Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shooting Touches Cabrini Connections' Family

Last weekend three more Chicago kids were killed in street violence. One of those was a close friend of Cassina Sanders who works at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. Read about this on Cassina's Spark Change blog.

The editorial in today's SunTimes says "Everyone Should have Someone to Go to" referring to a social worker or counselor in a public school. The front page of the SunTimes said "It's time parents took a stand," referring to the parents who went to Winnetka to try to enroll kids in the schools the rich kids go to.

Ron Brown's column in the SunTimes says "Meeks only telling half the story" as he points out that New Trier High School only gets 3% of its funding from the state, while Chicago Public Schools gets 35% from the state. New Trier only gets 1% from the Federal government, while CPS gets 17%. What Brown does not tell in his version of the story is that New Trier students are not dodging bullets every day, and most CPS students are not living in a community where are large percent of adults are college educated and working in a variety of high paying business and professional occupations.

Then there are four full pages talking about the Republican Convention. I listened to the speeches last night, talking about the character of a man who survived five years in a prisoner of war camp and has spent 30 years in the Senate. In a conversation about generals, war and a commander in chief, I'd like to see just one person pointing to a web site with maps and blueprints that illustrated the complex problems facing inner city kids, and the expanded network of adults who need to be involved in helping these kids overcome the disadvantages of generations of poverty to have equal the opportunities of kids born into communities like Winnetka.

One think that I'd like to point out was in the column written by Neil Steinberg in today's SunTimes. He wrote "without such a drama, these kids are too easily ignored by larger society." The event prompted on New Trier parent to say "she and other North Shore residents had formed a group to explore the issue of school funding inequities."

I hope they also study the issues of poverty and violence that affect learning and how prepared kids are when they come to school every day. And I hope that next time Rev. Meeks does a march, he goes to LaGrange and other affluent areas South of Chicago, so that if groups begin to think about ways to help, they might think that as they come and go from home to work in downtown Chicago, they are passing through these neighborhoods, and they could be taking roles as tutors, mentors, leaders and donors, to help kids in the South part of the city be able to participate in programs like Cabrini Connections.

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