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Unstable housing situations can affect a student's ability to succeed academically. Chicago HOPES intervenes with academic support and caring, committed volunteers.
An uncertain home situation, new school, the trauma of moving -- all can make learning more difficult for the typical student. Through no fault of their own students living in shelters face significant barriers to academic development. Even the most talented student will have trouble without a routine spot to do homework, or a home to invite school friends, or in a new classroom in the middle of March. Each day at the HOPES program in shelters we see students deal with these challenges -- and witness the resilience, smiles, smarts, and energy they possess, like any child does.
Chicago HOPES, started as an initiative of Chicago Public Schools Educational Support for Students in Temporary Living Situations, aims to empower these homeless students to succeed academically. With the goal of sustainability, Chicago HOPES collaborates with schools, shelters and communities to establish shelter-based after school tutoring and cultural enrichment opportunities.
Chicago HOPES operates on a semester system with opportunities for students to attend sessions two days per week for 60-90 minutes per session throughout the Fall and Spring. The general focus of the program is homework assistance, with volunteer tutors providing academic support to homeless K-8 students living in the shelters. Each session is facilitated by a site coordinator who serves as the tutor supervisor and a liaison between Chicago HOPES and the shelter & students' parents. In addition, Chicago HOPES hosts enrichment partners that provide art, music, personal development, science and other fun, educational activities for the students several times throughout the semester.