Increasing Family and Community Partnerships - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

The Whole Child Review Issue No. 9, May 2022

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Increasing Family and Community Partnerships

KIPP Closet

In a continual effort to provide more wraparound services for students and families, we recently launched the KIPP Closet. Housed in our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice, we’ve been organizing donated clothing for all ages. For now, the KIPP Closet acts as a quick way to distribute clothing on a case-by-case basis for students and families with a need. We look forward to expanding our offerings to allow families to visit and shop for what they need regularly.


Alumni-Owned Businesses

We are so proud of these alumni and their entrepreneurship! From bakeries and hair care products to movers and skin care, our alumni are showcasing their skills, passion, and drive through their businesses.

Paris Clark (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2011) baker and owner of And She Bakes Too

Jazmine Walton (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2018) owner of 7 Decades Promised

Deshawn Nelson (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2017) co-owner of Nelson Movers

Maurice Henderson (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2017) owner of Rhygro

Robert White (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2017) Founder of Chicago Fathers for Change

Shamika Hall (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2012) owner of The Queen Mek Collection

Brenda Gilbert (KIPP Ascend Middle School, class of 2011) violin performances Windy Indie


Stedman Graham Workshops

In February, Mr. Graham launched his new Parent Identity Learning program, designed to raise self-awareness in order to lead a life of choice. The virtual workshops, held on February 9th and 22nd, brought KIPP Chicago families together to learn about the tenets of building a life designed around an individual’s identity.

Family and staff participants gained a lot from the conversations, sharing positive feedback about Mr. Graham’s approach and presentation.

“I love the idea of turning inward and capitalizing on what makes our identity OURS.”

“I learned new information because Mr. Graham gave a 9 step process to get to self identity, which organizes it in a way that makes sense and helps me to know what to master first before moving forward.”

“Stedman encouraged us to define ourselves, instead of letting the world define us. We should put ourselves at the center and build the image we want.”

“It was wonderful! I really appreciate the way Mr. Graham explained everything and breaking it down to where it’s evident that everyone can do this if they truly put their mind to it. Also by explaining how we get into an everyday pattern which puts us in a state of being stagnant. It helped me to identify where I was and where I need to go to reach my full potential.”

Penn Foster Program Launch

In partnership with Penn Foster, a regionally and nationally accredited program that offers completion of a high school diploma (instead of a GED), KIPP Chicago is sponsoring a cohort of 20 parents. Covering enrollment and tuition costs removes the financial barriers in order to help this first cohort realize the goal of earning their high school diploma. The virtual program is flexible, allowing individuals to create their own schedule and learn at their own pace.

With KIPP Chicago staff acting as facilitators at each campus, they are responsible for coaching and supporting parents through the program towards graduation. They serve as the first and main point of contact for the students pursuing their high school diploma. Each of the facilitators demonstrate commitment to their students’ success, a history of supporting adult education, positive and progressive leadership at their respective campuses, and passion for helping students achieve their dreams.

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