In response to the hundreds of thousands of Chicago students who are now without a structured learning environment, the community has stepped up to the plate. While about one-quarter of the schools were opened to students while their parents are at work, many students were left without a place to go. This led faith organizations and local non-profit organizations to open their doors in order to give some students a structured learning environment for the time being.
This presents a great opportunity to consider the role of local organizations in education. Chris Soto, founder and director of the New London, CT, College Access Program, wrote a timely op-ed this weekend about the role that many nonprofit organizations play in giving further support to students. Soto cites organizations in Hartford, CT, and Providence, RI, which work to help low-income, urban students have the same opportunities to attend college as their middle- or upper-class counterparts.
Added capacity, one of our turnaround priorities, comes in many forms. While there really isn’t any silver lining to be found in this strike, it’s interesting to see how the city’s community organizations are stepping up to the plate and giving Chicago students the opportunities they deserve.