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Geography of the Far South Side of Chicago

October 26, 2009

Beverly has access to the Dan Ryan Expressway. The expressway allows people coming into and out of Beverly an easier way of commuting rather than taking the narrow streets. However, Beverly also has access to W. 95th St, which is known as a busy street and brings forth traffic within the neighborhood.

Roseland, Illinois is located right in the middle of the I-57 (Dan Ryan Expressway) to the West and the I-94 (Bishop Ford Expressway) to the East.  North of Roseland, these two expressways emerge into one.   Roseland is also conveniently located in the middle of two different Metra tracks.  Located in the South-East of Roseland is Lake Calumet.  It seems there is a lot of traffic on the outskirts of Roseland, but none of the traffic goes directly through.  The streets are placed on a straight square grid, which makes the area secluded from on-coming traffic.

Greater Grand Crossing is located between I-90 Chicago Skyway and I-94 Dan Ryan Expressway. I-90 and I-94 are connected when driving through Chicago, but right when they split into separate roads you can see this neighborhood. If you drive on I-94 you would exit at 59B, 60B, or 60C to arrive there. Some main streets in this area are Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and South Cottage Grove Avenue that run North and South. The cross streets that run West and East are East 71st Street, East 75th Street, East 79th Street, and East 83rd Street. Going to this neighborhood may be challenging if you are driving during rush hour because of all the traffic you will encounter. Other than the traffic Greater Grand Crossing is simple to visit.

Interstate 57 is located near the East border of Morgan Park.  This allows traffic to pass near by but not necesicarily through the neighborhood.  Western Ave. is the Western border of Morgan Park.  This street runs North and South throughout the city.  It may allow for more access to this neighborhood since it is not a major highway.  There are also a couple Metra stations located in Morgan Park.  The Metra allows easier access to and from the loop.

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Tutoring/Mentoring Program

October 12, 2009

Beverly is one of the few areas in Chicago that has top notch elementary and secondary schools. It is a wealthy area, and parents can afford to send their children off to the best schools in the area. Students receive the proper education that they need, and because of this there is little need for tutoring/mentoring programs. However, if students seem to struggle, the school offers assistance within their own program. There are few programs outside of Beverly’s school for those who want additional help or one on one assistance. The best known tutoring program for this area is named SCORE! Educational Center.

In Roseland, there are five recorded tutoring mentoring programs. The Agape Community Center (tutoring/mentoring), Beulah A.G. Smith (BAGS) Scholarship Foundation (tutoring/mentoring), Christ Temple Cathedral – SAY Y.E.S! Youth Center (mentoring), Kids Off the Block Educational Program (mentoring), and the Southside Educational Center (tutoring/mentoring) are all programs to help keep the youth off the streets.  These centers provide services and informational meetings on child welfare, communities, health care, juvenile justice, and prevention.  These centers also consist of things such as job readiness, violence prevention, scholarship/grant preventions, daily worships and prayers, music, sports, local and local out of town trips, and community service.  The main purpose of these programs is to keep more kids off the street and to help them become successful so they don’t resort to violence and crimes in their future.

Washington Park’s rate of success in education is very low which is why it has one tutor/mentoring program called the Washington Park Youth Program (WPYP) which also serves its surrounding areas. This is a very effective program and its participants remain actively involved and committed throughout elementary and high school. They have a variety of programs that are offered to pre-k through 12th grade. 85% of the children that attend this program place into a higher education such as high school and college. They have over 175 volunteers that help run the program and also some physicians that offer a free clinic are also available here.

There are not many tutoring/mentoring programs in the Morgan Park neighborhood.  It is a somewhat wealthy area which also has good schools. However there is one program that is available to students in that area.  Connections Learning Center offers professional tutoring for children in Morgan Park.  This program is a pure tutoring program.  They offer help for children of all ages.  Preschool and kindergarten children can get help learning basic beginning skills, college students can get help with their college courses, and every age in between can get tutoring in any subject they need help with.  This organization also offers a variety of different specialty programs including ACT preparation and a special reading program.  If a child has a learning disability, they can come here to receive help also.  The program also just added a speech pathologist to their program for children with language, auditory, and speech disorders.  The organization is open during the school year Monday through Thursday and also Saturdays.  The program uses one on one tutoring in order to help the child succeed.

In my specific area Greater Grand Crossing there are no tutoring or mentoring programs clearly available for these children to participate in. There might be some programs through the schools, but other than those there are none that I can find. The only thing that came up when I researched my area was the Meyering Playground Park on Martin Luther King Drive. The park has many available facilities for the public to use such as a baseball field, outdoor basketball court, playground, and a water playground. The park also includes a lovely walking trail for people to walk, run, rollerblade, or bike on. These facilities are only part of what the park has to offer the community. The park has many programs that they offer for all ages during all seasons. The programs are conditioning, cross training, inner city football, kickboxing, park kids, seasonal sports, and teen club. Each program has a cost that ranges from free to around forty dollars. It is unfortunate that the programs do cost money because some families may not be able to afford to put their children in them.

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Influences On Childhood Poverty

October 5, 2009

Poverty plays a major role in the declining popularity of some Chicago neighborhoods. In our explore class we read the article, “The economic costs of childhood poverty in the United States” from The Journal of Children and Poverty, which gave us an insight on how poverty can effect children and the way they grow up. The article touched on three main points to help back up their argument. The three points were economics, crime, and health problems. The argument for economics is that children that are born into poverty will have a harder time getting out of poverty in their adulthood. Children who grow up in poverty struggle with economic and social problems. As the article states, ” ‘lower class’ youth report committing nearly four times as many violent crimes as ‘middle class’ youth” (49). Health problems also rise when it comes to poverty areas. Children who live in these areas do not get the proper health care that they need because their parents low income cannot afford it.

In the areas that we researched the average annual income ranges from $20,000-$50,000. The areas with the lowest annual income were also the areas that had the highest crime rate. This shows the correlation between economics and crime. The areas with higher incomes do not necessarily need as many tutor mentoring programs, unlike the areas with lower incomes. This is because the higher areas are able to provide better education and guidence programs through the school, instead of going to outside programs. The lower area’s schools are not up to average standards, which makes those children seek outside help. This help is not required therefore some children fall out of the educational program completely.

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Getting To Know The South Side Of Chicago

October 5, 2009

What do you think of when you think of the South side of Chicago? Well normally most don’t think of positive things because of all the crime and poverty, but Chicago is now determined to change the future of this community. The motivation behind these changes is due to Chicago’s nomination to host the 2016 Olympics.

Washington Park is among one of the many struggling neighborhoods in the lower south side but has become the deciding area to which the Olympic  Stadium would be built. This area and its surroundings are run down, high in crime, and are known for their poor statistics.