Sunday, May 4, 2014

Help Some Chicago Kids Right Now

Two things you can do to help kids in Rogers Park and Uptown.

1. Karen Zaccor's students at Uplift have figured out a very simple, smart way to reduce the violence this summer: give more kids jobs! Please sign the petition.

2. Kyle Hillman has started a book/funding drive for Gale Academy, which is preparing to absorb another $300k in budget cuts. Gale kids need books, just like every other kid in America. And yet somehow the people running the system have figured out how to deprive them of books. Here's what Kyle posted:


The 2014 Gale School Book Drive is a community program aimed to improve the reading materials available for students in the local public school elementary. Due to steep budget cuts in Chicago, materials available for in-classroom reading were one of the many items to be cut and subsequently not purchased. The 2014 book drive allows us to collect new or gently used books from the community coupled with donations to improve the school's selection and to help improve academic scores.
100% of all donations will be applied to the purchase of new books. There are no administration fees, and the drive is completely run by community members including local school council members, community leaders, parents, and supporters of the school.
Despite the need for additional funds to address the large percentage of transient students, CPS continues to cut funds for the school and divert costs (such as maintenance, supplies, etc.) to the general fund. The school has already cut non–core programs and reduced teachers to the required minimum and yet the LSC is being asked again to cut $300k from the next budget.
97% of Gale students are categorized as low income students on assistance. For 24% of the students, English is their second language. Another 18% are in special education.
We are collecting books at several donation spots in Rogers Park, (see below) specifically new or gently used books appropriate for PreK – 8th Grade. 
We also need additional monetary donations so that we can purchase hard-to-find books like dual-language early readers.
Your support is greatly needed and appreciated!

Drop off locations:
Heartland Cafe, 7000 Glenwood Avenue
Ellipsis Coffee, 1549 W Devon
Sol Cafe - 1615 W. Howard St.
 Towbar- 1500 w. Jarvis Ave
 Taste- 1516 W. Jarvis Ave.
 Common Cup- 1501 w Morse Avenue
 United Church of Rogers Park- 1545 W. Morse Avenue
 Growling Rabbit- 6981 W. Sheridan Road

Let me also add that Gale works with a mobility rate that was 36% at last measure, and it was even higher last year. Factor in 7.8% homeless, and a 50.7% truancy rate, and you see what the teachers of Gale are contending with, which is to say, a neighborhood in distress. In other words, the Gale community is fighting all the factors that determine academic success, as Jean Pierce demonstrated in this elegant bit of local research.

Please sign, and please donate.

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