Archive Page 2

A Calvin and Hobbes Moment.



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.


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.

First Looks at Tutoring/Mentoring

Ukrainian Village:

The Ukrainian Village is home to several schools and churches, but not many tutoring and mentoring programs. One program in particular is the Community Building Tutors.

"We're not afraid get our hands dirty."

"We're not afraid get our hands dirty."

Although this group’s main priority is not completely centered on academic success, the volunteers working with the group work one-on-one with students in grade school and high school to promote community. By creating projects, each child and others are educated on the benefits of living in a community-concentrated environment. The program successfully grabs students’ attentions with interesting projects, including 2-minute videos based on community, completed over a twelve-week period. Along side this, each student pairing focuses on the younger student’s homework and additional learning games.

“The program strives for a balance between learning and fun to ensure that both the volunteer and the student enjoy and benefit from the time they spend together.”

–Program Description, Community Building Tutors

The reasons for the lack of tutoring and mentor programs in the Ukrainian Village are unknown to our group. We figure that this problem may have something to do with either the Ukrainian Village’s average population’s class rank, or its past attachment to West Town. Despite its citizen’s middle class standing or detachment from West Town, the Ukrainian Village should still have a larger variety of programs for its students.

Little Italy and Greek Town:

While researching for tutor and mentor programs in the Little Italy and Greek Town neighborhoods I came across Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. This institution is located in the Greek Town neighborhood and it has been in operation since 1887. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls is a residence facility for children and young adults ages that range from 11 to 21 years old.  Mercy Home for Boys and Girls provides a safe enviroment where full potential can be reached for a successful life.

Mercy Home is a private organization that is funded by generous people from across the United States. Also Mercy home is a member to numerous associations like the Child Care Association of Illinois, the Illinois Association of Youth Care Workers, and many more. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls is an accredited child care facility and a licensed child welfare agency. This facility is great but only benefits those who are residents of the facility not all the members of the community.

Greek Town and Little Italy only possessed two tutor mentor programs that benefit the community and one of those facilities was a private institution. This concludes that there is only one other facility for both of these communities. More tutor and mentor programs are in need in the communities of Greek Town and Little Italy to accomodate all the children in the neighborhood.

Albany Park:

Albany Park is a community where most immigrants are residing. They do not have sufficient resources as other wealthy communities in Chicago. However, Albany Park does have a tutoring/ mentoring program located at 5121 N. Kimball.

Albany Park Community Center


Albany Park Community Center provides families with plenty of resources. Unemployed individuals have the opportunity to find jobs here. This organization also emphasizes on persuading people to volunteer to benefit the lives of individuals in need in our community. There is other 15 other programs within this large facility. APCC is very beneficial in working with students after school with their homework and/or preparing them for a test.

Even though there is only one tutoring and mentoring program at Albany Park, I believe that this program is very efficient throughout the neighborhood and for most individuals.

Logan Square:

The Logan Square neighborhood, holds many useful resources, but it doesn’t have many tutoring/mentor programs. However, I was able to find one particular program name ASPIRAASPIRA is committed to give the youth of Latino’s the ability to make correct decisions towards their educational journey.

ASPIRA attends rally in Springfield, against the cutting of funds used for programs.

ASPIRA is held through clubs, who are established in thirty-three CPS schools. Apart from the clubs, ASPIRA also has a variety of programs. One of their many programs is the SES (Student Educational Service) program. Which is a tutoring program that helps students to achieve academic growth. Each student will have individual attention and support in all subjects.

ASPIRA might seem like it just helps and tutors children. However, it does much more than that. That is why its important for programs such as ASPIRA to continue on helping students and expand throughout the Chicago area.

Humboldt Park:

Humboldt Park offers its residents endless possibilities of valuable resources that can help enrich the community. One program thatoffers a wide variety of services to the community is: The  Union League Boys and Girls Clubs.

Humboldt Park has a varies tutor/mentor programs that serve the community but the Union League Boys and Girls Club has beenthe most influential. They have been in the neighborhood for almost 40 years.

The Union League Boys and Girls Clubs exist to promote the social, moral, vocational, physical, and educational development of youngsters residing in Chicago. They are about 14 tutor mentor programs that help the community. There is such a high number of tutor mentor programs because of all the children that live in the neighborhood.

The tutor mentor programs are helpful to not only the children they help but the community as a whole. By educating and helping the kids become better people, they are fostering a better future for Humboldt Park because after all, today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders.

Poverty and Children

After reading an arcticle known as “the economic cost of childhood poverty in the United States” by Harry J. Holzer, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Greg J. Duncan, and Jens Ludwig, we began to reflect over the issue of poverty in our Chicago neighborhoods. Amongst our group’s selection of neighborhoods, the amount of poverty varies incredibly. In Humboldt Park, the poverty level is about 30%, and currently has about six different tutoring programs available for children. On the other hand, in a neighborhood such as the Ukrainian Village, where the poverty level is significantly lower, there are only about two tutoring programs in the area. Despite this connection, there is still Albany Park, which has a slightly lower poverty level than Humboldt Park with an average of 20%, and yet only has about two programs.

Around the neighborhoods within Chicago’s northwest side, help has not been provided equally, leaving several neighborhoods without the amount of tutoring and mentoring programs needed. Although the poorest neighborhoods need the most help with keeping children out of trouble, other areas should not be forgotten. Albany Park and other neighborhoods like it should not be overlooked. Even low poverty neighborhoods such as Logan Square and the Ukrainian Village deserve some more programs. As of right now, no one can predict how low this economy will sink, and being able to prevent any further problems will make a big difference.

Introducing Group 2

Hello, and welcome to Group 2’s blog. Our group consists of five different people, Ana, Arlene, Jazmin, Jessica, and Raul. Over the next few weeks, we will each individually provide information on five separate areas of Chicago. The specific areas that we will cover are:

  • Albany Park
  • Humboldt Park
  • Logan Square
  • Ukrainian Village
  • West Town (Greek Town, Little Italy)

The purpose of this is not only to give you an idea of the differences of Chicago’s neighborhoods and what resources they have, but also to allow you to see what resources–specifically, tutor and mentor programs– need your help.

Although we, as a group, have individually researched one area this past weekend, after discussing and sharing our findings, we have found some similarities and differences. The northwest side is full of resourses that benifit every individual in the area. Although there are cultural and financial differences, they provide beneficial resourses towards their community.  As our investigation continues on our selected neighborhoods, we will provide you with more hands on information about the tutoring and mentor programs, and their impact on these communities. Hopefully, our north west side stories will be enlightening to you, and the mentioned programs.

Until next time,

Group 2