Archive for the ‘LearnChicago!’ Category
March 5th, 2010
Out of His Comfort Zone
TR native gets taste of big city life by student teaching in Chicago
By Cindy Hodgson • Herald Times Reporter • March 2, 2010
Josh LeGreve, back right, long-term substitute Spanish teacher in the Mishicot School District, helps students set up their personal accounts on the Edmodo Web site so they can converse with Justin Gerlach's English students in Argentina. LeGreve is filling in for Gerlach, who took a leave of absence from teaching in Mishicot to teach English to Spanish-speaking students in Argentina. He is helping, from left, sophomores Jacob LeFleur, Nathan Krcma and Andrew Schwerma. In the background is senior Kiyanna Faulks. (Sue Pischke/HTR)
MISHICOT — When it came time to do his student teaching, Two Rivers native Josh LeGreve decided not to go the usual route.
LeGreve, 23, said most of his fellow students at Ripon College choose to student teach at a nearby school, such as in Ripon, Oshkosh or Fond du Lac.
“I wanted to move out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I wanted to push myself as a teacher.”
LeGreve decided to do his student teaching in Chicago through a partnership Ripon College has with the Chicago Center for Urban Life & Culture. Read More
July 1st, 2008
Chicago Center is helping the University of Chicago Hospital’s newest Residents of the Friends Family Health Center and Section of Emergency Medicine learn about their new community.
Through the Center’s LearnChicago! Program, these doctors are being introduced to the South Side by Arvis Averette, U of C alum and Chicago Center Social Work Director (standing at the rear of the group in this picture).
Arvis has introduced the South Side to about 60 Residents in the past few weeks, covering the cultural institutions, history, politics and economics. “I try to show them about the health of our communities on this tour too,” says Arvis. Encompassing many middle- and upper- class neighborhoods, the South Side is also home to realities such as ‘food deserts’ (nowhere to buy healthy or fresh food) and environmental dangers for some neighborhoods built on old sewage dumps.
“Another thing that I think is very positive is that a lot of these doctors are now making their home in the city, and on the South Side. Two or three years ago, most of this group would have been commuting in from the suburbs. Now many of them live in Woodlawn.”
February 25th, 2008
Ami Regier of Bethel College sent this photo she took during her LearnChicago! program last month. She writes, “I love this picture of Jose’s face with Emiliano Zapata’s face. Jose did a very important, compelling portrayal of how significant public art is to communal identity and history and growth.”
Students took a walking mural tour in Pilsen, a neighborhood in Chicago.
February 9th, 2008
Bethel College (KS) students on a LearnChicago! trip with Rev. Jesse Jackson (center) after a Rainbow PUSH meeting. The students were here with Professor Ami Regier for a Theater Immersion week. In addition to attending plays, they learned about the rich and complex dynamics of these plays’ history, cultures and politics through tours and events such as this.
photo by Adrian Burrows
October 24th, 2007
Becky Stueve, Administrative & Special Projects Facilitator, describes her experience with Notre Dame’s LearnChicago! program:
This fine October Tuesday morning found me riding the bus to Division Street, along with the LearnChicago
! group from Notre
Dame. Despite being slightly nervous that I was leading them in the wrong direction (this is the first group I was leading as a new Apprentice), I was very excited for this trip in the Paseo Borico
community. Despite my nervousness, we made it to the Division Street Business Development Association where we met with Eduardo Arocho
, our tour guide for the day.
The first place Eduardo led us was the huge steel Puerto Rican flag that marked the beginning of Paseo Boriqua. The flag was dedicated on Jan 6, 1995. Eduardo talked about the symbolism in that date. Jan 6th is the Three Kings Day, and 1995 marked the centennial of the adoption of the Puerto Rican flag in 1895. Eduardo also pointed out the steel plates mounted on the light poles. These paid tribute to the three cultures that define the Puerto Rican culture: the Spanish, Taino, and West African.
From there, Eduardo led us west, down the street. He pointed out the apartment buildings that are going up, and the distinctly Spanish influence of the architecture. We also went into a bookstore, where we found Harry Potter….written entirely in Spanish!
Eduardo also pointed out the murals that are painted on the Division Street buildings. There was one called “The Sea of Flags.”
It was a sea of people proudly waving and carrying the Puerto Rican flag. This struck me because at one time, as I learned from Eduardo, it was illegal to carry the Puerto Rican flag. Another mural painted a beautiful picture of Puerto Rico, with blue skies, clear water, and graceful birds either resting in the water or soaring above.
As we walked along, neither I nor the students could help noticing the “No Vendo” signs in the almost every business. Eduardo pointed out several times that gentrification is a huge issue in this Puerto Rican neighborhood. The businesses of the community, which are 90% owned by Puerto Ricans, are committed educating visitors about Puerto Rican culture, history, dining and the contributions of Puerto Ricans to Chicago.
We ended our tour at Nellie’s, where we divulged in delicious entrees. To sum it up, it was a fabulous morning, spent with fabulous people, on a fabulous street.
June 26th, 2007
As part of a 2-day LearnChicago! trip for Economics, Finance and Marketing Honors students from Albion College’s Gerstacker Institute, we met with Robert Koerner, The Davis Group and Terri Haymaker and Sam Assefa, Urban Planners from the City of Chicago about their project, the Columbian, the South Loop’s newest and tallest building.
Deputy Commissioner Terri Haymaker is on the Board of, and an alum of, Chicago Center.
May 16th, 2007
Arthur of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance wrote the following commentary from last night’s event with Alma College students participating in a literary LearnChicago! Program.
An enchanted evening with Carrie and Soni
Seated in the quiet as I entered: twelve students from Alma.
They came from the shores of Michigan in modest numbers, venturing
with instruction in the urban jungle.
Splintered into small groups they explored the heretofore-unseen
depths of the red, green and blue lines. They conquered the
magnificent mile from Montrose to Morgan Park.
Many shapes, scenes and cultures clashed before they ascended from a
bus on a Bronzeville evening behind the balmy shades of a public
Ten female denizens and two male counterparts bent an ear to hear the
saga of Hyde Park, while their faces reflected their ambition by
degrees from communication toward business as usual.
Some had never seen, let alone ride on the conveyances that offered a
glimpse of stories that were never told.
Laughter permeated the ambient room full of teacher and student alike,
while paper notebooks fluttered with dainty fingers as a steady city
rain beat a soft staccato on the concrete and asphalt streets just
beyond the place where White Sox play.
listened intently as they queried our justification, searched our
motives and absorbed some of the best spontaneous writing we had to
The pen of Poetry, and personal experiences of a people that
articulated truth was poured on the few souls that lived in towns and
on farms where population barely exceeded one thousand.
College credits were counted as ethnic cuisine had been consumed by a
charlatan who dined on pizza, chicken feet and Chinese food.
My director Carrie sifted through the minds of the young men and women
that migrated from the motor state and invited them to not only
participate but to comprehend the direction that the Journal had for
I personally enjoyed reading to them, watching their eyes as they
lined the long tables in the relaxed atmosphere.
Surrounded by a multitude of tomes they waved goodbye to a barren
building and a witty writer in a wheelchair.
Unfortunately this motley crew did not have diversity of melanin
enhanced minions but it did not detract from the smiles I received as
I pointed myself southward and painted myself gone while the darkness
encompassed Mc Cormick Place and the end of I- 55 and the end of the
May 4th, 2007
This is a poem submitted by Rachel Gray, a student participant in Chicago Center’s LearnChicago! Program for Whitworth College’s Prejudice Across America trip, which spent 3 days in Chicago. The poem reflects on her South Side Tour with Chicago Center staff member Arvis Averette.
She writes, “This was the first poem I wrote after getting back from the Prejudice Across America trip and I was determined to change the world (the intellectual landscape of Whitworth, at least) with it…
“Take a good look
at them. They’ll be mythology
soon.” Silent titans loom
grayer than the sky. Concrete stories
upon stories, stains
in the stairwells. Even eyes
closed can’t see black children play
in a packed dirt yard, even under a titan’s
Home is not soft blades
of grass poking tender pink
feet. It is not walking on
stainless precious plush
carpet (don’t eat on it). Home is
not sliding down polished banisters, or
playing pirates on the stairs.
Instead, it is making sure poorly
placed needles do not stab
tender pink feet. It is understanding
a moment alone could last
The Olympians have arrived.
A huge iron ball smashes into a living
room betrayed. Dustblood
sprays into the air (the heavy machinery
operators wear masks). Huge chunks
of walls float haphazardly toward
the ground. Off center, a sign
announces the invasion of
million dollar white people
Black people are tiny against the back
drop of a giant.
April 3rd, 2007
Joe Taylor, Program Facilitator, describes attending the theater event “Flyin’ West” with a Learn Chicago! group from Southwestern College.
Last week, I had the chance to see Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage with a LearnChicago! group from Southwestern College (Winfield, KS). The performance done at Court Theater in Hyde Park was a remarkable look at the strength of a community of African American women in Kansas. What I was really excited to see was a story about African American women by an African American woman that showed the courage of these travelers and their commitment to family. The show us was able to personally expose me to a part of history that was overlooked in my educational upbringing and I would guess happened for many people.
The show tackles many important topics such as abuse and self-hatred, but I never felt that it was trying to preach to me, rather trying to expose the intricacies of the topics. The performance on stage by the entire company moved me and my entire group; leaving many of us speechless us we left the theater that evening.
January 29th, 2007
As part of a five-day LearnChicago! program to explore poverty and community, Ball State University students met with Prexy Nesbitt (center) to frame a discussion about issues of poverty in Chicago and worldwide. Prexy is also a recognized expert on race relations in the United States and South Africa.