Spotlight Program

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January 2018

Our Lady of Guadalupe School

Chicago, Illinois
Students at Our Lady of Guadalupe School

Our Lady of Guadalupe School (OLGS) has been educating the next generation of community leaders in South Chicago and the surrounding area since 1947. With an annual enrollment of over 200, the school serves Kindergarten through 8th grade students in a community where 97% of its residents qualify for free or reduced lunches. The school is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and regularly serves as a model for schools in Hispanic and African American communities. OLGS does more than prepare students for high school and college; it builds values that stress community, family, and life-long learning.

The school’s dedicated, experienced teachers partner with parents to give students the high-quality education that they might not otherwise have access to in their neighborhoods. In order to make this possible, the school offers significant tuition assistance to many families. But in an area where the average annual income for families is $19,000, the need for this financial assistance is great.

In a school that is 90–95% Hispanic, bilingualism is common. OLGS sees this reality as a cultural strength and tailors lessons for these students, particularly in the area of reading. The school also offers many of the materials they send home in both Spanish and English so parents can always be engaged with their children’s education.

The school is in a blue-light camera neighborhood, which denotes it as having one of the highest crime rates in Chicago. As a result, OLGS takes great care to make sure students are safe during arrival and dismissal. The school has their own bus, and they transport about 60 kids to school in the morning and then home in the afternoon. The rest of the students are picked up by family; very few walk home. To prevent students from having to wait outside for school to start, the staff opens the doors at 7 am for any student who needs somewhere safe to go. Students can work on academics in supervised classrooms and computer labs during this time.

Find out more about Our Lady of Guadalupe School, and please consider offering your financial support to the school so it can continue to educate the next generation of smart, energized leaders in a community facing serious violence and poverty.

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