Increasing Family & Community Partnerships - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

The Whole Child Review Issue No. 13, March 2024

Increasing Family & Community Partnerships

15th annual Lawndale 5K

The 15th annual Lawndale 5K walk/run solidified its place as a beloved West Side tradition. This long-standing event, organized by Lawndale Christian Health Center and Lawndale Christian Fitness Center, aims to promote community wellness and foster a spirit of togetherness.

With leadership from Cory Washington and Molly Harris, this year’s race saw strong participation from KIPP, with over 65 students, family members, and staff joining the festivities. Notably, representatives from various KIPP campuses, including KAMs and KAC, were present. Ms. McClinton, Ms. Adams, Ms. Brooks, and Ms. Walker from KAMs, Mr. Spells, Mr. Sawyer, Ms. Hall, Ms. Bilal, Ms. Rollins, and Mr. Maginot from KAC all led their student groups. Additionally, regional staff members Ms. Hodges, Ms. Pouba, Ms. Ibarra, and Ms. Jasper actively participated in the race. Molly,  Director of Model UN, negotiated scholarships to support teacher participation. 

The presence of so many KIPP members at the Lawndale 5K highlights the organization’s commitment to fostering a healthy and engaged community within its schools and the broader West Side. This year’s event was a resounding success, bringing together diverse participants for a day of fun, exercise, and community spirit.


Bernie’s Book Drive 

Calling all bookworms! Thanks to a fantastic partnership with Bernie’s Book Bank, over 2,800 Kindergarten to 6th graders received a holiday gift worth celebrating – a bag filled with 6-8 books each! That’s right, thousands of students got to snuggle up with exciting stories over the break, thanks to this amazing collaboration.

But our commitment to reading goes beyond just the quantity of books. We understand the importance of diverse literature, which is why we’ve requested more Spanish-language books to better reflect our growing Latinx and multilingual student community. We want to ensure everyone has access to stories that resonate with them and spark their imaginations.

A big shout-out goes to Robby Cohn at KIPP Bloom for his incredible work bringing this valuable partnership to life! Thanks to his efforts, countless students can continue to explore the world of books and discover the joy of reading.

Connecting Families and Promoting Education

The recent One-Stop Registration event at Malcolm X College for KIPP Academy was a resounding success, fostering community engagement and educational opportunities. Sylvia Ibarra Delgado, Managing Director of Multilingual Learner Services, resourcefully secured transportation, ensuring access for new ESL students and allowing them to connect with Malcolm X College’s campus and staff. This display of inclusivity facilitated their participation in the event, paving the way for future educational endeavors.

Furthermore, the event yielded positive outcomes by signing families and community members up for ESL classes. This crucial step opens doors for language acquisition and empowers individuals to navigate their lives and contribute meaningfully to the community.

The collaborative efforts of Sylvia, Mr. Juan Centeno, and the Malcolm X College staff contributed significantly to the positive and enriching experience for KIPP Academy community members and families. The event serves as a testament to the power of collaboration in fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment that promotes educational access for all community members.

Model U.N. Reaches New York Fundraising Goal

We are thrilled to announce that our Model United Nations (MUN) fundraiser exceeded all expectations, thanks to the incredible dedication and support of many individuals like you. A heartfelt congratulations to Molly Harris, Lead of the Model U.N. Program, and our MUN Coaches: Naomi Melo, Michelle Collum, and Kentin London (KAC); Maalik McClinton and Nicole Kwasigroch (KAMS); Jessie Robinson and Oliver Miller (KOA); Evonne Bankston and Ashley Cupil (KBCP). Their unwavering guidance and support have played a crucial role in shaping the future leaders who will represent us at the world’s largest middle school Model U.N. conference in New York this April. At this conference, our delegates will have the opportunity to speak in the United Nations Headquarters and share their ideas and research with students from around the world. The topics that our students have been researching this year include: The Transition to Nuclear Energy in Developing Countries, Building and Sustaining Water Security, Transitioning to Eco-Friendlier Trade Systems, and Creating a Framework for Political Education.  

In addition to researching diligently in after-school meetings, our students have engaged in a variety of other exciting opportunities to build their leadership, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. In mid-January, they met with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, a former United States Representative for Florida’s 7th congressional district and the first Vietnamese woman to serve in U.S. Congress. Congresswoman Murphy shared her personal story of coming to the U.S. with her family to escape communism as a young child and the critical role that education played in her life. She even talked about her experience participating in Model U.N. as a high school student! She answered our students’ questions and left them with a compelling message—even when people doubt you or say you can’t do it, make sure you continue to push forward and use that doubt as motivation.

Over the past month, our students engaged in workshops with community activists Aisha Oliver, founder of Root2Fruit Youth Foundation, and Jamila Trimuel, Founder of Ladies of Virtue. During these sessions, students practiced their networking skills by meeting Model U.N. students from other KIPP Chicago campuses and sharing about themselves and their role as student leaders. Students took the podium to present how they hope to work towards building safer and stronger communities. We wish them all the success and impact on their journey! Thank you once again for your incredible support and dedication to our Model U.N. program. 

Together, we are making a difference!



Local Model U.N. Conference 

Students from all four KIPP middle schools had an incredible opportunity to participate in their inaugural local Model U.N. conference, “PACKMUN,” held at Saint Ignatius College Prep, home to the top high school Model U.N. team in the nation,  in a collaborative partnership effort.

More than 50 KIPP students joined peers from across the city, engaging in stimulating discussions on critical global issues such as the impact of AI, border security, and affordable housing. Each student had the privilege of being mentored by experienced members of Saint Ignatius’s esteemed Model U.N. team and received invaluable guidance throughout the conference.

This event served as a platform for students to enhance their research, public speaking, and critical thinking skills while also deepening their understanding of complex global challenges. It was an enriching experience that empowered our students to become thoughtful and engaged global citizens.

Most recently, 40 of our students were invited back to attend a practice event at Saint Ignatius High School, where they learned debate and research skills from their peer mentors and practiced conference exercises.

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