Our Lady of Guadalupe School
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Our Lady of Guadalupe School (OLGS) has been teaching the next generation of leaders in South Chicago and other nearby neighborhoods since 1947. The school serves over 200 Kindergarten through 8th grade pupils in a community where 97% of its inhabitants qualify for reduced cost or free lunches. Our Lady of Guadalupe regularly serves as a model for schools in African American and Hispanic communities. OLGS does not only prepare its charges for ongoing education in high school and college; it builds values that stress family, community, and life-long learning.
Though not the only factors, lack of quality education and limited access to academic resources—including computers and other technology—are serious contributors to poverty for many individuals and families. When young people do not have access to safe, good quality schooling, not only are they more likely to be living in poverty, but they are also more likely to lack opportunities to contribute to the positive growth of their communities. They are also more likely to engage in criminal behavior.
With the ability to challenge students to become responsible and independent learners and to provide more individualized attention, OLGS’s experienced, dedicated teachers can partner with parents to give learners the high-quality education that they might not otherwise be able to access in their neighborhoods.
Because of the high crime rate in South Chicago, OLGS takes care to make sure students are safe while arriving to and leaving school. The school has their own bus, which transports roughly 60 kids to and from school. The rest of the students are picked up by caregivers; almost none walk home.
Faced with this reality in the neighborhood, the staff at OLGS knows that students need a safe place to go in the before- and after-school hours when their caregivers, in many cases, are not home. In order to ensure that students do not have to wait outside for school to start, the school opens the doors at 7 AM for any child who needs a safe place to go. Pupils can work on school work in supervised classrooms or in one of the school’s two computer labs in the early morning hours. OLGS also offers a peer tutoring program during the before-school hours.
The school also offers a variety of after-school programs for students. These include a popular science club (in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago), tutoring for at-risk students, and the Ballet Folklórico club, a chance to explore Mexican arts and culture. OLGS also offers some team sports, including cross country, soccer, and volleyball.