Help These South Side Chicago Kids!

The new Crayons project is a full-blown school makeover for Dulles Elementary School in the South Side of Chicago!

I was put in touch with Kahinde Longmire, the Assistant Principal

of the Dulles School of Excellence and we are working in close partnership to raise funds for critically-needed classroom supplies, new books, updated technology, classroom furniture to replace broken desks and chairs, new uniforms, musical instruments and to enhance the school environment so it is a brighter, happier place for kids to learn.

The Dulles School of Excellence is located on “Chicago’s most dangerous block,” many students have PTSD from witnessing gun violence, kids often come to school unfed and without coats, underwear, 10% of the children are homeless, they have no funding for critical school supplies – pencils, paper, books, tissues, crayons, etc, their computers barely function, their desks and chairs are broken, they have no tables for classrooms, etc.

I think this is an amazing opportunity to make a huge impact on children who have been neglected by the Chicago school system – and I am SO EXCITED and overwhelmed and happy and touched that you are so enthusiastic about helping these kids get the resources that they need to succeed, and that they deserve.

THE SCHOOL:

Dulles School of Excellence

Pre K- 8th Grade

6311 S. Calumet

Chicago, IL. 60637

– Located in the South Side of Chicago.

– Ranked 2026th of 2063 Illinois Public Elementary Schools.

– 10% of students are homeless.

– Many students have PTSD from witnessing gun violence.

– The location of the school is known as “Chicago’s most violent block.”

– 100% of students are from low income families (most live in the projects).

– Children come to school unfed and often without underwear, coats, etc.

– Chronic truancy is 33%.

– Only 3% of students are proficient in math & reading.

– The student population grew by 48% in five years.

– Students do not come to school with their own school supplies.

– The student:teacher ratio is 21:1  (the state average is 16:1).

– At one point, the school had to cancel after school sports because of homicides directly outside of the school.

– 55% of teachers are in their first or second year.

– The school doesn’t have funding for critical supplies – pencils, paper, books, folders, tissues, crayons, workbooks, food for kids

who come to school unfed, etc.

– Computers are old and don’t work with necessary learning programs, smart board are old and broken, desks and chairs are broken and mismatched, classrooms don’t have tables, etc.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

1. MONETARY DONATIONS:

The Starter17 campaign will be used to purchase tables and chairs for classrooms, new smart boards, computers and uniforms for students.

The school currently has no tables for classrooms, desks and chairs are broken, computers and smart boards don’t work, etc -so we are DESPERATELY trying to raise at lease $10K before the first day of school (September 4) so the kids can at least have tables in their classes.

This is the MOST CRITICAL fundraising component so our preference is for people to donate funds vs. supplies at this point.

2. BUY SUPPLIES FROM THE SCHOOL’S WISHLIST:

The Starter17 includes critically-needed classroom supplies (paper, pencils, crayons, etc), snacks and clothing (kids often come to school unfed, without underwear, etc, and toys that will be used as prizes for attendance (state funding is allocated based on attendance and currently chronic truancy is 33% so it is critical we fix that).

SO FAR, the prizes have helped the school reach a 98% attendance rate (which is completely unheard of and amazing – all thanks to you!)

I am continuing to add items to the list so it will grow a bit in the coming days.