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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Alternative Schools Network of Chicago - Summer Newsletter
By tutormentor2 @ 2:39 PM :: 3354 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Articles about tutoring and mentoring programs
 
I receive newsletters from many organizations on a regular basis. Occasionally I will share them here:

Please join us at our40thAnniversary Gala Celebration!

In Chicago, nearly 40,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 20, and approximately 97,000 youth ages 16 to 24, are high school dropouts.

Alternative Schools Network (ASN)believes that every youth is entitled to not only education, but the support they need to help them succeed in not just obtaining their diploma, but also moving on to pursue higher education or transitioning directly into the workforce. Together with our membership of community organizations and schools,ASNproudly serves more than 3,500 young adults every year.

On November 13, 2014ASNwill be celebrating 40 years of creating futures every day. To support the activities that keep our youth engaged, we will be raising funds through ad and ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction. We’ll also be featuring performances and presentations by youth at our member schools.

Tickets will cost $100 for our member schools and $125 for non-members.Please click here to purchase tickets online. We hope to see you on November 13th!
In This Issue
Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy - The Urban Student Symposium

Want to End Violence In Chicago? Put Youth to Work!

2014 Youth Leadership Conference: Say It With Words!

More than a Test: ASN Prep Works with the Whole Student

Hollywood Nights: Red Carpet Prom 2014

Congratulations to our 2014 Graduates!

The ASN Alumni Association is now forming!

Principals, faculty, mentors and alumni: we need your help to form the ASN Alumni Association.

Personal stories, job and school successes, career networks and advice will be shared among classmates and fellow ASN alumni.

Remember, relationships and support don’t have to end on graduation day!

How can the ASN Alumni Association benefit you? Send your ideas and suggestions to info@asnchicago.org
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The Urban Student Symposium

Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy showcases student achievement
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In the final weeks of the school year atRudy Lozano Leadership Academy (RLLA), students collaborated to present project and inquiry based learning projects at a final showcase: The Urban Student Symposium.

The day included more than a dozen presentations including urban art projects, student poetry, slideshows on the history of eugenics and the implications of today’s genetic research, and tours of theRLLAcommunity area. The purpose of the showcase was to provide a public forum for students to demonstrate their learning about arts and creative writing, and issues in science, history, and politics—an opportunity to break out of the classroom and share their talents with the community.
The Symposium illustrated the goals ofRLLAto bring issues of justice and inquiry to their students as an essential part of the curriculum, highlighting the indigenous intelligence of their students and allowing them to pursue topics of interest to them.

Two groups led tours of the area surrounding the school, presenting the results of their original research. The project was a collaboration of the students, classroom teachers atRLLAand theGrassroots Curriculum Project, a Chicago nonprofit working to support teachers to develop lessons and curriculum tied to community issues. One of the tours headed west after the classroom presentations toward theCook County Jailat 27thand California.
They presented their findings about the development of park space being planned for the area, the treatment of women’s health issues within the jail, and the underground economy surrounding the jail, including the food trucks parked around the border of the jail They truly discovered a rich variety of topics stemming from the presence of the Jail in the community.

The project poses a vital approach to constructing units for students to explore their interest in community and social justice issues in a school based project. The school has long been exploring these types of project-based learning opportunities and developing a curricular framework that encourages critical thinking and inquiry. The Urban Student Symposium reflected the steady growth of their approach and set a course for future projects to link youth to their community.

Want to End Violence in Chicago?

Put Youth to Work!!!

The Power of a Job! Youth Employment builds the future.
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Summer employment is underway at theAlternative Schools Network (ASN)!For the past 10 years, we have been awarded various grants to employ youth, ages 16-21, during the summer months.Our program runs for 6 weeks during the summer and provides youth an opportunity to not only earn money, for many of them a necessity, but also to be involved in positive and safe spaces.As any parent or youth worker knows, involving youth in positive activities during the summer months helps to keep many of them away from the violence in their communities.

The summer months are a critical time for our youth. School is not in session. Resources for older youth are scarce and violence increases. It has been our experience that giving communities and schools resources and support for their youth greatly increases the likelihood of them returning to school in September.

This year,ASNwas awarded slots by theIllinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunityto employ 450 youth, ages 16-21, across Chicago!! Youth are being employed by 21 alternative high schools and 7 community based organizations in neighborhoods such as: Humboldt Park, East & West Englewood, North & South Lawndale, Roseland, Douglas Park, South Deering, South Chicago, Near North Side…to name a few.

Youth are doing exciting work such as: robotics, planning community events, researching and developing student orientation manuals, camp counselors, fiber glass repair technician, construction, culinary arts, etc.

We are very excited to have this partnership withDCEOto provide opportunity to Chicago’s youth.Finding employment opportunities for Chicago’s underserved youth is part of our mission and fulfills our vision of creating futures every day.

For more information on theAlternative Schools Network, please visit our website:www.asnchicago.org

2014 Youth Leadership Conference: Say It With Words!

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On May 28, 2014,Alternative Schools Network (ASN) organized and invited students to attend Say It With Words, a Youth Leadership Conference. This was the first Youth Leadership Conference focused exclusively on community violence. The event was hosted byChicago State Universityand drew more than 90 students from several Chicago alternative school campuses which includedSullivan House Alternative High School,ASN Preparatory Institute,Westside Leadership Academy,Innovations High School,Youth Connection Leadership Academy,Ada S. Mckinley Academy,Prologue Early College,Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School,Banner Academy,Latino Youth High School,Joshua Johnston Charter School, andCommunity Youth Development Institute.

The purpose of the conference was to tackle the issue of inner-city violence, give students a voice to speak their mind, teach healthy forms of conflict resolution, and to provide alternatives to being involved in violent situations.
The students were invited to attend several workshops. The goal was to creatively spark guided conversations with students and to empower them with words. The workshops focused on subjects that included the effects of media in regards to inner city violence, social media, and proper ways to resolve issues with bullies.

Along with the workshops, representatives from many community-based organizations set up individual booths to speak with the students and inform them of ways to get involved. Those organizations includedAfter School Matters (ASM),Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS),LAF Chicago,Truestar Foundation,Ceasefire,YMCA,Community TV Network (CTVN), andZeta Phi Beta.

Poetry groups fromPrologue Early CollegeandInnovations High Schoolperformed at the event.
There were also several raffle prizes for the students which included aChicago Bullsbanner autographed by the entire team, kindly donated by theChicago Bulls.

Overall, the event was a great experience for the students, allowing them to add their voices and perspectives to the conversation. Many students spoke of how the media portrays them in a poor light. They spoke of TV cameras focusing attention on criminals in their community when the vast majority of inner-city youth are not involved in any type of crime. They also repeatedly expressed frustration felt when they want to collectively create positive change but lack the community outlets, or resources, to resolve issues.
By the end of the conference, it was clear that these youth of Chicago have a good understanding of the issues and a willingness to help their communities, but they lack resources and networking opportunities in their communities to make a difference. Youth need activities that they can get engaged in, and we believe the conversation sparked at this year’s conference must continue….

We’d like to thank all of this year’s conference participants, speakers, and organizations for coming together to create an outstanding event. We’d also like to thankChicago State Universityand theChicago Bullsfor their support.

More than a Test: ASN Prep Works with the Whole Student

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On the last Monday in June, a group of students gathered in the halls ofNortheastern Illinois University's Carruthers Center for Inner City Studiesoutside the newly renovated auditorium. Dressed in white caps and gowns with red tassels, they laughed with each other, helping to arrange each other’s collars and mortarboards. In just a few minutes, they would receive their graduation certificate and recognition for passing the GED. These were the first ten graduates of the newASN Preparatory Institute.
There are several adult education programs in Chicago that help students prepare for the GED, but most of them only provide test prep instruction. The newASN Preparatory Institute (ASN Prep)goes much further, providing wraparound support services to support these older youth (ages 17-21) to pass the GED, job readiness training, and transition support services after completing the program and passing the test; something you won’t find at other programs in Chicago.

Alternative Schools Networklaunched the program to meet the need for GED preparation combined with wraparound support, career training and post-secondary transition services. Program mentors work with students to provide social-emotional support; and to ensure their access to support services such as health care, housing when they are in crisis, and bus cards to help eliminate the attendance barrier.
AtASN Prep,” said Program Director, Doris Franklin, “we build relationships with you, foster mutual respect and a sense of belonging because you areASN Prepfamily. Building shared responsibility between students, their families, staff, and the community contributes to creating life-long learners and to the positive transformation of youth.

In addition to academic supports to increase reading, writing, and mathematics skills, the program also assists students with employment and college application; resume and cover letter writing, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, workplace ethics, using business language, strengthening self-esteem and self-image, and personal budgeting.

Of course, economic and social-emotional challenges can also present barriers to success. ThereforeASN,ASN Prepleaders and staff work collectively to increase the number and variety of partnerships and referral services that can help prevent youth from abandoning the program before completing the GED.
In the auditorium, families and friends of the graduates greeted them as they entered the hall and took their seats in the front row of the auditorium.Dr. Conrad Worrill, director of theCarruthers Center for Inner City Studies, gave a warm welcome to the graduates and their families, invoking the history of the space and reminding them that the auditorium had hosted such historic figures asW.E.B Du BoisandMalcolm X.

Program graduates and staff shared stories of the challenges that these eight youth had overcome to be there on stage, and the keynote speaker, theHonorable Judge Sybil C. Thomas, shared her observations on the importance of perseverance in attaining personal goals. After the ceremony, friends and supporters gathered in the reception area to wish the graduates well in their journey.
ASN Prepis now entering its second year and has a number of new prospects in the works. They are working withCarruthers Center for Inner City Studies,Northeastern Illinois University, theIllinois Community College BoardandPearson Vueto make the site an officially designated location for administering the new GED test. The program is located in theCarruthers Center for Inner City Studies(a campus ofNortheastern Illinois University), located at 700 East Oakwood Boulevard. To check enrollment availability, please call theASN Prepoffice at 773-442-6192 or 773-706-2602.

Hollywood Nights: Red Carpet Prom 2014

Alternative Schools Network Culminating Event
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TheAlternative Schools Network (ASN), in collaboration with over 25 member schools, celebrated our annual Prom night on June 6th. This year’s prom was hosted by theSheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, located in the Magnificent Mile downtown area.

For our students, Prom night is one of the largest and most exciting events of the year. The event organizing committee, consisting of representatives from each participating school, meets regularly throughout the year to strategically plan and organize the event. This year’s prom was attended by over 600 excited students eager to celebrate the end of the school year by dancing the night away.
Prom brings high school seniors one step closer to graduation and gives them the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments as they move on to the next chapter in life. The students were well dressed for the occasion and felt honored to attend. A photographer was on site to capture photos, along with chaperones and professional security to provide a safe environment for our students to celebrate with friends. The event created lasting memories and provided a fun night for everyone.
Alternative Schools Networkhas been organizing an annual Prom night for over 30 years. It has always been our goal to provide an event for our students to be able to celebrate their accomplishments while creating lasting memories for them to cherish. We have heard great feedback responses from this year’s participants and consider the event extremely successful.

We’d like to thank each of our participating network schools for adding to the excitement felt by everyone who attended Hollywood Nights: Red Carpet Prom, and we look forward to next year and beyond.

Congratulations to our 2014 Graduates!

Over 1,000 students graduated from our network high schools this summer!
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