown Educational Foundation which helps children from grades 4-12. The number of children is not specified but in both these institutions children from grades K-3 have no room.  Thus, some children are left without a tutor/mentor program that can enrich their young lives even further.

aboutus_ourpeople

Albany Park:

Albany Park is a neighborhood that  has about 18 Chicago Public School and 5 Private Schools. By doing some research, I came to find out that about 11,984 students (K-12th grade) are currently attending public schools. In additon to another 1,002 students that are attending private schools. Between public and private schools there are about 694 teachers working there. However, what surprised was that about half of the students in both, private and public schools, were attending a tutor/mentor program. Albany Park has a tutoring and mentoring program known as the Albany Park Community Center. About 6,400 students attend this program annually. It was very shocking to see how half of the students from K-12th grade are actually attending the APCC. I would like to see this number increase as years go by. I just ask myself this question: why are some students not using the resources offered to them in this program? They should appreciate the resources offered because in the long run it is going to help them with their education.

Ukrainian Village:

The Ukrainian Village has a population of about 31,999 people. Of this population, about 3,768 are children in kindergarten through 12th grade. The Ukrainian Village is home to three private schools, Chicago Academy For The Arts, Suzuki – Orff School For Music and Noble St Charter Academy Math And Science, and seven public schools, including Noble St Cs – Golder Preparatory, Richard Milburn Alternative High School, Wells Community Academy High School, Near North Special Education Center, Peabody Elementary School, Noble Street Charter High School, and Carpenter Elementary School. I was unable to accurate numbers of students enrolled in tutoring or mentoring programs in the Ukrainian Village. As I previously mentioned, the neighborhood is incredibly small. Because of its size, there are so few programs located in the neighborhood. The few programs available in the Ukrainian Village, unfortunately do not list information on how many children they serve.

Humboldt Park:

In the Humboldt Park neighborhood there are 21 Chicago Public Schools and 5 private schools. In total there are about 11,000 children that live in the neighborhood that are in Kindergarten up to the 12th grade. There are 10 tutor mentor programs that serve the community. Since there is such a high number of children in the area there are a high number of tutor mentor programs to help with the high number of kids. The average number of kids served yearly in the tutor mentor programs is about 450-500.

Over the course of an entire year the tutor mentor programs serve about 4,800 kids in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The neighborhood is highly populated and having a great number of tutor mentor program is a good thing because that gives all the children a chance to enroll.

According to the Chicago Public School‘s statistics, most of the schools in the Humboldt Park area barely meet minimum state averages when it comes grades and attendance. Graduation rates were much lower than state average. Having more tutor mentor programs could benefit the neighborhood because they would help the children focus more in their education.

Geography of the Northwest Side

Logan Square

Logan Square is a wonderful neighborhood located northwest of Chicago’s loop. The neighborhood is surrounded by West Bloomingdale, Armitage and Diversey. This indicates that the people of Logan Sqaure have easy access to public transportation. CTA buses pass through: Milwaukee, Armitage, Fullerton and Diversey. Plus, it has the Blue Line train that goes across the neighborhood diagonally. Not only does Logan Square offer a great system that allows people to travel. It also holds a population that is mix of ethnicities, which includes: Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Polish, Eastern European, and African Americans.

Most people are attracted to the neighborhood for being affordable; however, it also attracts people because of its restaurants and cafes. Logan Square is a home to over one hundred and twenty fine restaurants, cafes, and bakeries that surround the neighborhood. Some popular sites are: Lula Café, Dunlay’s, Street Side Bar and Grill, Calvin’s BBQ, El Cid. Additionally, the community has near by: churches, health centers, post offices, and schools.

Little Italy and Greek Town

Little Italy is bordered by Roosevelt Rd. and Racine Ave. It is filled with restaurants, transportation, shops, and the University of Chicago in Illinois. Little Italy is minutes away from the Loop and the University of Chicago in Illinois becoming a home for students, faculty, and the high working class. Little Italy became the home of high amounts of Italian immigrants in the 1850’s thus getting the name Little Italy. The construction of the UIC campus caused many homes and establishments to be destroyed causing many of its residents to move out. Now, Little Italy is considered a high-profile community filled with luxury condominiums and fine cuisine. Being close to the Loop, UIC, great restaurants and shops has turned Little Italy into a great community.

Albany Park:

Albany Park is a community with great transportation services. We have several bus routes in our neighborhood that are very useful to travel to other places: Lawrence Bus #81, Pulaski Bus #53, Montrose Bus #78, Kimball/Homan Bus #82, Irving Park #80, and Foster Bus #92. Albany Park is also very accessible through the CTA Brown Line Station, Montrose CTA Blue Line Station as well as by the Edens expressway. I am personally more familiar with the Brown Line and/or the Montrose Bus in order to get to most places. The Brown Line starts and ends at Lawrence and Kimball Avenues. The Brown Line is very useful to get to the Loop.

Most people are familiar with the CTA Brown Line. It is about a block away from Albany Park Community Center, a tutoring/mentoring program. There are other public services near the Brown Line that are efficient for residents in Albany Park. I am a resident of the Albany Park community and I can honestly say that public facilities as well as transportation services have been very useful.

Ukrainian Village:


Happily located four miles northwest of the Loop, the Ukrainian Village is located next to Wicker Park, Humboldt Park and West Town. Its boundaries run from north to south from Division St to Grand Ave, and east to west from Western and Damen Avenues. Although relatively small, the Ukrainian Village is full transportation, including the Chicago #66 bus, Western #49 and X49 buses, Grand #30 bus, Damen #50 bus, and the Division #70 bus. The small neighborhood has no CTA train stops but is conveniently placed only a few blocks away from the Blue and Green Lines.

Humboldt Park:

Humboldt Park  borders include Western Avenue to the east, Pulaski Road to the west, Armitage Avenue to the North and Chicago Avenue to the south. The Humboldt Park Community Area is west of that area; its borders are the Belt Railway on the west, just east of Cicero Avenue; the Union Pacific tracks to the south, along Kinzie Street; Bloomingdale Avenue on the north; and Humboldt Boulevard, Humboldt Park, and Sacramento Boulevard on the east. The rail yards southeast of Grand and Sacramento are also part of the Community Area.

The park was named for Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist famed for his five-volume work, “Cosmos: Draft of a Physical Description of The World”. Interestingly enough, his single visit to the United States did not include Chicago. The creation of Humboldt and several other west side parks provided beauty, linked together via Chicago’s historic boulevard system. The park is flanked by large graystone homes. The park that’s located right in the heart of the neighborhood is one of the largest parks in the city of Chicago.