Monday, November 12, 2007

"We don't recruit there"......

The young seven year old girl previously mentioned in my posts needs somewhere to go after school. I was hoping her school had one that was noteworthy, knowing full well she didn't have anyone to transport or walk her somewhere. I looked it up on the internet and found a bunch of places in the Cabrini Green area. First place that called me back today had a man speaking named Herman. He was very nice and informative but said her mother would need to sign her up. I tried to explain that her mom was not super excited about her daughter's future, or present for that matter. He said the goal of his program was to get involved with parents and children in the neighborhood. I got the idea, I think he missed my frustration.

The second callback was more of the same. Just send her mom down, etc....

By the time the Big Brother, Big Sister organization called I was notably on edge. When she told me that there wasn't much I could do besides refer the mom to call and sign up Tanguray, I almost punched the phone. I calmly explained to her that her mom was not super involved in her life and not really interested in helping if it put her out any, that was why I was calling in the first place. The lady was so sweet but I still had contempt for her as she explained : "We know. thats why we don't recruit for the program there. Our program requires an initial family meeting and weekly phone call with the parent and after repeated attempts we realized the parents are non cooperative in that area. So now, we devote our time elsewhere." She went on to share my sadness at this, elaborating that as a social worker it is hard because she knows those are the kids that need the most help, most mentoring, most guidance alot of time. They still accept kids from there, but they stopped recruiting.

I did find one cool place. It's called 826 CHI and its not too far from her apartment. Its sounds fun. They are a free drop in center during the week for tutoring and reading and they have these workshops on the weekend. All of them were full for this month and next and I was so obviously disappointed the woman actually allowed me to register my little buddy for the one this Saturday. It's called Crazy Island Adventure. They read a fun story, then some people act it out, then they all draw their version of an island and talk about it or something. They have an island party. WOW. She said the goal of the workshops is to excite kids about reading and stimulate their creativity. AND ITS FREE! I am amazed and I want to bring all the volunteers/staff cookies and hug them for doing this.


Anonymous said...

'member.... seek and you shall find!

Anonymous said...

826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

With this in mind, we provide drop-in tutoring, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.

All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.

Our Location:
1331 North Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
ph: 773 772 8108
fax: 773 326 3513