Francis Parker Civic Engagement Program
Francis Parker School Upper School students engage in myriad partnerships in Chicago, as well as class-to-class partnerships with overseas partners. Partnerships are vital for Parker’s commitment to democratic education. The more young people are exposed to people from different communities, cultures, and races, the wider their perspective, the sharper their questions, the deeper their analysis. By setting aside significant time for collaboration, Parker signals to students a value for social learning and a commitment to the process of young people making meaning of their own lives.
A small sampling of Parker’s Chicago partnerships include:
* In Science classes, students participate in water testing and monitoring with Friends of the River and the Shedd Aquarium.
* Partnering with the Board of Elections, students serve as Election Judges on Election Day.
* Students participating in Issues to Action and other projects organized by Mikva Challenge meet periodically with peers from across Chicago to discuss policy and plan actions at both school and city-wide levels.
* Students and teachers have grown longstanding relationships with many Chicago area schools, from North Lawndale College Preparatory Academy to Islamic Foundation School. Teachers from partnering schools develop projects that enable students from different communities to get to know each other. Additionally, when a teacher or student from either school initiates a project, extensive networks support broad outreach and cultivation of diverse partners.
* On the slam poetry team, students participate in Louder than a Bomb.
* Students run a Saturday sports and tutoring program for 8-11 year old students with St. Joseph’s Services.
* Students engage in conversation partnerships with immigrants and refugees participating in English language learning programs at Erie House, Refugee One, and Heartland Alliance.
*Students tutor in communities and schools all over the city, from the Chicago Lights program downtown to Dream Club at Sullivan HS and Centro Romero and Circesteem in Uptown.
More information about Civic Engagement at Parker (including Parker’s partner list) can be found on the website: http://civicengagement.fwparker.org/.