Stories

SWOP Wins Sustainable Community Schools Funding For Morrill

SWOP Wins Sustainable Community Schools Funding For Morrill

SWOP recently received word from the Chicago Public Schools that it will be a recipient of Sustainable Community Schools funding for its work at Morrill Elementary School.  SWOP staff people Jasmine Serrano and Joel Rodriguez are partnering with Principal Dawn Sydnor-Cole to implement expanded and new out-of-school time programming at the school. Parents, school staff, partners from Metropolitan Family Services (MFS), and SWOP staff are spending the week of August 20th in training provided by CPS.  At the end of…

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SWOP Parent Mentor Program Expands

SWOP Parent Mentor Program Expands

With support from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Public Schools’ Community Schools Initiative (CSI), SWOP is expanding the Parent Mentor Program to four new schools.  The new schools in Southwest Chicago that are implementing the program are Hampton, Edwards, Hurley, and Christopher.  Parent Mentor organizers are busy right now recruiting coordinators and parents for the expansion effort. This exciting development was made possible when ISBE increased the Parent Mentor Program budget from $1.4 million last…

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David McDowell, An Appreciation

David McDowell, An Appreciation

Sixteen years is a long time.  A person can be born and then legally drive.  Both the Cubs and White Sox won a World Series in that span.  Cities and communities can go through great economic turmoil and then Reclaim themselves.  An organizer can be hired and spend those sixteen years working to build relationships, leadership, and power in Southwest Chicago.  That’s what David McDowell did at SWOP. David had an interesting path in joining SWOP.  He was a transplant…

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Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

Reclaiming Campbell Avenue

SWOP has recently purchased multiple buildings on the 5900 and 6000 blocks of South Campbell Avenue, as the next phase of Reclaiming Southwest Chicago gets underway.  Two vacant four-unit buildings near the corner of 60th and Campbell have been purchased, as well as a single family home at 6036.  SWOP is also working on acquisition of two other properties on the 5900 block through the Cook County Land Bank Authority.  5925 S. Campbell is a single family home right next…

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Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers

The Grow Your Own Illinois teacher’s training program helps individuals who have an interest in teaching do so in a way that helps the community. GYO’s target candidates are people from low- and moderate income communities who wish to pursue their interest in teaching and better the community. Their goal is to support its candidates on their journey to becoming teachers. This can be in the form of providing financial assistance, wrap around supports, and the sense belonging from a cohort of people with the same passion for education. GYO candidates get…

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Companies Coming Together

Companies Coming Together

Last Friday a group of interns at Mayer Brown lead by Joe Seliga visited the Marquette Park neighborhood. The group went on a thorough tour of the area, and concluded their trip with a Lunch at SWOP to meet the team and learn about the organization. Seliga, who grew up in the area, brought a delicious lunch from Mezquite Pollo Express. Over lunch, the group discussed SWOP’s initiatives and goals, as well as its history, and the Mayer Brown interns…

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Carnival for a Day

Carnival for a Day

Last week, Hoops in the Hood and Playstreets kicked off their Summer programs in Southwest Chicago. The premier was a hit, attracting almost 100 neighborhood residents over the course of the afternoon. The crossover event took place Friday, June 29th, on the 6000 block of South Rockwell. At 11 o’clock, the Playstreets crew loaded up cars and carried over hoops, grills, tents, tables, and more. They then transformed the residential block into a basketball court, wrestling arena, face painting booth,…

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The Hub at Morrill

The Hub at Morrill

The Teen Reach Program was started nine years ago, originally at Fairfield School for one year before moving to the Morrill School, where it has stayed since. The program works to give students in grades five through eight a productive environment to stay on top of their academic work and provides them with positive mentors and outlets for expressing themselves. The young people can build relationships through the program that last them the rest of their lives. Each day is…

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New life to South Campbell

New life to South Campbell

On Saturday, June 2, Neighborhood Works celebrated its 40th anniversary as an organization in America and 31st in Chicago by cleaning up the 5900 and 6000 blocks of South Campbell Avenue. A group of over 100 people comprised of corporate volunteers, Campbell Avenue locals, and police gathered at 8:30 in the morning to start cleaning. The team worked hard for over three hours mowing lawns, painting walls and fences, planting flowers, cleaning yards, weeding, and more. In total, they were…

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