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Farewell Far South Side

November 23, 2010

This quarter, our class as a whole learned a lot, not just from the class itself, but the experiences we had and the readings we did.  Throughout the quarter, we went to four different site visits.  Each site was a different tutor/mentor program and was unique in its own way.  It showed us that not one tutor/mentor program in Chicago is the same and they are there for all different sorts of children.

When first coming into this class, none of us had a clear understanding of what exactly a tutor/mentor is.  Is it a teacher?  Is it a counsler?  Well, it can be.  It can be anyone from a teacher to a parent, or even a friend.  It is someone who helps guide you and steer you into the right direction;  someone who will play a positive role in your life.  This class has definiley helped build the idea of what we now think of as a tutor/mentor.  Not only did the readings help, but the site visits as well.  I remember when we visited Elliot Donnelly Center, that was when it all clicked for me.  The staff there did a real well job explaining what exactly they do for the kids.  They set a real comfortable environment for both us and the children.

As for the next group who chooses the far south side be prepared for your jaw to drop many times. The extreme crime numbers and the insanely poorly run schools will blow your mind. You all may think that you know a lot about Chicago but remember to keep an open mind and do not judge too quickly. The far south side is a great choice because in our minds it is the area of Chicago that needs the most help. The children live in fear and the tutor/mentor programs that they attend provide a safe haven for them. A place where they can love school, love themselves, and have someone love them right back. Most would think that a place that is so in need of a safe place for children would have more tutor/mentor programs. In reality out of 3 major south side locations, only 3 tutor/mentor programs were found all together. They were poorly funded but yet well attended. This shows that these programs are just crying out for help.

The next group that decides to take on the far south side should choose different parts. We decided to dig deeper into Washington Park, Morgan Park and Greater Grand Crossing. You guys and girls should choose different locations so that the whole far south side is covered and knowledge about all of it is spread throughout the World Wide Web. For our research we focused a lot on numbers and a more logical approach. To add depth to the entire blog your group can focus more on an emotional appeal. Tell stories about the far south side that will really show the help that is needed.  Do not hold back, there is no such thing as exposing too much when it comes to the education of children.

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