IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!

Is your vision filled with hope for a brighter tomorrow? That's the vision of the children of CabriniGreen, one of Chicago's public housing neighborhoods. And many of them have found a path that leads to a brighter future. That path is Cabrini Connections. At Cabrini Connections, we strive to help each individual child realize his or her full potential. We serve educationally disadvantaged youth by offering activities that stimulate their desire to learn, increase their self-esteem, and reinforce classroom teaching through lessons and friendships with adult role models. Furthermore, we seek to promote the establishment and growth of similar programs throughout Chicago. There are thousands of educationally disadvantaged children in areas of Chicago beyond Cabrini-Green. They need adult support and programs like this too. Cabrini Connections intends to be a catalyst to empower volunteers and existing programs to share ideas and to create a continuing call to action reaching corporations throughout the city, so more kids can receive the attention they deserve.

CABRINI CONNECTIONS HISTORY
Every few years, Chicago seems to mobilize massive public and private energy to combat an inner-city crisis. This cycle was renewed again in October 1992 after a small boy was killed in Cabrini-Green. As has happened in earlier years, there has been a lot of talk, some programs have been initiated and after a while, the attention will move to another crisis in city leadership, the programs will be left to fend for themselves, and the problems will continue until the next crisis again brings attention to the issue. Cabrini Connections, a not-for-profit corporation, was formed in October 1992 by a group of volunteers seeking to pool their efforts to create a place where they and others could come together to help children have a better future. The group pledged support to the following philosophy. We will provide an organized framework that empowers and encourages volunteers to give their time, effort, ideas and support to seeking life-changing solutions for children who live in an educationally disadvantaged environment, such as Cabrini-Green. Members of Cabrini Connections seek to support one another and other community leaders throughout Chicago and America in efforts to encourage, develop and fund volunteer-based literacy programs with the intent of empowering a growing number of community volunteers to become tutors, mentors and role models to atrisk students throughout the city. We accept that we will often differ in our goals or in our strategies for achieving them, but will seek not to judge one another's motivations but rather let time be our judge and let our combined efforts in support of oneanother be honest and true in meeting the broader goals of this alliance. We do not seek to dwell on that which divides us, but on that which unites us. And where honest effort results in different opinions, we will value those differences and where common ground is not available, be supportive and encouraging in seeking separate paths to our common goal. In all of our efforts we commit ourselves to strive for simplicity in seeking solutions, reduction when facing bureaucracy, and creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in identifying and applying new solutions to old programs.

TELEPHONE - 312-467-2889 c/o MONTGOMERY WARD, LOC 21-N

FAX 312/467-7542 535 W. CHICAGO AVE., CHICAGO, IL. 60610 3

HEADLINES
7-Year-Old's Death at Cabrini Requires Action
Demand it now! This isn't something you can let the other guy be indignant over. It's past time for you to take responsibility for solving the problems of Chicago.
Dennis A. Britton, Editor, Chicago Sun Times

WHY CABRINI CONNECTIONS?
LOST OPPORTUNITIES DURING OUTOF-SCHOOL HOURS

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Best precaution: Just don't forget.
If the story of the murder of 7-year old Dantrell Davis......sounded vaguely familiar, it might have been because it had strong parallels to the story .....of the murder of 9-year old Laketa Crosby in 1985.
Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, October 20, 1992 Column written by Eric Zorn

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"With help, kids in America's war zones can thrive"
"The cost of failure is a new generation of children, too many of whom will fail in school, join gangs, deal drugs, .....and start still another generation of children in urban war zones."
Chicago Tribune, Monday, May 18, 1992 Editorial written by Joan Beck

......................................................... "The children are so needing of attention. They are emotionally deprived. Anytime you can give them quality one-on-one time is really fortunate."
Quote from Janis Todd, Principal of Byrd Community Academy, located in Cabrini-Green Chicago Tribune, Thursday, October 8, 1992

According to the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development**, each school day, America's 20 million young adolescents decide how they will spend at least five (40%) of their waking hours when they are not in school. For many, these hours harbor both risk and opportunity. On weekends and during the summer months, American youth have even greater amounts of discretionary time. For those teenagers without adult supervision, the out-of-school hours constitute high-risk time for high-risk behavior. Young people left on their own or with peers stand a significantly greater chance of becoming involved in substance abuse, sexual activity leading to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, crime, and violence than their peers who are engaged in constructive activities. For low-income adolescents, economic disadvantages and the stresses of life in their neighborhoods are exacerbated by the lack of places that provide safe havens, attractive opportunities, and trustworthy adults.
IT IS "IMPERATIVE THAT SOCIETY PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES..."

adult role models in one-on-one and group activities, can be one means of giving children hope, support and learning tools and building self-esteem and confidence necessary for students to succeed in school. "The nation cannot afford to raise another generation of young adolescents without the supervision, guidance, and preparation for life that caring adults and strong community organizations once provided and again can provide." Numerous reports have shown the failure of American schools to produce enough literate, self sufficient graduates. High drop-out rates, inadequate schools, uninvolved parents, and unchallenged students are common. Yet, our democracy and our economy require an educated population. Being literate enhances the potential for responsible decision making. It allows one to assess information, to make thoughtful judgements about the opinions of others, and to actively participate in community decisions. Afterschool Tutoring/Mentoring programs have great potential. They can help children in many ways: . Maintain and build children's interest in learning . Keep children in school . Keep children off the streets and in productive activities . Improve grades . Broaden each child's experience base . Stimulate creativity . Enhance social and problem-solving skills . Develop productive adults . Expand each child's options for a quality life The following pages will start you on a process that will help you increase your capacity to make a difference. We hope that you will use these fully and contribute to the growth of our kids.

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"L.A. Riots' Wake-up Call Fell Mostly on Deaf Ears."
"We are not very good as a country in dealing with long-term problems, except when they present themselves as a crisis."
-Stuart Eizenstat, domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter

"Many Americans hoped that, some how, the stubborn dilemmas of crime and poverty that so dehumanize urban life would be tacked with a renewed public will." "Yet except for a flurry of local efforts, nothing much has happened." Reprinted from Los Angeles Times article written by Jonathan Peterson
Chicago Sun Times, Sunday, Nov. 1, 1992

Research conducted by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago* adds support for the Tutor/Mentor Connection network. We agree with Joan Wynn et al that it is "imperative that society provide opportunities through which children can build the capacities and skills they need to function adequately as young people and later as adults." And that "over the long term, particularly for school-age and older children, the potential for social participation is often what sustains a child's effort to overcome obstacles." Cabrini Connections believes that tutoring/mentoring after-school, programs, where children work with

*From"Redefining Child and Family Services: Directions for the Future" by Joan Wynn, Joan Costello, Robert Halpern, and Harold Richman , Dec. 1992 **From A MATTER OF TIME, Risk and Opportunity in the Nonschool Hours. Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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