The Issue: Dropout Risk for Chicago Students
Although the number of graduating high-school students has continued to make steady gains across the country, "large 'graduation gaps' remain in many states" among minority students, low-income students, and students with learning disabilities or limited English proficiency, according to the 2013 "Building a Grad Nation" report by the America's Promise Alliance. About one-third of African American students and 29% of Hispanic students drop out before graduation.
The Campaign: Mentoring At-Risk Students
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then City Year Chicago can sponsor a corps member to mentor and tutor 40 students for two weeks, thanks to matching donations from an anonymous donor. All donations will be matched by an anonymous foundation that has approved a grant to City Year Chicago to match up to $50,000 per year for two years. Each additional $500 raised by this campaign will sponsor another corps member for two weeks.
Corps members, recognizable by their red City Year Chicago jackets, serve as tutors, mentors, and role models for public high-school students across the South and West Sides of Chicago. Currently in 20 schools, the members help keep students on track toward graduation with one-on-one or small-group tutoring in English and math, morning greeting activities, and phone calls to chronically absent students. Their services extend beyond the school day as well, with homework centers and social-enrichment lessons to keep students away from more dangerous activities.
All donations will be matched by an anonymous foundation.
City Year Chicago
A person to question, someone to give them attention, a role model and supporter—these are the many hats City Year Chicago corps members wear for their wards. These upright tutors help transform schools and communities across Chicago through their work with students most at risk for dropping out. From focusing on behavior during a student’s lunch break to providing one-on-one homework help after school, corps members shape students' lives and guide them toward graduation by serving as a positive example. They provide healthy outlets for their students' free time in school and the larger community and inspire improvement in attendance, behavior, and grades. Because corps members serve where the need is the greatest—in schools across Chicago’s South and West Sides—the work is often challenging, but the reward comes when their work enables a child to graduate beyond a high-school education.
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