Monday, July 13, 2009

Why you should come to our golf tournament

On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune published an article about the difficulties that urban kids face during the summer. The article profiles four siblings who spend most summer days at the library, since that is one of the few safe places in their home neighborhood of Englewood to go during the summer.

If you visit Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection's president and CEO, Dan Bassill's blog, you can read what he has to say about the article and how there are not enough tutoring and mentoring programs in the Englewood neighborhood. This is despite the fact that it's one of the main neighborhoods in Chicago in regards to poverty and violence, making the need for tutoring and mentoring programs for the kids that much greater.

If you search the interactive program locator, and search under "zip code" for 60621, the main zip code for the Englewood neighborhood, you'll see there are only four tutoring and mentoring programs in the neighborhood. Now, I must add, that when I talk about tutoring and mentoring programs in relation to the poverty and violence that occurs in the neighborhoods here in Chicago, I don't want to say that it's the single solution to these issues. There are too many factors going into why there is such high levels of poverty and violence in the neighborhood that tutoring and mentoring programs are only one piece of the puzzle in improving the situations in these neighborhoods. However, if you look at the interactive map that Dan Bassill created above, you can see the churches, hospitals, schools, and businesses that can collaborate to help make the Englewood neighborhood a safer place for children to be this summer and throughout the year.

This is one of the goals of the Tutor/Mentor Connection - to help new programs get off their feet and existing programs to continue to thrive and serve the community in neighborhoods such as Englewood. If more tutoring and mentoring programs were able to offer summer programming so kids would have a safe place to go, the kids profiled in the Tribune article wouldn't have to just rely on their Public Library to spend their summer days.

Unfortunately, as I'm contacting programs throughout the city, many programs' summer programming is being cut due to the crisis in the Illinois State Budget, or because funding has dried up from foundations or grants have not been renewed. Simply put, a lot less money is going out to tutoring and mentoring (and most social services programs in general). One of the first types of programs that tutoring and mentoring organizations cut is their summer programming. However, as many of us now know, summer is the time when kids have the most free time on their hands and where many are left unsupervised because parents and guardians have to work. There is a reason why we see the number of kids getting shot and killed rise during the summer.

So, what can you do to help? A fun way to help benefit tutoring and mentoring programs throughout the city of Chicago, is to come to our annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Tournament, which benefits our own tutoring and mentoring program, Cabrini Connections as well as tutoring and mentoring programs throughout the city of Chicago through the Tutor/Mentor Connection. This year, the golf tournament will be held this Thursday July 16th, 2009 at Highland Park Country Club. Find out more by visiting the golf tournament's website
and sign up to play. Also, if you're not a golfer, but like to eat and drink (and who doesn't!), you also can just come to the dinner and bid on silent auction items such as an autographed NY Jets Football and basketballs signed by basketball superstars such as Chicago-native Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. I hope to see everyone there!

1 comment:

Carol said...

Golf tournament it's very cool and Englewood is the safe place to reside cool!!!
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