Early Action Grants
The Generation All Early Action Grants were $515,000 in grants that were awarded to 16 different organizations in order to help construct conditions for neighborhood public high schools to serve as community anchors. We awarded these grants in an effort to give neighborhood high school students the quality education that they deserve. Read more here.
With the help of these grants we were able to positively impact the lives of 20,870 students, 577 teachers, and 64 different schools total collectively. Additionally, our grantees were able to leverage our grant to garner additional grants totaling $1,720,000! Read the press release here.
Our grantees are organizations that are dedicated and deeply invested in creating a more equitable education for those on the wrong side of funding disparities. Below is a list of these organizations, and the amount of money we were able to award them, followed by a description of how they planned to use the grants.
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC)
The Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) is a community based, nonprofit organization serving a working class neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest side. BPNC’s mission is to create a safer community, improve the learning environment at public schools, preserve affordable housing, provide a voice for youth, protect immigrants’ rights, promote gender equality, and end all forms of violence.
With the support of Generation All, BPNC built feeder patterns between elementary and high schools, strengthened college and career pathways for students, and fought for equitable funding for all public schools on the Southwest side. As part of this effort, BPNC led over 2,000 people to “walk-in” at 14 schools on February 17th as part of the National Day of Action to support public neighborhood schools. The coalition also organized and supported elementary, middle and high school counselors on the Southwest side to plan for stronger feeder patterns, and students that formed their own committee within the Southwest side coalition to further these efforts.
BPNC, along with students from Davis Elementary, advocated for more funding for the neighborhood schools in Brighton Park at City Hall. Read more here.
In March, BPNC supported students in a protest against the CPS budget cuts. Read more here.
Learn more about BPNC’s work with at-risk students through the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program here.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
Partnered with Thrive Chicago, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is working to help high school seniors to and through college. Thrive Chicago aims to prepare Chicago’s youth for a vibrant future by aligning efforts and outcomes from cradle to career.
CPS convened master college counselors from around the district and worked to create specific unit and lesson plans for a senior seminar to be implemented at high schools without post-secondary partners and supports. Thrive Chicago engaged post-secondary partners across the city as an advisory council to review the lesson plans and improved the implementation of the senior seminar next school year. They developed survey tools and dashboards to track students’ growth mindsets, belonging, and perseverance over the duration of the Senior Seminar.
Embarc is a three-year program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success. Embarc aims to drive student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. Through the transformative power of these journeys, Embarc works to awaken students to the possibilities of their potential by dissolving the borders of the city and in their minds.
With Generation All’s financial assistance, Embarc expanded to Fenger and Manley high schools with two cohorts and provided 7-10 learning experiences. Embarc partnered with One Million Degrees, Year Up, Bottom Line on pro-pathways work, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and McKinsey on a post-secondary model that included prime certificate and vocational options, as well as with Workforce Alliance and Forefront.
Enlace Chicago is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of the residents of the Little Village community by fostering a physically safe and healthy environment in which to live and by championing opportunities for educational advancement and economic development.
Thanks to Generation All’s support, Enlace strengthened the Little Village Education Collaborative (LVEC) by implementing activities and strategies to increase post-secondary attainment. LVEC is comprised of HS, 4-year college, and community college representatives. They meet regularly and started data collection as well as launched Parent Leaders for College. Twenty Parent Leaders represent each K-12 school in Little Village and are trained on high school completion and college access. They have trained five parents at each of their schools, resulting in 100 parents in the community that can better support their students. Enlace also worked with City College partners to align open house schedules and prevent summer melt.
GROWCommunity is a community-wide effort on the North Side of Chicago to strengthen neighborhood high schools Amundsen and Lake View, as well as the 17 public elementary schools that feed into them, so they become the top educational choices for neighborhood families.
With Generation All’s support, GROWCommunity enhanced its work by launching a digital presence and canvassing the neighborhood to increase awareness about neighborhood public high schools and strengthen K-12 alignment with the 5 Essentials professional learning program. Already, GROWCommunity has launched a marketing campaign that promoted both Lake View and Amundsen and conducted student ambassador visits at 6 elementary schools. They also worked with Amundsen high school to strengthen distributive teacher leadership.
GROWCommunity has done community outreach. They have created a parent-panel to share current experiences from parents of Amundsen and Lake View High School students. Read more here.
There are also various tours of Amundsen and Lake View High School throughout the year. Register for one here.
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. Working with local leaders LISC invests in education, as well as housing, health, public safety and employment.
With the support of Generation All, LISC ensured active youth participation in the education committees meeting as part of the Quality of Life planning taking place in Englewood and Auburn Gresham. As part of the planning process, youth received ongoing leadership. LISC worked with Mivka Challenge and BRAVE youth to strengthen the youth development effort.
Loyola University of Chicago School of Education
With Generation All’s support, Loyola has embarked on a planning project, called “Reimagining Teaching and Learning in Neighborhood High Schools: Planning Curriculum across Schools, Communities, Cultural Institutions, and Universities”, to reimagine student learning as taking place beyond the school building and across multiple, partnered educational institutions.
Loyola convened students, teachers, principals, and cultural institution staff and planned a process by which high schools and external partners developed and sustained mutually beneficial partnerships to expand student learning-opportunities. Students from each partner school participated in each meeting.
Network for College Success (NCS)
The Network for College Success (NCS) envisions Chicago neighborhood high schools that continuously cultivate collaboration, powerful learning, and a culture of high achievement to prepare all students for college and career success. NCS uses research to design and facilitate professional learning that builds the capacity of school leaders to help all students attain high levels of academic achievement.
With the support of Generation All, NCS increased the leadership capacity and social capital among the adults in neighborhood public high schools to raise achievement for all students. This year, NCS piloted demonstration school visits, which helped schools learn from the assets of other schools. NCS also developed a Freshman On-Track Toolkit. Most of the growth in the CPS graduation rate over the last 5 years can be attributed to growth at the neighborhood public high schools. To continue this growth, NCS used research from the Consortium on Chicago School Research, neighborhood high school principals and teacher leaders are receiving hands-on support to increase freshmen on-track rates through data dives and to improve college match for graduating seniors. Learn more about the Freshman On-Track Toolkit here.
Read more about NCS’s work with principals and counselors here.
Schools that Can
Schools that Can works to unite leaders to expand quality urban education and close the opportunity and skills gap. This is accomplished by creating a safe space where teachers and school leaders from urban schools, education innovators, and industry leaders can work together to advance school improvement, breaking down silos to ensure all students are equipped with the skills to succeed in college, career, and life.
With Generation All’s support, Schools that Can assembled a cross-sector group of high schools to learn and then implemented Deeper Learning principles into their school culture and curriculum. Schools That Can worked intensively with Sullivan HS as it uses the Deeper Learning principles to pursue an XQ Super School award. Sullivan’s inclusion into the next round was likely in part to its alignment with XQ values around Deeper Learning.
CPS-UIC partnership for Neighborhood High School Science
The CPS-UIC partnership for Neighborhood High School Science builds a cadre of 30 science teacher leaders in 20 neighborhood high schools. Through a sustained inquiry-based workshop series, these teachers will learn to incorporate the goals of Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms.
UIC created a cross-school professional development learning-community to strengthen implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Their decision to work across so many schools led to a strong sense of collegiality. They have adopted an action research model which has allowed for meaningful differentiation among teacher work and learning. Teachers from different schools are collaborating on thinking and answering the shared driving questions of their work.
Umoja Student Development Corp.
Umoja equips young people to succeed in college and confidently claim their future. They do this by building a web of dynamic relationships that brings together schools, families and community partners to bridge the gap between the talents and ambitions of low-income youth and the resources they need to thrive.
With Generation All’s support, Umoja ran a pilot program, Umoja Restorative Education Leaders (UREEL), which worked to develop a school culture of restoration and healing. Umoja worked with Hope High School to implement these practices. The project has been met with great success; even teachers who are not participating in UREEL are eager to learn more about restorative justice practices. Further, out of school suspensions reduced by 35% and the number of L4-L6 infractions are down by 41%.
Convergence Academies is an innovation incubator committed to the future design of learning experience through participatory civics, culture and digital media. College and Career Access, Persistence and Success (CCAPS) was formed in 2013 as a subgroup of Forefront’s Education Group to explore how well CPS students: 1) are prepared for and able to access an appropriate college experience; 2) persist in college and graduate; and 3) make successful transitions to careers following school.
With Generation All’s support, CCAPS and Convergence Academies has 1) created Discovery Document with info, ideas and resources that can be used by other schools to create their own DA, 2) tested teacher professional development methods in Tilden’s DA that can inform development of DA at other schools, and 3) researched the impact of the DA on students and teachers.
This work has been very successful so far: students’ increased GPA and attendance rates are correlated with amount of time students spend in the DA. There was also an increase in 9th grade on-track rates and digital media skills. Students who frequently visited the DA received up to an additional 100 hours of informal learning time each school year. Further, Generation All’s support helped provide funding for digital mentors in DA space after school.
See the CCAPS’s work at Morill Math and Science School and Tilden High School here.
Learn how CCAPS has integrated technology here.
Communities United builds power by developing local leadership and empowering communities to identify and address the root causes of inequity at the neighborhood, city, state and national levels. Through its organizing, Communities United works to improve the quality of public education, particularly for low-income students, with an emphasis on increasing high school graduation rates, college readiness, and college enrollment rates.
With Generation All’s support, Communities United worked with two neighborhood schools (Steinmetz and Foreman high schools) and leveraged key partnerships to address the key driver of safe and supportive school environments with a focus on school-based transformation, implementation of policy change, and building a multi-stakeholder coalition for change. They 1) developed student leadership to be agents of change in their schools and communities, 2) created a strategic plan to address discipline disparities and 3) developed a policy implementation plan to address racial disparities.
Gads Hill Center
Gads Hill Center creates opportunities for children and their families to build a better life through education, access to resources and community engagement. Their programs address some of the most pressing challenges facing working families throughout Chicago, including lack of resources and education.
With Generation All’s support, the Gads Hill Center engaged in a collaborative planning process with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) for the development of an effective middle-to-high school transition program for Gage Park High School and its feeder elementary schools. Planning laid the foundation for a strong 8th to 9th grade transition program and there is currently planning under way for implementation of a transition program serving freshman and sophomores at Gage Park and 7th and 8th graders at feeder schools. The Gad Hills Center has also aligned their goals of planning to school-based mental health program.
Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP)
The Southwest Organizing Project’s (SWOP) mission is to build a broad-based organization of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith institutions, public and private schools and other institutions in Southwest Chicago, which will enable families to exercise common values, determine their own future and connect with each other to improve life in their neighborhoods.
SWOP engaged in a collaborative planning process with Gads Hill Center to implement 8th to 9th transition framework for Gage Park HS. Students, parents and staff viewed conversations tied to the teachers strike, which ultimately created an opportunity for people to explore how they felt about issues and created deeper levels of understanding.
Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA)
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association is a community-based organization advancing diversity, leader development, and models for engagement as the catalyst for social justice.
With Generation All’s support, LSNA improved the academic and holistic development of students at Kelvyn Park High school with an interest in the areas of Information Technology, Nursing, Social Justice and/or Bilingual Certification. They offered after-school clubs to align school day and after-school activities, marketed these four career-tracks in the elementary and middle schools, and established external partnerships and internship opportunities for students in these areas.
See the Education Justice team’s documentary, Kelvyn Park: Surviving a Broken System, here.