Saturday, August 08, 2009

Crime down in Chicago. What about shootings? What's the rest of the story?

Today's Chicago SunTimes re[prts that the Murder Rate is Falling . That's good news, but does it tell the whole story?

Carol Marin wrote a column last week saying, Homicides may be down in Chicago, but shootings are up. There's not a lot of good data on how many shootings there are. No good records on who was shot. Even fewer good records on who was "shot at" but missed.

What's the impact of this? The SunTimes ran a series last year titled, "Schooled in Fear" showing the impact of violence on the learning abilities of inner city kids. We created this maps, and others, showing the schools and neighborhoods featured in the Sun Times Story.

I attended a meeting in the Woodlawn area yesterday, where faith leaders, University of Chicago leaders and the principles of the nine elementary schools in the Woodlawn area met to discuss setting up a tutoring program at each school in the neighborhood. This was part of a larger vision called the Woodlawn Children's Zone, which is modeled after the highly visible Harlem Children's Zone.

Below is a map of the Woodlawn areas, created using the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator.

In my meeting yesterday I heard Bishop Arthur Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God, talk of a strategy that reaches all youth in the Woodlawn area, not just a few in a few pilot programs.

This is exciting news. If the University and the faith community use their resources to support the growth of school-based and non school tutoring and mentoring throughout the Woodlawn area, creating a pipeline of programs that reach youth from K-16, and provide mentoring and enrichment and character development, as well as tutoring and learning support, they are well on their way to combating the impact of violence, drugs and other negatives working against children growing up in Chicago.

I hope the media help them by pointing to tutor/mentor programs on a weekly basis.

1 comment:

Michael Burns said...

I'm actually astonished to read that Weiss is blaming parents, just as Arne Duncan did recently when critiquing the performance of Chicago Public Schools. Of course, what they're not telling you is that the reason for crime and civil unrest really has more to do with the state's unfriendly attitude to business as a catalyst for job growth, and parents as nurturers of children. In essence, the "state" would rather prefer to be the keeping of jobs and our children, rather than empowering entrepreneurship, independent thinking, and parents as a vital class of citizenry.

Reads: 1984?