Research demonstrates that students from low-income families are more apt to experience adversity, stress associated with financial instability, and trauma, which serve as barriers to learning and development (McLaughlin & Sheridan, 2016; Shonkoff et al., 2012), and there is preliminary evidence that such families also have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic (Adhikari et al., 2020).

Together Chicago has spent January and February helping schools to meet immediate needs to ease some of the stress our families and educators are facing. Captured above are pictures that represent some of the ways we are helping schools. These pictures show girls, from McNair Elementary School, who can now have a basketball season. We helped them to get basketball shoes when no additional funds were available for athletics. Also in support of McNair, you see how our partner Reverend Crystal Kyles secured coats, scarfs, and hats for wheel-chair bound students in need. You also see a class of students, prepared for academic instruction, after an engaging Social Emotional Learning lesson from Damien. This is the type of work happening all over the city, as Together Chicago offers training and support for schools. We are excited for the momentum that is building and the city-wide influence that Together Chicago is growing. As we continue to help grow “villages” of support with our partner schools, we believe that Chicago youth, their families, and their communities will experience positive transformation!


SY 2021-2022 REACH

  • TC and our partner organizations are serving 76 schools
  • 186 parents were impacted by our coaching to increase parent engagement and grow Social Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies (for greater student academic success)
  • 3201 students were reached and impacted through our adult coaching, SEL, and tutoring outreach
  • 49 interns from Adler and North Park served in Chicago schools, coached by Damien 
  • Our Education Team has 12 staff members offering youth development services across the city of Chicago
  • 15 churches have sustained partnership with TC to serve schools
  • Outcomes/Impact data will be available during our April 26 Friendraiser event (see below)


Partnership Impact Highlight

Doolittle School, Willow Creek Church, Together Chicago, & Global Leadership Summit 

(2021-2022 School Year Partnership At A Glance)

  • 20 Doolittle students, and 6 adults, attended a GLS Next Gen (leadership development) Summit at Willow’s South Barrington Campus and these youth plan to visit the Barrington campus again for a year-end leadership event
  • Tom and Stephanie Formolo offered 100 KN95 masks for Doolittle staff in need
  • Willow Creek Church offered furniture to enhance the teacher’s lounge. This was all coordinated by Pastor Michael Goggins
  • Together Chicago supported Doolittle Parent Training with our Social Emotional Learning Training. Doolittle’s Parent Advisory Council had 15 unique parents participate, representing 23 Doolittle students
  • Together Chicago onboarded and trained 7 interns to serve Doolittle students during the school day. Our interns offer academic support and Social Emotional Learning support 
  • And we’re not done…this is all being done in one school year to support the vision of the school leader

And this is only one school partnership…imagine what is going to happen as we work together to see this type of impact taking place across the city of Chicago!


Important Updates

1. Meeting Immediate Needs With School Partners

The pandemic is still affecting our schools, children, and staff. Together Chicago selected 8 schools to holistically support for the rest of the year. Helping to meet these immediate needs is helping us to deepen critical relationships and grow influence across the city. The following are 3 highlights from the month of February:

  1. During the month of February we have secured over $7100 from anonymous donors
  2. Our “One On One” partner helped us connect a parent, with housing insecurities, to a Woodlawn agency to help her secure safer living arrangements.
  3. Willow Creek’s Cars Ministry has secured a functional vehicle for one of our parent champions who needed a vehicle to get to work. One of TC’s leaders, Alvin Bibbs, helped to make this happen.

2. School Connect Partnership

Together Chicago has partnered with School Connect, an agency which helps schools to build a village of support to achieve the principal’s vision. The School Connect model is impacting hundreds of schools across the state of Arizona, and beyond. We will use the School Connect model to help our partner schools secure the resources necessary to achieve an enhanced school culture and increased student academic success. Pertinent stakeholders, to be a part of a school’s support “village” are captured on the graphic below.

3. Champions Training

Our Social Emotional Learning training for parents and teachers, has been well received by 17 schools this year.  We plan to onboard 2 more schools this month. On April 26, at our friendraiser, we are excited to share impact data for this and other programs. 

4. Introducing new team members Jurema and Diane

Jurema Gorham is the “School Champion” for the Education sector of TC. Diane Gibbs is the “Partnerships Champion” for the Educator sector of TC. These ladies have joined TC’s education team to help Together Chicago make a lasting impact upon Chicago youth.




2022 Friendraiser – April 26

Our TC Education Friendraiser is taking shape. HERE is the registration link. We need your presence as we share 2021-2022 Education Impact and deepen partnerships for greater impact across the city. 


Why We Do What We Do (Statement Of Purpose)

TC’s Education Team empowers mentors and tutors, primarily from local churches, to adopt Pre-K-12 Chicago-land Schools. We also build partnerships to transform education.

TC’s Education Initiatives are on target to empower over 2000 Chicago-land kids and their families. 

We positively impact schools and build relationships with families to support Together Chicago’s mission – to be a catalyst for lasting transformation in the city of Chicago that results in a reduction of violence in our city.


Please PRAY that we continue to discern God’s will for this work and collectively strive to execute His will with courage and perseverance. Teachers, admin, families, and youth connected to updates above, need our prayer and active support!