Community Schools Anchor in the Community (PDF) by jennyyingdi


Improving the lives of Chicago’s youth since 1911                      News from SGA Youth & Family Services                                                      Spring 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo by Susan McMillen
                                                                       Students and families in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood benefit from a variety of after-school programs at the

Community Schools:                                                     local community school, Telpochcalli, where SGA is a partner agency.

Anchor in the Community                                                    Each CPS community school teams with a lead non-profit
                                                                       partner agency that has demonstrated experience in providing
SGA Among Lead Agencies in Chicago                                     support services aimed at enhancing academic performance. The
                                                                       role of the lead partner agency, thus, requires particular skill and
It takes a community to raise a child.                                 expertise, which is one of the reasons that SGA Youth & Family
     This is one premise behind the growing community schools          Services has been chosen as a partner agency at three Chicago
movement. School systems across the country are quickly                community schools.
implementing the community school model in which neighborhood              The school and the partner agency must share a vision and
schools become vital centers of before- and after-hours learning,      commit to working together for the benefit of the school. Together
enrichment, and activity for students, parents, and adult community    they hire a full-time coordinator who identifies grants and other
members. Culinary classes, English-as-a-second-language classes,       resources to address the school’s particular needs. The Resource
sports, health services, education, and art therapy are among the      Coordinator works out of the school and is jointly supervised by the
vast range of possible program offerings.                              school principal and a liaison from the lead agency.
     Community schools have been shown to improve student                  The school and its partner agency also have the task of
learning by promoting family and community engagement with             developing a tailored collection of voluntary and weekend programs
students and the school. They support a holistic approach to student   for students and the community at large. CPS makes the point that
learning with a matrix of targeted services and programs, pushing      community school programs are not simply add-ons to the regular
open the door to learning opportunities beyond the confines of the     school day; instead, programs must complement the school’s
classroom and 9-to-3 school day.                                       academic program.
     With 150 community schools, Chicago Public School System              Before approving a particular school and agency for
(CPS) leads the nation in number of community schools. This            participation, CPS officials take a hard look at the qualifications and
number represents impressive growth since the inception of the         culture of the lead non-profit agency. Adeline Ray, Senior Manager,
Chicago Community Schools Initiative (CSI) in 2002 under the           CPS Community Schools Initiative, remarks:
leadership of former CPS CEO Arne Duncan——now President
                                                                       “SGA shows a willingness to work collaboratively and is sensitive to the unique needs
Obama’s Secretary of Education.
                                                                        of each school.”

                                                                       For more information on SGA’s specific work in Chicago’s community
                                                                       schools, read the article on pages 2-3.
   On Top of the Trend: SGA’s Role in Chicago’s Community Schools
   A community school is a partnership between a neighborhood
   school and at least one non-profit organization that provides or
   coordinates after-school programming and social services.
       SGA Youth & Family Services has participated in Chicago’s
   Community Schools Initiative since 2004. SGA has earned praise
   for its broad and longstanding contributions to the education of
   Chicago children.
   “If we are to educate our students, we must do more than teach them. We
    must also create a climate in which learning can occur. We must remove
    barriers and impediments to learning which students may face in their lives….
    Key to those efforts is the work of the Scholarship and Guidance Association
    [SGA Youth & Family Services]. You help us remove roadblocks from our
    students’ road to learning.”
                    Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of education and former CeO of Chicago Public Schools
      Currently, SGA is a partner agency in the three community
   schools described below. Each school presents a unique culture that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Susan McMillen
   SGA responds to with insightful and sensitive leadership.

   Telpochcalli Elementary School
                                                                                                        At community schools, a non-profit organization partners with the school to provide after-school
                                                                                                        programming and social services. SGA is a partner agency at three community schools in Chicago.
   Telpochcalli Elementary School is located in the Pilsen community
   and has its roots in community organizing and development. As
   such, the school community is committed to meeting the needs of                                      “The Partnership with SGA has had a profound effect in helping us have an open,
   its students, children in the community, parents, and other adults                                    accessible school and in meeting the needs of students, family members, and
   through a wide range of programs and services. The student                                            community residents.”
   population is 98% Latino.                                                                             Tamara Witzl, Principal, Telpochcalli elementary School
        SGA shares the lead partner role with another non-profit
   group, Telpochcalli Community Education Project. Together both
   agencies are able to achieve the variety of academic development                                        Community Schools Report Card
   and enrichment initiatives that integrate the arts into learning. As a
                                                                                                           The strengthening of schools as centers in their communities—in
   result, students’ academic development is supported by educational
                                                                                                           partnerships with families and non-profit agencies—is central to
   opportunities offered to adults in the community. Activities include
   the following:                                                                                          improving students’ academics, well-being, social growth, as well

                                                                                                           as participation in the greater community. The community school
                           Strengthening Families——Capacity building initiatives, adult                    model enables schools to accomplish this.
                           education, and shared leadership opportunities are all targeted
                           towards adults in the community. SGA has provided and                           The Community Schools Initiative has demonstrated its impact in many
                           supported many of the capacity building initiatives, including                  areas, which includes but is not limited to the following:
                           English-as-a-second-language classes, workshops on financial
                                                                                                           •    70% of participants improved the completion of their homework
                           competence and domestic violence, community art projects,
                                                                                                           •    72% of participants improved classroom participation
                           sports, and individual/group/family counseling.
   •                       Healthy Minds and Bodies——These social support services are
                           targeted to address the social-emotional needs of the school
                                                                                                                66% of participants demonstrated improvement in
                                                                                                                classroom behavior
                           community. SGA’s counselors have provided social-emotional                      •    73% of participants improved overall academic performance
                           services for Telpochcalli for eight years.                                      These results are accomplished by use of the ABC’s of
                                                                                                           community schools:
                                                                                                                  A = Align out-of-school time with class learning
                          From the President, Susana Marotta, PhD                                                 B = Bring communities, families, and schools together
                                                   As the economic crisis places greater                          C = Coordinate resources for children and families
                                                   stress on low-income families, SGA’s                    Samuel P. Whalen, PhD, University of Illinois, Three Years Into Chicago’s
                                                   programs are more important than ever.                  Community Schools Initiative; Progress, Challenge and Emerging Lessons,
                                                                                                           March, 2007.
                                                   The agency’s mental health and
                                                   prevention services provide vital support
Photo by Susan McMillen

                                                   to vulnerable youth and their families in
                                                   meeting today’s exceptional challenges.

                          In this issue of SGA Life, you will find examples of such support
                          in the articles about SGA’s leadership in the Community Schools
                          Initiative (CSI)—a movement to boost children’s academic
                          achievement by involving entire communities in the learning
                          process. Of course, SGA’s involvement in programs such as CSI
                          is possible because of your help. Thank you for all that you do.

                          You may notice we have trimmed a couple pages from the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Susan McMillen

                          newsletter. This is an added effort to keep costs down while
                          still keeping you informed of SGA’s important work. As always,
                          I welcome your questions about our services or feedback on                    Services at each community school are tailored to address specific needs of students and families living
                                                                                                        in the area. Students attending community schools have demonstrated improvement in grades and
                          the newsletter. Please e-mail us at                      performance on standardized tests.

                                                                                                        SGA LIFE 2
                           Caldwell Elementary Academy of Math
                           and Science
                           Caldwell school is located in the Avalon Park community and is
                           relatively new to the Community Schools Initiative. SGA recently
                           partnered with Caldwell Academy and is the sole lead partner in
                           this initiative. The student population is 99% African American,
                           and 76% of the students qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches.
                           SGA, in conjunction with the school’s administrative staff, are
                           developing three program initiatives:

                           •   Medical Home Model——SGA staff/resource coordinator
                               has developed a relationship with local university hospitals
                               to provide medical, vision, and dental screenings to
                               Caldwell students.
                           •   Parent Resource Center——This initiative is designed to provide
                               parents and community members with specific resources
                               aimed at capacity building and personal enhancement.
                           •   After-School Programming——This component is designed to
                               address a variety of different areas for Caldwell students,
                               including music, character development, and conflict resolution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Susan McMillen
                                                                                                                             By offering after-hours enrichment, learning, and social service initiatives, community schools become vital
 Photo by Molly Robinson

                                                                                                                             neighborhood centers that support the success of students and their families.

                                                                                                                             Emmet Elementary School
SGA Youth & Family Services Board of Directors (FY 2009)                                                                     This school is located in the heart of the Austin community and has
                                                                                                                             joined the Community Schools Initiative. SGA was recently named
Board Chair                                      Jean Sulzberger Meltzer                 ex officio                          as the sole lead partner for Emmet. The student population is 100%
James W. Forhan*                                  (in Memoriam)                          Susana Marotta, PhD
                                                 Rob Metzger*                             President                          African American, and 73% of the students qualify for free or reduced
 Partner, KPMG LLP
                                                  Principal, William Blair & Co          * Member of the Board
                                                                                                                             fee-lunches. In addition to community outreach and the parent
Immediate Past Board Chair
Steven J. Gray*                                  Melinda Molloy                            executive Committee               resource center, three program initiatives are being developed and
                                                  Treasurer, Chicago Park District
 Partner, Sonnenschein Nath                                                                                                  will be implemented at Emmet:

 & Rosenthal                                     Victoria Noonan                         SGA gratefully acknowledges
                                                  Managing Director,                     the cooperation of our clients           Nutrition Enrichment Group——This group is designed to increase
Directors                                         Tishman Speyer                         in preparing this publication.
Marianne Bamonte                                                                         A special thanks to those                awareness and education for parents and students on the
                                                 James E. Pass
Angela E. L. Barnes*                              Managing Director,
                                                                                         who have allowed their                   impact of nutritional health for students and its effect on
 Senior Counsel,                                  RBC Dain Rauscher                      photographs to be used. To               academic performance.
 CNA insurance Companies
Donald B. Belgrad*
 President and CeO,
                                                 Yolanda Ridley Scheunemann
                                                   Lower School Counselor,
                                                  The Laboratory Schools,
                                                                                         protect confidentiality, the
                                                                                         section in which a client’s photo
                                                                                         appears is not necessarily
                                                                                                                             •    Conflict Resolution Group——This group is designed for parents
                                                                                                                                  and students to increase their capacity for resolving conflicts.
                                                                                         associated with the particular
 Schnadig Corporation                             University of Chicago
                                                                                         program or service described.
                                                                                                                                  The aim is to teach students and parents new skills that they can
Mary Campbell                                    Ida Roldán, PhD, LCSW,                                                           employ during interactions at school and within the home and
 Writer & editor                                   Psychotherapist in Private Practice   SGA Youth & Family Services              family settings.
Rodrigo del Canto*
 Principal, ODA Consulting
John Dancewicz
                                                 Robert A. Romanoff
                                                  Partner, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC
                                                 Jeffrey M. Seaman
                                                                                         11 East Adams Street,
                                                                                         Suite 1500
                                                                                         Chicago, Illinois 60603-6309
                                                                                                                             •    Life Skills Programming——This component focuses on building
                                                                                                                                  students’ character through psychological education groups,
 Managing Partner,                                Managing Director,                     Telephone: 312.663.0305                  community speakers, and youth-led workshops.
 DN Partners LLC                                  Robert W. Baird & Co.                  Fax: 312.663.0644
Joe Feldman                                      Neal Seltzer                            Email:
Elaine Fiffer                                     Partner, William Blair & Co.                        SGA plans to expand its role in the Community Schools Initiative
Susan Fisher-Yellen                              Lynn Small                                                                  and is currently in discussions with CPS to serve as the lead partner
                                                                                         Editor: Mary Campbell
Deborah Chase Franczek*                          Brian Sorge                                                                 for additional community schools during the 2009–2010 academic
                                                                                         Contributing editors:
Andrew R. Gelman                                  Vice President,
                                                                                         Daniel L. Dever, Susan McMillen     year. In addition to its work in these three community schools, SGA
 Partner, Holland & Knight LLP                    Lambert & Associates
                                                                                                                             has a presence in more than 30 other CPS schools, offering a range
Iris Goldfein                                    Mary Kay Sullivan
                                                  Vice President,                                                            of programs including mental health, teen parenting, substance
John Goodman                                      financial Advisor,                                                         abuse prevention, and juvenile justice services.
 executive Vice President                         Merrill Lynch                          Go Green
 & Regional Manager, Studley
                                                 Peggy Swartchild                        If you would prefer to receive
James Hill III*                                   Co-Owner, Material Possessions
                                                                                                                             “Schools should be anchors of their communities, providing educational resources
                                                                                         this newsletter by email,
 President, institute of                                                                                                      for the entire family. These are the guiding principles behind our Community
 Compliance & Learning, inc.                     Gloria R. Washington                    please send an email to
                                                 Jeffrey M. Toner               and              Schools Initiative, which turns neighborhood schools into community learning
Marilyn Helmholz
John Idler
                                                  Partner, financial Strategy            include “newsletter” in the          centers that are open well into the evening hours—so they can provide educational
                                                  Network, LLC
 General Manager, ABC-TV                                                                 subject line.                        and social service programs, not just to the students, but also to their parents and
                                                 Marcus Wedner*
Julie Learner, MSW                                Partner, CiVC Partners                                                      other family members.”
Katharine B. Mann, PhD
 Licensed Clinical Social Worker
                                                 James Whitehead                                                              Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
                                                  Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

                                                                                                                             SGA LIFE 3
Transitions                                                                 Reach For Dreams Benefit
As noted in an insert to our fall 2008 edition of
SGA LIFE, Jean Sulzberger Meltzer died in late
                                                                            Thursday, May 14 at the River East
October at age 83. A member of SGA’s Board of                               Art Center: Reserve Your Tickets
Directors for 47 years, Jean played a pivotal role in
shaping our organization and in making Chicago a
                                                                            There are many ways you can support the work
better place for young people. SGA will inaugurate
                                                                            of SGA Youth & Family Services, but perhaps
a new award in Jean’s memory at the 2009 Reach
                                                                            the most fun way is to attend the organization’s
For Dreams Benefit in May.
                                                                            annual Benefit dinner.
James S. Whitehead retired from SGA’s Board of                                  The 2009 event will feature a silent auction,
Directors in December after 30 years of dedicated                           dinner, entertainment, and a display of
service. A partner at Sidley Austin LLP, Jim also                           photographs illustrating the services SGA provides
helped the organization with legal matters during                           to low-income youth and families across Chicago.
his tenure on the Board. Thank you, Jim, for your                               SGA will also be inaugurating two new awards
personal commitment to SGA and the young                                    at this year’s dinner. The Jean Sulzberger Meltzer
people we serve!                                                            Award, in memory of the long-serving SGA Board member who passed away
                                                                            in October, will honor an individual who has made a significant contribution
                                                                            to bettering the lives of Chicago youth.
New Board Members                                                               The other new award will recognize a local business for its corporate
                                                                            citizenship in building stronger community programs for young people. SGA
Robert A. Romanoff joined SGA’s Board of Directors
                                                                            selected commercial real estate services firm Studley as the first recipient.
this past fall. Rob is an attorney and partner at
                                                                                Through its annual Landlord Golf Challenge fundraiser and the personal
Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC.
                                                                            volunteer work of its employees, Studley’s Chicago office is helping create a
    Ida Roldán, PhD, LCSW, was elected to SGA’s
                                                                            more promising future for thousands of local children and adolescents.
Board in January. A psychotherapist in private
                                                                                The beautiful River East Art Center, located near Chicago’s famous
practice, Ida began her career at SGA in the late
                                                                            Navy Pier, will be the site for the May 14 fundraiser. To purchase tickets or
1980s as a clinical social worker.
                                                                            for information about corporate sponsorship, please call Kathy Chuckas,
    Jeffrey M. Toner, a financial planner and partner
                                                                            Associate Director of Development & Events, at 312.447.4353 or email her at
with Financial Strategy Network, LLC, was also
elected to the SGA Board at its January meeting.

     Please remember                          You can do so by adding a simple          “I give, bequeath, and devise   For more information, contact
                                              codicil or amendment. Your attorney        __% of my estate or $____ to   Daniel L. Dever, Vice-President of
     the children we                                                                     SGA Youth & Family Services”   Development and Communications,
                                              can assist you in making a gift in this
     serve in your will.                      manner. The following is suggested                                        312.447.4324.
                                                                                        Your planning today will help
                                              wording for the codicil:                  ensure SGA’s future.

SGA Youth & Family Services
11 East Adams Street
Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6309

Return Service Requested

  Join us at the SGA Benefit
  May 14, 2009 at the
  River East Art Center.
Our mission is to support the emotional
and social development of Chicago
area adolescents and young adults
by providing therapy, prevention, and
other support services for individuals
and their families.

Formerly known as Scholarship and
Guidance Association, SGA Youth &
Family Services has been dedicated to
improving the lives of Chicago youth
since its founding in 1911. SGA specializes
in mental health, case management
and prevention programs to help
young people avoid risks and overcome
obstacles so they can reach their fullest
potential. Our services strengthen
families, improve communities and help
children grow to become contributing
members of society.

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