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Youth camps, classes heated up summer

Resource type: News

Local Initiatives Support Corporation / New Communities Program |

Original Source By Maureen Kelleher and Richard Muhammad As you get closer to the gym at Reavis elementary school in Bronzeville, the music, singing, clapping and chanting swells. Inside, Marisa Cordeiro, a capoeira instructor, leads children through exercises in the Brazilian martial art – using music, a foreign language, and some history. The class, which ran through the summer, is part of the Integrated Services in Schools (ISS) program, an innovative approach funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies that seeks to improve educational achievement and opportunities for disadvantaged middle-school students. The effort involves extended learning, parent and community involvement inside school walls, weekend and summer activities, in-school health centers, and special programs for students at Reavis and four other Chicago Public Schools that partnered with NCP groups. It’s expected that graduates of Chicago-ISS programs will enter high school better prepared for the emotional challenges of adolescence and the intellectual challenges of high school and college. Other ISS-related summer activities included camps and jobs for youth, training for teachers and parents, and health center construction. Students at three of the schools are worked summer jobs and enjoyed sports, theater, arts and field trips through summer camps. At Logan Square’s Ames Middle School about 70 youngsters earned their first paychecks by fixing bikes, painting murals and interning for local organizations. Middle-schoolers at Orozco Academy in Pilsen enjoyed similar activities in July and August. At Marquette Elementary in Chicago Lawn, teachers are refining their strategies to help middle school students grow socially, emotionally and academically. And the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation and Perspectives Calumet Middle School are leading the way on building a health center (all ISS schools will eventually have one), with completion expected in early fall. ©2004 Local Initiatives Support Corporation/Chicago

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Integrated Services in Schools, ISS