June 22, 2010

Mayor Daley, CPS Officials Announce Three Programs To Support High Schools And Communities Most At Risk Of Violence

$25 Million in Federal Funding Will Pay For Mentoring, Community Watch and “Culture of Calm” Initiatives
Mayor Daley speaks at a press conference located at Hirsch High School
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

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Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Public Schools officials today announced that the school system will use almost $25 million in federal economic stimulus funding to advance three programs aimed at providing immediate relief and additional safety and support resources for Chicago’s young people, schools and communities most at risk of violence.

The new programs will provide:

  • Mentoring services for 1500 high school students at 13 high schools.
  • 390 "school community watchers" whose assignment will be to keep watch along designated safety routes at arrival and dismissal times of 13 designated high schools.
  • Support for creating a "Culture of Calm" in 38 high schools where there is a high-risk that students may become involved with violence.

"As we all know, with the end of school and warmer summer weather come a greater chance that our young people will be exposed to violence," Daley said in a news conference held at Hirsch Metropolitan High School, 7740 S. Ingleside Av.

"I am determined to protect Chicago's children and look for new ways to keep them safe -- each and every day," he said.

The three programs will be voted on this week by the Chicago Board Education.

They are part of a series of initiatives previously announced by Daley and CPS officials aimed at providing immediate relief and additional law enforcement and support resources for Chicago's young people, schools and communities most at risk of violence.

  • The first is an unprecedented $10 million mentoring effort aimed at helping 1500 Chicago Public Schools high school students considered especially at risk of becoming involved in violence.

"This is an ambitious program that has the potential to transform young people’s lives and help them stay on the right path in life," the mayor said.

Under the program, mentors will be available 24 hours a day to help young people who are at risk of being involved in such things as violence and other aggressive behavior, truancy, suspension and expulsion.

Daley said the mentors:

  • Will help students deal with anything going on in their lives that might keep them from being engaged in their school work – including things such as gang activity, substance abuse and economic hardships.
  • Will be drawn from 20 community organizations chosen by CPS in a thorough selection process by a blue ribbon committee.
  • Will serve between 100 and 200 students at each of 13 high schools with the largest number of students identified in a high risk probability model.
  • Will act as an advocate for the student with the school, the community and juvenile justice system.
  • Will help place the student in constructive after-school and weekend programming, including job placement and job training.
  • Will help make sure students are receiving the academic tutoring, health and social services they need, and
  • Will turn in a weekly status report on each young person.

Daley said he expects the program to result in, among other things, increased parental involvement, improved student attendance, fewer misconduct violations in school, fewer expulsions, better academic performance and a decrease in criminal activity.

Next, CPS will use $4.7 million to establish a "School Community Watch" program in 13 high-risk high schools identified by the Chicago Police Department and based on factors such as crime data, active gang conflicts and violent incidents involving CPS students.

  • Most of the money will be used to pay 390 community watchers hired through 14 community organizations.
  • There will be 20 to 30 watchers per neighborhood and their assignment will be to keep watch along designated safety routes at arrival and dismissal times.
  • The watchers will wear uniforms and be equipped with two-way radios to communicate with both CPS and the police department. CPS will use $10 million in support of creating a "Culture of Calm" in 38 high-risk CPS high schools.
  • The funds will be used to support staff development services such as instruction in behavioral management, leadership training, change management and conflict resolution.
  • They will support student development services, such as instruction in leadership and student violence prevention.
  • A total of 25 community organizations are being recommended to the board for participation in this program.
  • The program is expected to result in more focused instructional time in all classrooms, increased staff capacity to address student needs, improved effectiveness of teachers in utilizing behavior intervention techniques, reduction in disruptive student behavior and improved student academic performance

"All three of these initiatives go hand-in hand with our many other efforts to create a safe school environment in which CPS students can excel academically and reach their full potential in life," Daley said.

"That's a big job but it's one we have to complete if we 're going to ensure the future both for these young people and for our city as a whole," he said.

Mentoring - Communities and High Schools
BrightonPark Kelly
CalumetHeights Chicago Vocational
EastGarfieldPark Manley and Marshall
Englewood Robeson
Near West Side Crane
Roseland HarlanCommunityAcademy
South Lawndale Farragut
SouthShore SouthShore
WashingtonHeights Julian
West Englewood Harper
WestTown Clemente
Woodlawn Hyde ParkAcademy

Mentoring - Organizations Recommended for Board of Education Approval

100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc.
A Knock at Midnight
Alliance for Community Peace
Aspira, Inc., of Illinois
Better Boys Foundation
The Black Star Project
Build Inc.
Catholic Charities of Chicago
Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
Chicago Urban League
Chicago Youth centers
Enlace
GadsHillCenter
LiberationChristianCenter
New Life Family Services
Phalanx Family Services
SGA Youth and Family Services
Uhlich Children's Advantage Network
The Woodlawn Organization
Youth Guidance

Community Watch Communities and High Schools
South Chicago Bowen
WestTown Clemente
Pullman Corliss
Near West Crane
Roseland Fenger
Chatham Harlan
West Englewood Harper
Hyde Park Hyde Park
WashingtonHeights Julian
Morgan Park Morgan Park
Englewood Robeson
New City Tilden
Douglas/Bronzeville Dunbar

Community Watch - Organizations Recommended for Board of Education Approval

Alliance for Community Pace
Ark of St. Sabina
Black Star Project
Black United Fund
Claretian Associates
Habilitative System, Inc.
Hope Organization
Inner City Youth Development
Leave No Veteran Behind
Little Black Pearl
Nehemiah Community Center
Prologue
United Neighborhood Organization
Westside Health Authority.

Culture of Calm - Organizations Recommended for Board of Education Approval

Staff Development Services:
Educators for Social Responsibility
Father Flanagan's Boys' Home
International Institute for Restorative Practices

Student Development Services:

A Knock at Midnight
Aspira, Inc.
Assist Her, Inc.
Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development
City Year, Inc.
Inner Vision International, Inc.
Life Directions
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Metropolitan Family Services
Mikva Challenge
Ripple Effects
Black Star Project
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Cease Fire)
Uhlich Children's Advantage Network
Youth and Family Services

Staff and Student Development Services:

Alternatives, Inc.
Community Matters
Community-Linked Mental Health Services Programs
Umoja Student Development Corp.
Urban Gateways
WES Corporation
Youth Guidance