Join us on the blog each Wednesday over the next few months, as we highlight opportunities for you to volunteer with Chicago Public School students! Today’s post is by Chicago Cares staff, Martha Renken.

Much like the astonishment at Christmas trees on display in stores when it’s still October; you might recall as a child, feeling the pressure of “Back to School” banners plastered all over your local Target in the middle of the summer. I know I did, and I am still feeling that pressure now as a program coordinator for education programs at Chicago Cares.

The “Back to School” banners are right on time this year, as most Chicago Public Schools opened their doors for the school year on Monday, August 8. Not far behind are Chicago Cares ongoing school programs, starting as early as Saturday, August 20. This school year, the Chicago Cares education team has 65 programs at 10 schools and 13 agencies serving approximately 600 elementary students and parents across the city of Chicago in 16 community areas.

Each program addresses critical academic, extracurricular, and physical needs for the students served. Additionally, Chicago Cares offers parent programming opportunities at several schools. Education programs in schools assist populations of children that are 90%+ low-income, struggle in academic testing, or need additional programs. Some schools just need more individualized attention for their students. That’s where you come in.

Are you passionate about children’s academic success? Check out Read-with-Me at Brunson or Young Science Sleuths. Maybe you are new to Chicago and looking for a way to learn more about the city while making a difference. If so, try Chicago History at Henderson or Explore Chicago at McCormick, where students learn about Chicago history through exciting and engaging projects. If you’re looking to teach kids about healthy eating and cooking (and maybe even find a great new recipe), sign up for Healthy Start at Sherwood where students learn to make wise choices about what they eat.

When we all work together, we can make sure that this school year is the best yet for Chicago Public School students!

Take a look at our online calendar to find many more opportunities that fit your interest and schedule.