Tutor/Mentor Programs

October 13, 2010

Washington Park

There are not very many tutor/mentor programs in Washington Park for kids to choose from.  The only one that I found was the Washington Park Youth Program.  Founded in 1995 the WPYP is one of the largest community programs. It offers many aspects to help the kids of Washington Park successful in and out of school. There are over 150 youth and 175 volunteers in this program. The outcomes are 85% attend college or trade school, 94% retention rate of youth program, and only 1% pregnancy rate. These numbers show the success of this program in helping kids make good life decisions.

This program offers many things from literacy help to recreational play. Literacy help, or otherwise known as “read to me” is for children between the ages of 3-6. This program pairs children with a volunteer who helps teach the child phonics and comprehension skills, while reading to them.  The goal of this program is to have kids enter 1st grade with the necessary skills for success. The prep program is also offered for 3-6 year olds. This program helps stress the importance of the parents involvement in the education of their child. The parents teach their children how to read, which allows for building the child’s educational success and for positive parenting skills. The tutoring program is called the Score Program. Tutoring I, II, and III is offered to 1st-6th graders and teen tutoring is offered to 7th– 9th graders. This program gives one-on-one help to the youth. They focus on healthy and trusting relationships between the tutors and the tutees. The tutors teach the tutee concepts critical to being successful in the classroom. This program also collaborates with the teachers in public schools. The mentoring programs are separated by gender. The Sister to Sister program and the Boys to men programs are offered to 7th-9th graders. The girls and boys are taught life skills while exposing them to the real world. They are paired with adult volunteers who give guidance, prepare lessons and take them on field trips. Saturday dreams is offered to a wider age group, ranging from preK-9th grade. Children are divided into groups based on age and sex. They engage in various activities and take field trips, play sports, and do arts and crafts.

The Washington Park Youth Program also offers after school help. “PASS It On” provides help daily for the children. They rotate through a schedule of activities including: going to the library, book clubs, computer lab time, tutoring, health and nutrition and physical education. The main part of this program is the Peer-to-Peer aspect. College and late high school students offer leadership and survival skills to the children.

The youth program also offers a free clinic to the south side families. The recreational aspect helps the kids enjoy a wide variety of sports. They have soccer, golf, skating, bowling and many more things. By keeping the kids occupied in a program like this, they have less of a chance to get into trouble.


Greater Grand Crossing

In my specific area, there are no tutor/mentoring programs.  The only thing that Greater Grand Crossing offers is Meyering Playground, which is part of the Chicago Park District.  It is located right off of Martin Luther King Dr.  A lot of people ask, how can a park district possibly be a tutor/mentoring program? Meyering offers are a lot of different classes and activities that range from being free to about thirty dollars.  They have fit classes as well as classes that will help kids with athletics.  I think that this is NOT suitable for Greater Grand Crossing.  This area is a poorer area where kids come from families with not a lot of money.  Most families don’t have an extra thirty dollars to give away to their kids.  Although, they do have a playground for the kids to play on as well as an outdoor water park that is available during the summer season.  They also have baseball and outdoor basketball available.  This is a place for the kids to escape to, forget whatever peer pressure they may face, and be a kid again.

The environment of Greater Grand Crossing has a high poverty rate of more than 60% of the people being unemployed.  Coming from a very low-income neighborhood, there is less funding and less taxes to help support these programs.  Without the money, there is no possibility to have successful tutor/mentor programs.  To many people, that sounds sad.  Why should money be the reason that these poor, innocent children don’t get the help that they deserve.  It’s sad to say that it’s reality.  In order for Greater Grand Crossing to have successful programs, they need more money and more funding.






One comment

  1. As you write follow up articles, I encourage you to use some of the maps in the map gallery at http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net/mapgallery.html to illustrate where these neighborhoods are in Chicago, and where resources might come from to help tutor/mentor programs grow.

    For instance, some of the T/MC maps show businesses and faith groups, while others show transportation routes that lead from the suburbs to the downtown work area. If leaders in business, faith groups, and bloggers like yourselves, begin to show how people living in the suburbs could be leaders, volunteers and donors supporting programs in neighborhoods they drive through every day, some people might begin to respond with the time, talent and resources needed.

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