Keeping a Promise

Sage Hazarika ’14 encourages Lincoln Elementary School students during a special parade.

CFA member Eric Smith’s work with the Promise Neighborhood in Springfield, OH  is highlighted in this article written by Karen Gerboth of Wittenberg University. 

Surrounded by a sea of art-covered walls, fifth-grade students at Springfield’s Lincoln Elementary take a moment to listen to a young man named Sage Hazarika ’14.

A Brooklyn, N.Y.-native and Wittenberg sophomore, Hazarika sits near the center of the classroom in a school that has special meaning for Wittenberg students, for the community it serves and for the families who have entrusted their children to it.

“This is really an important time for you,” Hazarika says. “You are an important part of this school, and all the other grades are looking up to you.”

And in those few words, perhaps even unknown to Hazarika, a bigger vision is revealed as the city of Springfield and the State of Ohio “look up” to Lincoln Elementary as the centerpiece of an innovative initiative defined by one word: promise.

Called the Springfield Promise Neighborhood, the comprehensive, collaborative commitment to ensuring that children succeed academically was inspired by New York-based social activist and educator Geoffrey Canada, who created the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) in New York City.

“The reality is that we would not have accomplished what we’ve been able to achieve without the support of Wittenberg and its students. I deeply appreciate the legion of Wittenberg efforts on behalf of the children and youth in the Promise Neighborhood.”

Eric Smith         Neighborhood Organizer         Springfield Promise Neighborhood

Bob Welker, Wittenberg professor emeritus of education and Hagen Center for Civic & Urban Engagement Fellow, visited HCZ two years ago, after meeting with Canada during a special luncheon in Springfield. Canada has led a coordinated effort with hundreds of individuals to establish “a new method to end the cycle of generational poverty” in Harlem, wherein the entire community works with the child from the “cradle to college.”

Featured on the heart-breaking documentary Waiting for Superman, Canada’s work and those of others, caused a “light-bulb” moment for Welker, who along with colleagues in the Springfield community, saw a need for this type of full-scale transformative educational intervention to help the children most at-risk in Wittenberg’s hometown.

Neighborhood meetings, conversations with the Springfield City Schools Superintendent David Estrop, and discussions with parents, social service agencies, community change agents, foundations and Wittenberg quickly followed, and soon thereafter the vision with the power to change young lives was revealed:

“Children lie at the center of all that we do. We understand that our truest vocation as parents and caretakers, as educators and neighbors is to nurture the growth and development of our children – to help them discover and share their greatness with the world. And so we make this solemn promise: We will all come together as partners and citizens in the unwavering commitment to ensure that all our children succeed and attain their highest potential.”

A Call to Action

With the coordinated effort now underway, Welker officially became the project director shortly after his retirement wherein he worked with Principal Mike Wilson and the Lincoln staff to oversee the school design efforts.

“The local school is one of the most important, and often underutilized, institutions in the lives of our children,” Welker wrote in his project outline. “For this reason, every effort must be made to create and support a thriving school, one that meets the needs of all its students and one that serves the neighborhood by becoming a community center. Effective, restorative schools create environments in which staff, administrators, faculty and students can do their best.”

First-Year Signs of Success                  

  • Developed a neighborhood council and neighborhood work teams as an outcome of a listening campaign.
  • Created an aspirational culture at Lincoln, with one administrator calling the new culture one “in which they write books about.”
  • Established a school design team and work teams focused on conduct, academic climate and school enrichment
  • Saw 28 students participate in the summer school program, 60 students in the summer arts program and 105 in the planting of the Lincoln Garden
  • Created volunteer programs through Wittenberg and new literacy-centered schedule

Just as a thriving school leads to thriving students, so does a thriving neighborhood, which “provides the stability, nurturance and out-of-school opportunities needed for the growth of children and youth,” Welker continued.

“With community organizer Eric Smith, a group of residents and parents formed a Neighborhood Association,” Welker said. “It guides efforts to form a stable, out-of-school environment for community youth.”

Among the many opportunities Welker sees with the Promise Neighborhood are (1) the alliance of internal and external resources to install pride in a community that will actually create a new community, which provides social, cultural and economic opportunities for youth and families, (2) the creation of a model school that will stay open longer each day and each year as it develops effective approaches for working with disadvantaged youth, and (3) the establishment of a culture of achievement where all students are expected to succeed.

“This is an aspirational environment, and in this place, students are expected to ‘Be the Promise’,” Welker says.

Motivated by the promise itself, Wittenberg students quickly joined Welker in the effort, immersing themselves in various projects through the Hagen Center for Civic & Urban Engagement, through their classes, or though community service with each participant actively reflecting the Wittenberg mission “…to lead personal, professional, and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion, and integrity.”

“Being a part of the Springfield Promise Neighborhood during my time at Wittenberg has been the most inspiring experience,” said Kali Lawrence ’12. “It has helped me develop a particular slant as a future music educator in urban schools, along with skills to become a community leader.“

Lawrence, who has been exploring funding opportunities for Promise’s long-term vision as well as arts education opportunities for Lincoln students, has now decided to remain in Springfield after graduation to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the initiative. Fellow graduate Lacey Davidson will do the same.

“This effort [seeks to] revitalize the area and foster a culture of success and care so that the children in this neighborhood may thrive,” Lawrence said. “I am consistently amazed at how the community in the Springfield Promise Neighborhood comes together and how Wittenberg supports this project by the involvement of Witt students, faculty and staff.”

Bracelets and Bonds

Wittenberg’s commitment to the Springfield Promise Neighborhood has since led to a bond, literally and figuratively, with many of the students at Lincoln as an April event affirmed.

On that day, April 20, just days before the state’s required assessment tests for grades 3-8, students at Lincoln viewed a video produced by Clark Goodman ’12, which featured him and fellow Wittenberg students encouraging the Lincoln students to study hard and do their best.

“The goal we were hoping to achieve from this event was to allow for a transformation on both sides,” said Kimberly Lykens ’14, a biology major and education minor who joined the initiative because of her passion and interest in helping educational equality and empowerment.

Wittenberg seniors made PRIDE bracelets for the students at Lincoln Elementary to encourage them in their studies and in life

“We wanted the students of Lincoln to know that Wittenberg students believe they can achieve,” Lawrence said. “But, we also wanted Wittenberg students to realize how much the kids need their support in order to believe in themselves.”

Following the video, which ran in each classroom at the newly renovated school, Hazarika and 20 other Wittenberg students fanned out throughout the school with each one entering a classroom to deliver a special message of support in their own words and something else – a bracelet with a personalized note.

“The bracelets are a reminder to students that someone on the track to success believes they can one day be successful, too,” Lykens said. “I never received a letter of encouragement in elementary school, but writing one made me realize that even a simple statement of motivation means the world to these kids.”

Wittenberg students penned notes – one for each student – and shared the meaning of the bracelet with the students.

“The bead bracelets have the acronym PRIDE on them which stands for Prepared, Respect, Integrity, Determined and Effort,” Lykens said. “This is the motto of Lincoln school.”

And it was that pride that filled the halls as the Lincoln students then paraded through the corridors to cheers from classmates and teachers, and numerous signs of support. One first-grade class proudly held a banner that read: “You can do it kids!”

For Principal Wilson, who works directly with the Springfield Promise Neighborhood team as he oversees the current plans for school improvement under the Ohio Improvement Process, the day was both meaningful and heartwarming.

“The contributions made by Wittenberg students and faculty here at Lincoln are immeasurable,” Wilson said. “Their efforts to expose the students of Lincoln to the college environment has opened the eyes of many of our students. These personal experiences have made these children aware of the realistic opportunity that they too can attend college and earn a degree.

“But the most exciting part of this partnership has been watching the individual relationships between the Lincoln students and the Wittenberg students as they grow and develop into meaningful life experiences for all. I would like to personally thank Wittenberg for all of the time and effort it has put into enhancing the lives of the children that need us the most.”

Reposted from Wittenberg Magazine, Spring 2012.  Click here to see original post.

Written By: Karen Gerboth ’93   Photos By: Erin Pence ’04

Children: The Hope of a Neighborhood

Eric Smith–Think Tank, Inc. and Springfield Promise Neighborhood Springfield, OH

Asset-Mapping: “What I’m Doing…Is Crazy and Wonderful and Maddening”

The following post was originally published on March 2, 2012 by Sherry Johnson over at A Thread Of Connection.  Sherry grew up with working-class roots and encountered poverty and racism.  Passionate about equity and community, she recently attended a CFA training in Minneapolis, and lives and works in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood putting Asset Based Community Development principles into action.

What I’m Doing…Is Crazy and Wonderful and Maddening

I’m in an incredibly blessed place.

For about the last three years, I’ve been delving deeper into the subject of community: what it is, how it’s formed, how to sustain it, and why it’s so rare in this culture. I tried to form community through charity and nonprofit formation at my old church, which largely failed. I joined with a small but intrepid group of de-churched Jesus-lovers to make a community here on the Bluff. That’s still growing. I studied neighborhood leadership at the Wilder Center for Communities, and its history at Minnesota History Center. I read loads of books on the psychology of community. And I fell in love with asset-mapping at an Asset-Based Community Development Institute retreat in Chicago.

So what the heck is asset mapping? It’s what I’ve been doing on my own for over a year now. I’ve been systematically listing all the assets–all the good things–our neighborhood has. Its places. Its associations. Its institutions. Its churches. And most daunting but important, the gifts of its people.

And lo, in the middle of my scattered slips of paper and to-do lists and Google maps, I was offered a job. Do your dream in 12 hours a week with the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council. Recruit a staff of researchers from underrepresented populations in the neighborhood. Train them. Listen to the community you love.

I keep gratefully asking myself, “Who gets to create their own dream job?”

I also keep following up with the question, “What if you fail at your dream job?”

How on earth does one break through decades of institutional racism and cultural isolation and Eastside melancholy to build hope again? Everyone around me says they “love the diversity” of this community, but then why is most everyone around me Caucasian, despite my efforts to broaden my network of friends and acquaintances?

So I keep contacting nonprofits and churches and friends and clubs, asking for references: Whom do you know in the community that loves this community and wants to see it grow? I get silence and gracious referrals and suggestions of where else to look. And I go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

Faith In Action Committee Visions

Al Santino – Northeast Community Transformation

Fordham Manor Reformed Church
By Doncine Kelly, Coordinator

On Nov 4, 2010 Doni Kelly and Margaret Donato attended the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition Leadership Council Meeting as co-chairs for Fordham Manor Reformed Church.  As representatives of Fordham Manor, it was determined that a Faith In Action Committee would be formed at the Church.  The Faith In Action Committee is a bible based self-advocacy group that meets the third Monday of every month, and has dedicated its energy to the betterment of the residents of the neighborhood it serves.  It has become the voice of the Church and the community in regard to housing, employment, and education.

On Nov 18, 2010 The Fordham Manor Reformed Church Faith In Action Committee held its first meeting.  Immediately, landlord-tenant and Dept of Education issues took center stage.  One of the congregants, Rose Rehfield expressed the horrendous conditions in her apartment that her landlord had refused to correct.  The Committee determined that a fact finding mission was in order.  Rose and Amanda Altman, our staff member from NWBCCC, literally tracked the none existent landlord office to the landlord’s home address at which time a letter was sent requesting his immediate attention to the matters at hand as well as to our local politicians.  Within three weeks, not only had the work been done in Rose’s apartment but work had begun throughout the building.  It was a successful resolution to an ongoing problem.

The Dept of Education, in its infinite wisdom, decided to use P.S. 86, one of the best elementary schools in the city, as an experimental project by eliminating the 6th grade class and importing 7th graders.  Because their logic escaped us, we decided to protest along with numerous parents associations, teachers, principals, NWBCCC education staffers and local politicians at the Community Education Council Meeting at P.S. 447 on Thursday, Nov 18, 2010.  At least 300 plus were in attendance.  As a result, the motion was shelved until 2012 at which time we will again present logical, cogent points and principles for why this project should be defeated.  As of this time, we have yet to receive an explanation as to why this was being done.

In the future, the Committee will endeavor to address the following:

FIAC Core Organizing Workshop with Al Santino, Director at Northeast Community Transformation

Four part workshop on organizational skills and application

FIAC Low Income Housing Application Workshop with Marcus Soler FIAC Member & NWBCCC Board Member

Meeting eligibility requirements
Understanding application process
Alternative resources
Information access

The Perfect Organization

This week I will be having a meeting with five lead pastors from some of our church partners.  We will sit down and discuss an amazing opportunity that God has presented to us.

If you have followed California news recently, you know that the education system took a large budget cut, forcing many school districts (including Fullerton) to cut their summer school programs.  In the neighborhoods that we work and reside in, what happens to students when they do not have anything positive to do?  What happens when the economy crashes and people cannot work?  Most likely, crime goes up, kids join gangs and decisions are made that affect the rest of a person’s life.

Many times as the Executive Director, I sit down and try to come up with solutions to complex social issues that we face with our friends and neighbors.  Recently I began making a list of the “perfect organization” as a way of improving Solidarity.  With no boundaries, I started writing questions.  What if there was an organization that had enough money and volunteers to mentor all the at-risk youth of Fullerton?  What if there was an organization that had volunteers who would give their lives to the cause of that organization, work harder, work longer and for free?  What if there was an organization that had the volunteers and resources to end homelessness?  To adopt every orphan?  Or to replace entire welfare systems?

As I continued with this line of questioning it hit me- there is an organization that could do all that.  It just doesn’t fully do what it says it believes.  That organization is the Church.

Solidarity empowers believers to be dynamic followers of Christ whose lifestyles marked by love will impact communities towards holistic transformation.  If you haven’t picked up on it yet, we are all about the Church and helping it do what it says it believes.  We do that first and foremost by trying to live out Christ’s teachings ourselves and then helping others with the process we ourselves have gone through.  We believe you can’t go deep with Jesus unless you participate in His Kingdom.  We give believers a context to join in the Kingdom and help them articulate what God is doing in and through them.

The reason I am so excited for this meeting is because God has provided five additional bodies of believers that understand this concept well.  So when I am sitting in a meeting with city officials present and I hear that there will be thousands of students in need of something to replace summer school, it hits me that it is the perfect opportunity for the Church to rise up and live out its beliefs that will in turn benefit the city of Fullerton.

God is birthing this idea of the Church of the City, where the unique members of the body of Christ can come together surrounding the same mission.  We will be in three distinct neighborhoods this summer for seven weeks, creating contexts for relationships so that the Church may learn what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

Join with us this summer as we fill the gap for the students of Fullerton, pray that the Church will answer the call in force and support the work God is doing through Solidarity by sending us the resources God has blessed you with. This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what God will do next.

By Tommy Nixon, Executive Director, Solidarity

It’s Working!

In July, about thirty people packed inside the stuffy, airless garage of the Mika CDC office.  Neighbors, staff, interns, volunteers and a few teens from our youth programs had come together to talk about what we envisioned for the youth of our community.  How do we want our kids to look in thirty years?  What do we need to be doing now to make it happen?  After brainstorming and walking through some pointed exercises, we came up with an ambitious afterschool program for our neighborhood youth.  We all concurred on some important values and structure and we arrived at a program called, Step Up.

It would include academic tutoring, spiritual training and enrichment classes in art, health, finance and leadership training.  We would need 64 volunteers each week, experts to teach the enrichment portions and others willing to do Bible lessons with the students.  And we would do it at three different sites.  Could we do it?  Could we really make this happen?  That was July, now it’s December…

The answer is “yes”!  We did make it happen.  Maybe it doesn’t look exactly as we thought it would and maybe there are a few gaps, but it is working.  Sometimes when I think that it isn’t, I remind myself of what I’ve seen as I float from site to site to site.  I see Abigail at Baker Street who raises her hand to answer every question the group is asked about the Bible lessons.  She doesn’t always know the answer, but she always raises her hand.  I hear Juan’s mom calling him from the door at the Maple Learning Center at 5:45 when his session ended at 5:30.  “He never wants to leave here”, his mom says with a smile.  “It’s the best part of his day”.  Jasmine and Gio, both seniors in high school, give up nearly eight hours a week working with the younger students at The Hope Center.  They say it’s for their community service hours, but I know it’s more than that.

Together we are making Step Up happen.  We are providing a safe, warm environment for the kids to come and learn how to be leaders in their community.  We are giving them adult role models who know them and care about them.  We are giving them opportunities to learn how to be of service to each other and to the broader community.  We are connecting them to experts in their city who know about things that they have never been exposed to before.  We still don’t have 64 volunteers each week and we don’t have all the enrichment classes filled in on our master calendar – but each week we make it happen and each week more people are becoming involved.  I just hope I’m still around in 30 years so I can see how it all pans out!  These kids are going to be amazing because their community did “step up”!

The Importance of Being Needed

Virginia, known to most people in Westside neighborhood of Austin as Cookie, could not keep from smiling as she walked home from Spencer elementary school with a packet full of papers.  These papers had been given to her by the school requesting that she become a regular volunteer for the third grade classroom. Cookie is fifty-eight years old with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, the victim of multiple accounts of physical abuse, has been unemployed for over a decade and is one of the most well known and loved person in the neighborhood.  Cookie has never felt very useful or had a sense of purpose.  But on the day when the school asked HER to be a permanent volunteer she knew she had found her purpose.

At eleven o’clock on Thanksgiving night I heard a loud knock at my door.  It was Cookie standing there in the cold with the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face.  She just had to tell me her news, she had tried two other times but I had not been home.  She told me the story of how she accompanied her niece’s son to school one day because he was having so many discipline problems in his classroom.  She stayed with him for the day and the teacher was delighted at the difference it made.  After talking with the principal the teacher then asked Cookie if she would be a regular volunteer in the classroom and gave her some papers to fill out.  Standing at my door Cookie announces that she now has a reason to get up in the morning, she now has a purpose. I hugged and congratulated her seeing first-hand the importance of being needed.  Cookie has been on the receiving end of the “need equation” for most of her life, now was a time for her to be the solution to a need.

As I said goodbye to Cookie that evening I was extremely honored that she had such a strong desire to tell me her news.  She did not want to tell me her good news because she knew I was a pastor or because I could have anything to do with her volunteering. She wanted to tell me because we had spent hours talking and sharing together, she wanted to tell me because I am her neighbor.

Celebrating Education Together

The room was loud, kids, books, and games were everywhere, parents were on the floor and paper covered the wall. To many this scene would scream chaos but to the families of Rogers Park it was the very essence of community. The evening was about celebrating education, with school starting the following week the timing could not be better.

Parents and children alike had a great time reading with each other, playing math bingo and memory games, sculpting out of clay and putting puzzles together. The volunteers from the community who put this evening together where thrilled with the participation and excitement the parents displayed at the opportunity to spend this time getting their children excited about starting school in a few days.

While all of the games, art and books were exciting, it was the wall covered in paper that got the most attention. Each person was asked what they were good at, what gifts they had and to write/draw them up on the wall. No one was excluded from this exercise as the paper reached all the way to the floor so that everyone could reach and if you could not write you drew.
By the end of the evening the wall was covered with the amazing gifts that were represented in the room. Neighbors found out things they never knew about their neighbor before. People who had never met found they had things in common with each other and connections were made.

The evening ended with new friendships made, others deepened and a sense of pride in the gifts that they possessed as a group. Discussions were had on when they could get together to use these gifts for the benefit of the community. The event not only celebrated the start of a new school year but also the continuing education that Rogers Park has many common and unique gifts that need to be shared.

Bethany Dudley

Requip’s Website

Kingdom Causes Receives Letter of Appreciation

Dear Kingdom Causes,

I wanted to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to you for helping to make our District-wide Middle School Math Madness and English Extravaganza competitions a tremendous success.  Thanks in large part to your efforts, our students were treated to a first-class event to recognize their hard work in the classroom.  By providing valuable volunteer services, as well as nutritious snacks for this memorable day, your time, talent and treasures provided the foundation for an unforgettable academic competition for over 800 students and their families.

By all accounts, this year’s academic competitions exceeded everyone’s expectations.  Countless family members joined students, staff and community members to cheer-on our students.  While we have been fortunate to enjoy this high level of enthusiasm and participation for athletic events, I know you will agree that it is inspiring to see this type of support and encouragement for students who are determined to be champions in the classroom as well.

Thank you again for being an integral part of our District-wide Middle School Math Madness and English Extravaganza Competitions.  This wonderful event simply could not have come together without the determination of dedicated community partners, such as Kingdom Causes.  I am quite confident that the smiles on students’ and families’ faces, and the sense of pride that comes from participating in such a unique event, will remain with us all for a very long time to come.  We look forward to working with your organization again, as we continue to provide world-class education for every student, every day.

Gwendolyn H. Mathews, Ph.D
Assistant Superintendent

Visit Kingdom Causes website by clicking here.

Visit Kingdom Causes: Longbeach blog here.

Visit Kingdom Causes: Longbeach website here.

Bold Steps for Neighborhood Schools

This is a story about Walker Moore’s passion to engage the church and the community in affecting the city of Waco in a positive way.  Walker Moore is originally from Tulsa Oklahoma.  He came to Waco to study at Baylor University.  Like most young men that go to college, he met his wife and the rest is history.  He works in the city of Waco for the Waco CDC.  CRWC is developing an exploratory relationship with the CDC to help them build the capacity of community associations in the city.  I have been working with Walker for less than a year.  Walker is meticulous and committed to this work.  The residents on the other hand have heard it all before and wonder what can change.  So when I got the last report from Walker it was a joy to read and thought this is as story of how one man inspired by God can get involved in bring transformation.  His story was on their CDC newsletter and it gives you indicators that transformation is taking place.


Last year community members met with the principals of our two neighborhood schools, Brook Avenue Elementary and West Avenue Elementary, to share and discuss their dreams about the future. One of our biggest dreams was that parents would become more fully engaged in their child’s learning experience. It has been exciting to see this dream become reality as both schools are now implementing plans to increase parental involvement.

Brook Avenue Elementary kick off event was a Family Friendly Learning Walk. On most Learning Walks, school personnel walk through classrooms to observe classroom management, teaching strategies, and whether or not students are actually learning. Principal Jessica Hicks of Brook Avenue Elementary took the bold step to work with Parents For Public Schools and Waco Community Development to invite parents to February’s Learning Walk. This was an especially bold step because many of the invited parents had a less than amiable relationship with the school and now, these parents were being invited into the classrooms to provide feedback. Because of the school’s initiative, parents received a better understanding of the educational process. The parents who attended the Learning Walk were honored that Mrs. Hicks actually took action due to their feedback. For Brook Avenue Elementary, it was a great opportunity to hear from parents on ways to better educate the students. In light of this success, Brook Avenue Elementary decided to continue inviting parents to Learning Walks. The parents are now excited as well as interested in becoming more involved in the educational process. Brook Avenue Elementary’s bold step has started turning what was once a dream into reality.

West Avenue Elementary recognized that student’s parents were not receiving enough positive comments about their children. They realized that far too often, the parents only hear from the school when their child is in trouble and rarely about anything positive. In order to correct this, West Avenue Elementary took the initiative to compile a list of positive attributes for some of the most challenging students. Then West Avenue Elementary worked with Waco Community Development to recruit two volunteer parents/guardians that would contact parents of West Avenue Elementary students. The volunteers would relate to the parents the positive things their child is doing in school. Andreia Foster, West Avenue Elementary’s principal, realized that these phone calls were crucial to strengthening the school’s relationship with parents. Principal Foster was also willing to take the necessary steps to turn this dream into reality.

Our neighborhood is fortunate to have Brook Avenue Elementary and West Avenue Elementary educating our children, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue working with these schools as we turn dreams into reality.

School Greenhouse

John Hoekwater, Director of Neighbors United in New Possibilities NFP and Pastor of Many Peoples Church in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park, recently received an award for his community building efforts at a neighborhood gathering.  The award was presented for his work in conjunction with a number of volunteers in the neighborhood at a local public elementary school.

John and his group of hardworking volunteers saw an unused asset in the community – an almost “state of the art” greenhouse on the third floor of the Gale Academy school building.

The greenhouse was being used to store unused desks and other equipment. John and his volunteers decided to turn the space into a classroom for the students at the school by growing flowers and vegetables and offering them for sale to the community.

They busied themselves with building tables to hold the plants, constructing a water channeling system, and planting seeds that later they transplanted into plastic flats and hanging baskets.

More than 80 volunteers contributed their time and energy to the project, most of them parents and students who had never before planted and grown anything.  They proudly sold their flowers and vegetables in the late spring and early summer and earned more than $1800 which will be used to expand the project for next year.

They are partnering with Chicago Botanical Gardens staff to use the greenhouse as a classroom for every class in the school this year.  Eventually they hope the project will become financially self-sustaining and will even bring enough income to fund other special programs at the school.

Through these efforts Neighbors United in New Possibilities and Many Peoples Church are becoming known and trusted presences in Rogers Park and the Kingdom of God is being advanced through this community transformation.


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