Schlichting: Gurrie Middle School's civic weekend project
A group of 10 Gurrie Middle School students recently participated in the Northwestern University Civic Weekend Project. The Civic Weekend Project introduces students to contemporary social issues facing American cities and promotes civic engagement and leadership among promising young people.
As such, students spend a significant part of their weekend engaged in hands-on service at locations throughout Chicago. These service projects are integrated with lessons and reflection activities facilitated by the group’s instructor and staff team. The Gurrie students were selected for this opportunity based on their grades, achievement test scores, citizenship and community service hours.
The project, now in its sixth year, was developed in partnership between the West Suburban Consortium of Academic Excellence (WSCAE) and the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development. School District 105 is a founding member of WSCAE, an organization of 15 high performing school districts located in western Cook and eastern DuPage counties that collaborate regularly to provide opportunities to enhance student learning.
The Civic Weekend Project is part of a larger focus at Gurrie Middle School on connecting students with their community. Over the last two years, Gurrie students have engaged in 8,384 of community service hours. Service projects have included food drives for the local food pantry, support of, and involvement with Honor Flight, preparation of meals for the Lincoln Park Community Shelter and Ronald McDonald House, adoption of 12th Street Beach to keep it clean and monitor water quality, and partnership with Aging Well to rake leaves and shovel snow for the seniors in the community.
The School District 105 goal for all of our students to achieve college and career readiness standards is furthered by combining academic rigor with a focus on responsibility to our communities. Our students’ future success depends on their appreciation and understanding of the richness of the economic, racial and ethnic diversity in our schools and communities.
Glen Schlichting is the superintendent of School District 105