There is a growing need for the exceptional services offered by the Sue Duncan Children’sCenter. Attendance has doubled in the last five years and students, parents and educators from other communities show a strong interest in having access to its programming. Through the New Communities Project, the Center will open additional sites in elementary schools on Chicago’s south side to extend its reach to families and children in other neighborhoods that can benefit from its services. The new sites will maintain the Center’s high standard of excellence by duplicating the original Oakland site which has run effectively for over 52 years. In doing so, the Center will fill a void for even more at-risk students on Chicago’s south side and significantly increase their likelihood for success.
The immediate priority of the New Communities Project is to solidify a second school site serving the Woodlawn community by the 2013-14 school year, followed by a third site in 2014-15 serving Englewood. The location for the Woodlawn site is in the process of being solidified and will be finalized in the spring of 2013.
While the Center could have launched a campaign that would enable it to break ground for its own premises large enough to serve children at one location, leadership is more interested in focusing on becoming accessible to more children within its current successful model than having a building bearing its name. The motto has always been to “meet the children where they are” academically, emotionally, socially and geographically rather than create an environment in which they are required to get in where, and if, they fit in. This approach has been crucial to the Center’s historical success and accommodates children and families in a way that has proven to be highly effective. The rental of classrooms inside a local elementary school cuts down on overhead costs significantly, allows staff to focus on maintaining the excellence of its programming rather than additional operating concerns, and puts the Center at a convenient location where students, parents and educators can easily access it.
The Center will have the same expectation for student achievement the original site has maintained for over five decades. Positive multi-year relationships between children and staff, and daily tutor-to-child ratios that allow frequent and regular one-on-one interaction have been determined as key factors in the Center being able to track the success of its students. Evaluation of our success in boosting student achievement is determined by the following:
-Grades and Grade Improvement
-Honor Roll Attainment
-Diminished Behavioral Issues
With over five decades of experience and a proven model that has already made a difference in one of Chicago’s most impoverished communities, the Sue Duncan Children’s Center is at a juncture where it is able to facilitate a meaningful and impactful expansion. The Center has the knowledge from its many years of success in the Oakland community, new leadership and professional staff able to guide the organization, dedication and resources of an expanded board of directors comprised of both founding and new members, and the desire to deepen its impact.
For more information on the New Communities Project, call 773-942-2277 or email [email protected].