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Geography and What Identifies Your Neighborhood to Outsiders October 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhickey50 @ 9:31 pm

North Lawndale

North Lawndale is between the Eisenhower and Cicero. Douglas Park is the main landmark that is visible when first looking at the area. The other park that is relatively close is Franklin park. There are also several hospitals that show up on a map in that general area including St. Anthony and Mt. Sinai. These places in North Lawndale can affect how commuters going to the city each day can recognize this area.  Maybe putting up a billboard on the Eisenhower about the local hospitals or parks would attract people to the area.  Another way to attract possible tutor/mentors would be to offer them some kind of benefits such as college credit or community service hours. 


 This community is west of the Kennedy and north of the Eisenhower.  Austin has a golf course and a couple of parks.  Columbus Golf Course is extremely close to the Eisenhower, perhaps giving the area a chance of increased tourism.  A tutor/mentor program in this area could go about making themselves more known by putting up signs around the golf course or giving out free holes for golf for volunteers to get people interested in tutoring or mentoring.

Little Village  

Little Village is north of the Stevenson and South of the Eisenhower and is near North and South Lawndale.  There are no major attractions in the area but this part of Chicago could put up ads for help in a local newspaper or ask a program in North Lawndale to advertise for them through the people they attract from the expressway. 


Pilson is pretty close to the Dan Ryan and Stevenson.  They have a couple of parks as well as a local metra station.  In the metra station tutor or mentor programs could advertise and maybe even pass out flyers.  So many people come to work on the metra each day, in this busy area it should be relatively easy to recruit some new help.

East Garfield Park The Garfield Park neighborhood is not a very attracting neighborhood due to the heavy amount of pollution on the streets and the high crime in the neighborhood. Main streets in the neighborhood include Madison Street, Lake Street, Washington Street, Jackson, Fulton, and Harrison streets. Geography such as the Park itself, the famous Golden Dome field house, as well as the Garfield Park conservatory attracts plenty of tourists. The high African American population also brings the culture and significance to the area. Bethany Hospital is located in the area. One way to inform people about the area is to post billboards about the area or advertise that the area needs help. Another way to gain help for the area is to send letters or emails to businesses close to the downtown area because of closeness in proximity to the area. 

In conclusion, tutor/mentor programs can advertise by taking advantage of busy local places and setting up benefits for volunteers and even setting up billboards.  The closer an area is to the interstate, the more of a chance they have to succeed in the process of attracting new helpers.   


How To Create A Strong Tutor/Mentoring Program October 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhickey50 @ 9:20 pm

   There are many ways that tutor/mentor programs can be successful or unsuccessful.  What makes them a success is the people who come to volunteer from the community.  If it were not for those people the tutor/mentor programs would not exist.  Creating a partnership is also part of their success along with citizens having respect for the program.  Without all of these things tutor/mentor programs would be unsuccessful.  There are certain things that could make them better resources: technology and books.  Also, more of an open schedule from the volunteers and a equal student to mentor ratio would create a strong learning environment and bonds between students and tutors.  It would also create strong teaching habits to accomodate the student.  For example the Cluster Tutoring Program in Austin, Chicago, matches each student with a volunteer tutor and they work together for the entire school year.  This allows the children to create a bond with their tutor/mentor and makes them want to return the following year.

  The Cluster Tutoring Program is a success because of their student/ tutor ratio.  It is also a success because it provides free one-on-one tutoring.  They are also known for building strong relationships with their students.  The amount of kids that return the following year is 75-95%.  This shows us that the children find the program very success and they obviously improved their grades at school.  The only thing we feel can improve the program is perhaps meeting more than once a week.  This can create even a stronger bond between tutors and students and maybe even raise their grades a little bit higher. This program is specifically a tutor/mentor program.


     In North Lawndale a program called the LCDC, or Lawndale Christian Developement Corporation, was founded in 1987.  This program was founded by a very caring, local church that intended to improve the community’s education and housing.  LCDC effectively partners with specific organizations that sponsor, and help the program.  These programs are Lawndale Community Church, Lawndale Christian Health Center, and the Freddie Mac Foundation.  Partnering with other programs allows a developing program to be successful because it can give them the extra money and support they need to create an effective tutor/mentoring program.  On the flip side, an organization that is not located close to any local schools could be bad.  Maybe branching out and creating a small program closer to the schools will persuade children to get the help they need instead of walking across town to get the resources they should be able to access easier.  This program is specifically a tutor program.


    Chicago High School for the Arts is a high school that also offers after school programs for students to learn dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and academics.  This program is located in Pilson and is funded by the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust.  The program has been a huge success and it continues to draw the attention of students in the area.  It also makes many jobs available in that area.  In order to become a student in this school you must apply and be accepted.  It could be more of a success if they accepted people that needed help even if they didn’t come to school.  This program is specifically  tutor/mentor.


       There does not seem to be any tutoring/ mentoring programs in Little Village. A student would need to go out of the area to find somewhere to get any help, which may not be possible because it is out of the way. After a Google search of “tutor/mentor programs in little village, Chicago” I was redirected to many different aid centers. However, none of them were located in the neighborhood. The lack of help offered to students can mean one of two things, either the schools are exceptional and the students don’t need help, or that the region has been disturbingly overlooked in terms of education advancements.

The goal of Breakthrough Urban Ministries is to provide services to unfortunate neighborhoods through the influence of people in the neighborhood to overcome addiction, poverty, and isolation. Breakthrough Ministries started on Chicago’s North Side as an aid for homeless people in the Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods. The program has now stretched its wings to the Chicago’s Westside in the East Garfield Park Community. The organization offers programs such as tutor-mentor programs, homeless centers and services for men and women, outreach to women involved in prostitution, and an outreach program for children and their families. The programs available for children include summer education programs, after-school programs, bible studies programs, year round sports leagues, and technology centers.  This program is a tutor/mentor program.


In conclusion, successful and unsuccessful tutor/mentoring programs share many of the same qualities.  These include partnership, volunteering, support from the community, and good scheduling on the staff’s part.


Child Poverty in the Southwest Areas. October 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhickey50 @ 9:35 pm

     Childhood poverty effects economics, crime, and health in this area in Chicago.  Economically, childhood poverty produces mass amounts of adults below the poverty line.  After so many years of necessity people do what needs to be done to get money.  Therefore, in order to survive residents may resort to stealing, violent acts, and drug dealing, among many other criminal activities.  Being born into poverty there is more of a chance to grow up and accept being poor.  Because of this, most citizens probably will not have sufficient funds for health care.  Also, children born into poverty have less of a healthy “health capital”.

Little Village

     From the 2005 census estimate, there are 95,000 people living in Little Village, making it the second largest population out of 77 neighborhoods in Chicago.  The schools in Little Village have a dropout rate of 61% and is the most over-crowded in Chicago.  This may be due to the fact that it is the 23rd poorest community out of the 77 areas.  The unemployment rate is 11.1% according to the Illinois Department of Labor, which would explain an increase in crime.  Due to the increasing crime rate there is an effect on the health capital of children growing up in Little Village, negatively. 


     Austin is the largest land area of the 77 Chicago communities.  There is a lot of poverty in this area.  Because of this, crime is becoming a major issue.  Examples of the crimes in this area are substance trafficking, a high murder rate, and gang activity.  Austin is known as one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago.  In Spring 2007, Austin Community Academy High School closed.  This indirectly led to a massive increase in the crime throughout the community.  The health capital is also not superb in Austin because of the murder rate, drug intake, and distractions to young children trying to succeed.  All in all, this specific community has the common problems among the other southwest poverty stricken areas.

North Lawndale

     North Lawndale ranks 10 out of 77 for the poorest Chicago communities.  More than half of all children under 18 years of age in this neighborhood were living under the poverty line in 1990.  According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, 45.2% of North Lawndale’s population lived below the poverty line in 2000.  This determines that the crime rate is high, and many of the citizens make below the median income.  The average rental price is 1,150 dollars.  Some may be able to afford this, some might not.  Parents not being able to afford housing could influence a growing child to spend more time working than on school-work, or even become angry and create problems for other citizens by being in a gang or selling drugs.

      In conclusion, we have learned that since the areas we investigated were heavily poverty-stricken, it affects the education, employment, crime, and health in these areas.  Due to unemployment, children may feel the need to find a job on their own and neglect school in order to support the family.  This leads to a high drop-out rate, increase in crime because of drug dealing for money, and less of an income because of lack of education.  Poverty effects health in terms of gang violence lowering your life expectancy, and of drugs on the body.  All in all, poverty is a main source of the problems in low income areas.


Summary of Chicago’s Southwest September 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhickey50 @ 9:27 pm

We focused on the areas part of the Southwest of Chicago which included: Pilsen, Austin, North Lawndale, Little Village and East Garfield Park. These neighborhoods are found along the Eisenhower Expressway and are west of the Dan Ryan and north of the Stevenson. The Southwest contains parks, restaurants, schools, public transportation, and several tutor mentoring organizations. Along with these resources one will find crime, foreclosure, and poverty.

From the information we gathered we determined that these areas found on the Southwest side of Chicago are not among the more prominent neighborhoods in the city. The areas focused on had few tutor/mentor programs and the educational opportunities are not very beneficial to the youth of the communities.  

Due to the lack of promising educational opportunites, we’ve drawn the conclusion that crime has skyrocketed in these neighborhoods especially during this recession. The primary types of crime in these areas include:  theft, battery, narcotics, criminal damage, assault, and other similar offenses.  We believe that if there were more successful education and tutor/mentor programs, the crime rate in these areas would decrease significantly.  

As an outcome of poor education and very few tutor/mentor programs, it is a large possibility that poverty can be solved by better educational opportunities.  The information we gathered showed us the higher the education the less poverty is a main problem in areas.  The Southwest is an example of a community in need and can be greatly helped by people willing to support and help fund the already existing tutor/mentor programs or help create new ones.

Throughout this process we hope to discover more and more educational opportunities and encourage people to volunteer and get involved with tutor/mentor programs in this community.  We believe that if more people got involved these areas would add progression to making this part of the city a succesful, and enjoyable place to be.


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Filed under: Uncategorized — jhickey50 @ 8:46 pm

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