Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fenger High School Student Killed

In the papers today I read of how a Fenger High School student was shot and killed during an apparent burglary during a time when he should have been in school. On the Dist. 299 blog one comment reads "the article "gives a true sense of the type of awful stuff that our kids and our high schools are dealing with…and it really shows that there’s often some good hiding behind the “thug” posturing that kids do to try and fit in or to survive."

Fenger is in the 60628 zip code on the far South Side of Chicago. I went to the Tutor/Mentor Chicago Programs locator and did a search to see how many organizations in that zip code offer any kind of tutoring/mentoring. I found 19 listings. Sounds like a lot.

The listings in the T/MC program locator have been compiled since 1993. We've never had regular staff to do our surveys, so some of the information is probably out of date. Many organizations don't have web sites that show what they do, so it's difficult to know what these 19 organizations are doing to help high school kids avoid the "awful stuff" and get the support they need to stay in school and move toward jobs and careers.

I'd like your help. Please search the Program Locator listings and help me update the data. If you find a listing that no longer offers tutoring/mentoring, or does not serve the age group we show, then email and give us updated information.

At the same time, as you look at web sites of other tutor/mentor programs, in Chicago, and in other cities (using the LINKS LIBRARY) I'd like to ask you to help the agencies in 60628 and other areas, get the volunteers, dollars, ideas, technology, etc. that each needs to be the best at helping kids make their way through school.

In a city like Chicago, it's not enough to have a few good programs in a few locations. We need great programs in every high poverty neighborhood. The resources on the T/MC web site are intended to help community/business/faith partners build and sustain great programs in neighborhoods like that surrounding Fenger High School.

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