Latin School of Chicago
Latin School launched a new initiative called the Uptown Partnership in the fall of 2012 that focuses on the needs of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The partnership works with local civic leaders, including the 46th Ward alderman, and cultural and community organizations such as schools, shelters, non-profits, soup kitchens, and groups that serve children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In this work, Latin strives to have a meaningful impact on this neighborhood while also providing students in all three divisions of the school with an in-depth service-learning experience.
The Uptown Partnership grew out of a number of longstanding relationships that were already in place at Latin including the more than 17-year-old middle school partnership with McCutcheon Elementary School and the school’s Martin Luther King Day of Service at Uptown Baptist Soup Kitchen, which Latin families have been involved with for more than a decade. Currently, Latin is partnering with about two-dozen organizations in the neighborhood.
Uptown is one of the most diverse communities in Chicago in terms of culture, race, age, citizenship, artistic heritage, and economic status. Residents have a wide range of needs that students can support. Moreover, the community provides rich educational opportunities that can be integrated into Latin School’s curriculum. The following are just an example of the partnerships at the Latin School of Chicago. For a complete listing please check out the Latin School of Chicago’s Service Learning Booklet.
- McCutcheon Elementary School- 8th grade Latin students take a bus to McCutcheon Elementary School once a week to participate an after-school program. Activities include creating a lesson plan for the afternoon, engaging with the students and fostering a relationship with their buddies
- CircEsteem- Students from Latin visit the CircEsteem training facility and volunteer as production and performance assistants. The program is designed to unite youth from diverse, racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and help them build self -and mutual respect through their practice of circus arts.
- Conerstone Community Shelter- AP Statistic students from Latin volunteer their time to collect the data and complete the Community Impact Report for the Conerstone Community Shelter. This activity gives the students first-hand experience putting together a document that is used to ask legislators for funding and as a result the stereotypes and preconceived notions of who is in a shelter are often broken.
- UCAN- Microeconomic students from the Latin School volunteer their time at UCAN, a social service organization which works with more than 13,000 children, youth and families in Illinois each year. Using the marketing and advertising skills they have developed in class, these students create and institute a fundraising/advertising campaign for the organization.
- Temple Sholom- Students from Latin visit Temple Sholom every Monday to serve the “Monday Meal Mitzvah." Here the students help prepare and serve a hot meal to 56 homeless guests. To keep up the school’s commitment over the summer, faculty and staff assume the volunteer positions and serve the meals in June, July and August.