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Friday, January 24, 2020

Fire destroys south side food pantry #Ward09

[VIDEO] Been quite a while since I've shared a local story on this blog. On Monday there was a fire in Roseland near 111th/Michigan where a church operated a food pantry. You see the story above from WGN.

There is a GoFundMe drive page [CLICK HERE] for this church and also it was reported that Rev. Jesse Jackson is pledging help for this church as well. From ABC 7

But soon after it burned, Reverend Jesse Jackson reached out to the congregation's bishop launching a relief drive to help keep the mission going.

"This means the world to me and for them to show this kind of love you know some times when you've been giving for so long,and no one gives back and when someone finally gives, you're just stuck, you don't know what to say but thank you, " said Bishop Jerome Powell.

Jackson acknowledges that the church at 111th Street and South Michigan Avenue has been a resource for 75 families since 2004 and a helping hand for the area's economically challenged, feeding people on Sunday and giving out clothes.

"Ministries is a beacon of light and hope and we want to keep that light burning and keep hope alive," Rev. Jackson said.

Thursday, a truck is parked outside the church for people to donate non-perishable goods, clothing and toiletries

Friday, it will be parked outside of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Headquarters at 930 East 50th Street.
I also wanted to share this from the YouTube channel CharlieBo313. After they leave a crime scene on 103 Street west of Wentworth near a Dollar General store there they head up towards the fire at Beacon Light Ministries. You will see this at about the 1:15 min mark of the video [VIDEO]

Monday, January 20, 2020

How an Award-Winning Teacher Turned Principal Transformed Bennett Elementary

I like to see news about Bennett Elementary out there and especially if it's good news. This time about the current principal of Bennett School from March 2019:
Today Principal Teresa Huggins takes pride in her successful turnaround of Roseland’s Bennett Elementary. Since she took the helm in 2013, Bennett has transformed from a school on probation to a school at the top of the district’s accountability ratings. It’s one of 22 neighborhood elementary schools on the South and West sides of Chicago where students are showing high growth on the NWEA MAP test.
Huggins’ role in Bennett’s turnaround sounds similar to successful turnaround stories I’ve heard from other principals over the years. When she arrived, she made a point of observing without trying to make big changes right away. “When you come in and try changing everything at once, you rub people the wrong way,” she observed. But once she had the lay of the land, she was unafraid to push for improvement. She insisted on basics like grade-level meetings, teachers showing up on time and taking a hard look at what test score data said about how well students were learning. To increase student engagement, she coupled a behavior reward system with a requirement that teachers schedule quarterly field trips to give students wider experiences beyond the classroom.

To no one’s surprise, teachers pushed back. When Huggins put up data charts by classroom and named the teachers, she received emails complaining, “You cannot call us out.” She emailed the entire staff, reminding them that since they work for the public they must answer to the public. “I didn’t get any more complaints after that,” she said.

Teachers started bringing student work to grade level meetings. Huggins encouraged them to ask themselves questions straight from the National Board playbook: What is the student’s level of understanding? How do you know? What are your next steps as a teacher? Huggins also worked to improve teaching and learning for the 15 percent of Bennett’s students in special education, pushing for greater inclusion and revising IEPs. In her second year as principal, their growth led all the schools in Bennett’s network.

When teachers stepped up their game, Bennett rewarded their efforts with special events, like dinner at a restaurant for the entire faculty on her during staff appreciation week. These days, teachers have built a stronger culture, with a social committee that celebrates birthdays and more teachers staying late after school to plan and prepare. “Sometimes I have to put them out,” she joked.
If I may offer some commentary, elementary school I think is too soon for students to think about being college bound....

Thursday, January 16, 2020

CapFax: More of this, please

More of what? Well a solution to a special education teacher shortage. Perhaps in general a teacher's shortage in this state whether in rural, suburban, or even urban areas like Chicago. Via Rich Miller.

Black Chicago at mid-century - Chicago History Today

It's amazing that as John R. Schmidt notes on his blog last month that Chicago's Black population was growing during the first half of the 20th century. Now as we just about halfway through the first half of the 21st century the Black population of the city is going down.

At least during the first half of the 20th Century for the most part Blacks were restricted to a particular part of the south side and housing increasingly was becoming an issue. These days Blacks have spread out to the point that many are leaving the city.

Either they're living in the suburbs or they're moving back to the south since during the first half of the 20th century many came from the south looking for better opportunities north. Of course if there is a reverse migration back to the south, perhaps the reasons are somewhat different.