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News Article

Community Engagement Project Sparks Enthusiasm for Chicago Teachers

09/08/11

A Catalyst Chicago article, "Summer institutes gets teachers into neighborhoods" highlights a new Chicago Public School (CPS) teacher immersion institute, a 3 week program that connects teachers to their school communities. John Schmidt, director of the Service-Learning Initiative in the CPS Office of Humanities says "The path for many staff is the parking lot, into the building, out to the parking lot, and down the main streets out of the community." The community school strategy works to alter this path.

Chicago’s approximately 130 community schools strive to become the hubs of their neighborhoods, offering a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, and families. Helping teachers work to help bridge the divide, this teacher immersion program connects teachers with the communities they serve. For instance, one teacher plans to help his class study food deserts and the lack of grocery stores in the neighborhood. Teachers explore different aspects of culture and identity to implement this program. CPS partners with four community organizations -- Action Now, Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, and Logan Square Neighborhood Association to implement the community immersion project. Through the work of these organizations to actively engage teachers within the communities they work, many of the teachers’ perceptions of the neighborhoods shifted positively.

Read full article here.

Community Engagement Project Sparks Enthusiasm for Chicago Teachers
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