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The Future

Tutor/Mentor programs rely heavily on individual donations and government funding. Although government funding varies on both the location and size of the program, individual donations remain steady with a stable economy. As the economy has weakened, spending habits have changed for families of all income levels. Donations have decreased as a result, and Tutor/Mentor programs are feeling the effects.

After another election has come and gone, millions of dollars have once again been thrown into slanderous campaigns that deliver the same messages over and over. Attacking one another, no candidate ever escapes with a positive image, and those millions of dollars have gone to waste. One can only imagine the thousands of lives affected if this money was used towards struggling non-school tutor/mentor programs. Facilities upgraded, capability to accept more students, newer books, and possibly even the establishments of new tutor/mentor programs entirely.

If future candidates wanted to do something to positively benefit their image, they could use their money promoting their willingness to help the community as opposed to ripping other candidates. For example, the Daley political machine of the last few decades has put a focus upon using scare tactics to sway votes in their direction.  While this was more prominent during the previous Daley administration, funds were constantly being thrown towards these tactics instead of  being used to effectively benefit the community. Unfortunately, public funding will never account for a large percentage of dollars for tutor/mentor programs. Government funding and donations have long since provided the financial support for tutor/mentor programs, and in a struggling economy, public funding is unlikely to change for the better. Our hope is that elected leaders will realize the countless benefits of supporting tutor/mentor programs and focusing their attention on helping the community as opposed to their most common strategy of making each and every one of the candidates look unqualified.

As for the future Explore Chicago students that will take the time out of their lives to spread knowledge about tutor/mentor programs in the Near North Side area, you are researching a much different area than most neighborhoods that will be assigned to other groups in class. This neighborhood is full of wealthy families that pay higher taxes for stronger schools. The need for tutor/mentor programs is lesser on the North Side than the South Side. However, the need to spread information and provide assistance for these programs remains the same no matter what neighborhood is being researched. Good luck, and don’t forget that ‘real’ people are relying on your information.

P.S. Ask not what Dan Bassill can do for you, but what you can do for Dan Bassill.

Although striving for similar goals, Tutor/Mentor programs differ in many ways from one another. There are many Tutor/Mentor programs that are fortunate enough to receive significant corporate funding, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago. This program has over twenty-five corporate donors that annually fund the many different missions of the Boys and Girls Club. Along with corporate funding, they receive national media attention through companies such as  the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Professional sports teams in Chicago such as the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox hold events for the kids on an annual basis. This not only gives the program more attention, but puts the athletes in role model stature for the kids as well.

On the contrary, Tutor/Mentor programs such as Asian Youth Services located in Uptown are less fortunate. With no corporate donors, Asian Youth Services relies 100% on individual donations. However, solely depending on individual donations is not enough to keep such a fantastic program in business with a struggling economy. These programs hope to receive any usable technology that big corporations or individual donors have to offer. Unlike the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Asian Youth Services is limited to a one room children’s center. Problems do not consist of finding a time for a national commercial, but rather gathering enough funds to maintain their one room living space.

It is evident that the Boys and Girls Club has a multitude of resources at their disposal. This allows for a more flexible, and ultimately successful learning environment for the children attending their programs.  These corporate donations allow for public media attention, which establishes the program as both successful and opportunistic. Programs like Asian Youth Services do not have the same access to funding via media attention. Thus, word of mouth becomes essential to their future growth. Hopefully as the economy returns to its  former standing, a balance can be restored to the opportunities for the funding for all programs, no matter how big or how small.

The Near North Side of Chicago differs from many neighborhoods in Chicago in a few ways. Taxes and income levels are much higher, and therefore, schools and amenities in the surrounding neighborhoods are fortunate enough to benefit from these standards.  Both private and public schools in the Near North Side are directly affected from these positive circumstances with better technology, interactive and caring staff, and a healthy environment.

In Oldtown, however, such a positive environment has limited the efforts to begin any Tutor/Mentor programs. With such significant funding, students have an abundance of resources in their own schools. Having such high quality educational standards and a vast curriculum are only two of the reasons why Oldtown does not have some after school programming like many other neighborhoods, which have a need for them.

Lincoln Park, even with many similarities to Oldtown, has still established outside resources for kids in the community. Christopher House is a school and an after school program that helps low-income children and their families in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  The Christopher House aims to bridge the gap between low-income students with fewer resources and students with sufficient resources and higher income. (http://www.christopherhouse.org/site/PageServer)

The South Loop has an after school program that is superior to most after school programs throughout Chicago. The Boys and Girls Club is a nationwide program, therefore the structure is more stable than typical programs. This program perfectly suits the needs of student of the South Loop due to the fact that they have better schools with higher standards than most neighborhoods. (http://www.bgcc.org/)

The Uptown neighborhood of Chicago embodies the idea of Tutor/Mentor programs of the Near North Side. Housing 3 different types of tutor/mentor programs, the Uptown neighborhood suits the many diverse, educational, and social needs of a multi-cultural city, like Chicago. The neighborhood features the Robert R. McCormick Boys and Girls Club, Asian Youth Services, and Inspired Youth. All three of these programs offer students in the area support and counseling in regards to violence relating to gangs and substances as well as providing a learning environment that harbors and nurtures student’s success. The Inspired Youth center connects all aspects by having support from many organizations like the Chicago Bar association and Lawyers-Lend-A-Hand organization.  The Boys and Girls Cub offers 4 distinct programs the provide financial and creative support for students of all interests. (http://www.bgcc.org/who_we_are/mccormick.asp ; http://www.inspiredyouthchicago.org/index.html)

 

The Perfect World

Neighborhoods on the Near North Side including Oldtown, Lincoln Park, Uptown, and the South Loop are generally upscale. Homes are expensive, taxes are high, and public housing is at a minimum. These circumstances allow the school districts to focus their funding on strictly educational demands as opposed to counterattack potential violence or other problems that surround other neighborhoods.

There are many characteristics of the schools in these areas that differentiate them from surrounding neighborhoods. Public and private schools in the area are extremely diverse both socio-economically and religiously. With such an enriched society, school districts can take the funding they receive and direct it towards any aspect of their curriculum or programs that may need help financially.

The Lincoln Park neighborhood demonstrates how the resources that a neighborhood offers can positively affect the students as a result. DePaul University is located one block north of Oscar Meyer Grammar School. The campus security guards that surround the University subsequently protect the students at this grammar school. This is a completely different environment then the students in high-risk areas attend school in. Students in those high-risk areas don’t have these security guards at their luxury, and therefore, are responsible for their own safety as they go to and from school every day.

With greater funding, a magnitude of resources, and a safer community, students in the near north side of Chicago are in an environment breed for success.

Our Mission

Hello, and welcome to our Near North Side blog for LSP111. We are a group of students dedicated to providing those interested with information about Tutor/Mentor programs in the city of Chicago, specifically in the Near North Side. We will spend our time focusing on neighborhoods such as Oldtown, Uptown, Lincoln Park, and the South Loop.  Funding, support systems, and the ultimate effect that these programs have on the children they support are only a few of the aspects that we will be researching throughout our journey. Our educational aspirations will allow us to investigate and research the Tutor/Mentor programs from different perspectives, bringing you the most complete and in-depth blog covering the Near North Side of Chicago.

Tutor/Mentor Conclusions

The children living in the area of Uptown live in fairly upscale environments. The neighborhoods are pretty safe. Even though there is still crime rate throughout Chicago, the Near North side of Chicago is one of the better areas in the city.All of the neighborhoods in the Near North side of Chicago are pretty similar with the fact that it is upper class compared to most of the areas in Chicago. The tutor/mentor programs are the only differences. Throughout the Near North Side, some of the areas have more tutor/mentor programs than others, depending on how many children live in that specific area. In order for children to be involved with tutor/mentor programs, they need to be able to afford to participate in one, as well as needing additional help with their schoolwork. There are not many tutor/mentor programs in this area because of how many children actually attend the schools. With the few programs they do have unfortunately some programs are better than others.

The south loop’s only problem was getting kids to attend the mentoring sessions. The schools in the south loop are not known for being unsuccessful or troublesome. South Loop parents hold steady jobs, earn average – or above average – incomes, and spend a good amount of time with their children. The children from the South Loop are already planning for a better future without the programs help. However, progress can always be made. If more businesses in the area were to fund such programs it would create a better environment for students for the future; most of these programs are housed in facilities that have been there for several years. If some of these companies sponsored youth sporting events it would benefit these children tremendously. Many of these kids see sports as one of the most prevalent ways to remove themselves from negative circumstances. If we are able to get these kids away from gangs, jail,drugs, and funnel them toward an education the country would be proliferating successful youngsters like never before. The poverty level would decline and the economy would overall improve. Also, if we are able to get more kids to be successful in school, imagine the power that diversity could have on the professional world. There would be much more international diplomacy and cooperation, benefitting the globe, not just America.

After researching Lincoln Park in the Near North Side of Chicago, we have come to see that this is most definitely a neighborhood geared more toward the middle and upper class. In the area of Lincoln Park, there are not many tutor/mentor programs. After researching and drawing conclusions, we feel that this could be because of majority of the schools in Lincoln Park being magnet schools, most likely offer resources and many optional tutor and mentor centers within the schools. Since the schools in the area of Lincoln Park are known for being good schools, these advantages are made readily available to these kids everyday, unlike a student from the South Side of Chicago, who may not have these resources available to them. Since the neighborhood of Lincoln Park and schools surrounding them has resources like these, there isn’t a vast need for actual tutor/mentor programs outside the schools. However, Lincoln Park does propose a few tutor/mentor programs, the number is not anywhere near the number of tutor/mentor programs in an area of the Loop or South Side Loop. Having more tutor/mentor areas in Lincoln Park would be beneficial, there are not specific needs for the program due to the great quality of schools in the area.

There are not many schools in the Loop area  due to the fact that there are only 400 students living in the area. Although, the area is the perfect place to have tutor/mentor programs. The transit systems create an easy way to get to and from the programs for a low price. This allows the Loop area to have many programs to help students from all over the Chicago land area. The Loop can be somewhat of a dangerous area for children, but with the right safety precautions it can be an easy area to get around. A way that the programs can improve is by providing hours that are safe for students to travel. The Loop is a great upbeat area that can thrill any student and excite them to learn.

The area of Old Town is quite different than the other areas we focused on.  The difference is that most of the children that live in the area, are not in the demographic of the children participating in tutor mentoring programs.  Older citizens usually reside in Old Town.  The children are more privileged in the immediate area than the other children. In this area children are more than adequately served by their schools, in fact there is such a small need, that Old Town shares its schools and tutor/mentoring program with its closest neighbor, Lincoln Park.  There are not many similarities between the areas our grouped researched.  The only similarity was the location of the area in relation to the downtown area.  There were not any specific needs that were urgent in the Old Town area because of the lifestyle of the people that live there.  In general, the people who live in Old Town are much more comfortable than those in the surrounding areas.

After researching the Near North Side of Chicago and some of their neighborhoods, we have come to the conclusion that our area is predominately middle and upper class and there are not many problems. Crime rate is relatively low for the Chicago area. This creates the thought that tutor/mentor programs are not needed in the Near North side of Chicago. Although we feel that more tutor/mentor programs in this area would benefit the children in this area, from our research, we found that most schools are magnet schools and many parents are very hands on. Since the parents of the children are hands on and they are interested in their child’s education, there is not as much of a need for tutor/mentor programs in these areas.

The next group of students that decide to take over were we left off need to focus more on the type of students that are interested in tutor/mentor programs. This way they can appeal the programs to these students and eventually get more students involved. Making the programs sound exciting and challenging for students can lure more students into the program. Also, we advise that information students give to their readers to be more focused on the type of program they are discussing. Also, giving information on the specific age groups of a program and specifics about the program can create readers to want to get involved!

Lincoln Park:

When it comes to the Lincoln Park area of the Near North Side in Chicago, there are only two tutor/mentor programs. One of these programs is ran through Lincoln Park High School, and the other is Christopher House located in Lincoln Park. The census for grades K-12 living in Lincoln Park is 5,4488. Christopher house serves not only children but adults in the community and neighborhood of Lincoln park as well. For grades K-12 Christopher House attends to 150 students at that age in the Lincoln Park area. As for Lincoln park HighSchool, there was no census of how many students go to the tutor/mentor program because this program is optional for students that attend Lincoln Park High School and there is no way of finding out how many students attend. Although Lincoln Park has a fairly large number of grades k-12 living in that neighborhood, the amount that attends Christopher House  not including adults is a good number.

Uptown:

In regards to Uptown, there are 3 main tutor/mentor programs, which are Asian Youth Services, Boys and Girls ubs of Chicago, and Inspired Youth. The census for the total number of people living in Uptown is 10,271. The children who are less than 10 years old made up 7.9% of the population of Uptown and children in their teenage years made up 6.8% of the population of Uptown. For Asian Youth Services about 40-70 children attend. For Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, this program serves more than 13,840 young people everywhere throughout the city. Finally Inspired Youth is a smaller program that started off as a Church organization, there was no exact number as to how many people attend. After looking at both the population of Uptown and the population of the tutor/mentor programs, we have realized that the number of people who participate in the programs depend on what program it is.

Loop:

When it comes to the Loop area Chicago, there were about 18 tutor/mentor programs. The most successful programs in the Loop area are Big Brothers, Big Sisters, The Chicago Youth Advocacy, ChildServ, and the YWCA of Chicago. There are only about 400 k-12 children living in the Loop area of Chicago. The majority of the Loop tutor/mentor programs did not provide specific numbers as to how many children are helped out each year. The Big Brothers and Big Sisters have helped over 3,500 students. The Chicago Youth Advocacy has helped over 5,000. The YWCA Youth of Chicago has helped over 138,000. Many programs have helped thousands of kids over the last decade and hopefully will keep succeeding as the years go on.

Old Town:

When terms of Old Town, there are 5 tutor/mentor programs. The main tutor/mentor programs in Old Town are By The Hands, Camp of Dreams, and The Chicago Park District. As of right now the census for Old Town is combined with the Lincoln Park area, so there is no actual number as to how many k-12 graders are living in the Old Town area. By the Hands serves 726 children in Old Town. Camp of Dreams serves 175 students in Old Town. Tutor/mentor programs are scarce due to the demographic of the area, which is upper middle class.

South Loop:

When talking about the South Loop, there are three main tutor/mentor programs. The Lincoln’s Challenge Program, LINK unlimited, and The Black Star Program. Currently there are 4500 k-12 students living in the South Loop. Out of the 4500, 264 k-12 student’s attend LINK Unlimited, and 150 attend the Black Star Program. Only only about 8% of the students in the South Loop area are receiving educational development outside of their schools. For the decently high level of poverty in the South Loop, this is going to be detrimental to the youth living there. The Lincoln’s Challenge Program is run through the National Guard, so there ratio of successful students is higher than the other two programs. If those other programs were to reach out to more students in the community, they would be more successful.

 

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