If you keep up with Chicago Public Schools in the news, you may have noticed that between school closings, longer school day proposals, and healthy school lunch initiatives; they’ve received controversial media attention more than a handful of times this school year.

If a school closing in your area has inspired you to get involved, or if you’re interested in tutoring as schools enter Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) season, Chicago Cares offers many ways for you to support students in Chicago:

Volunteer in the schools – If you want to get involved in education by volunteering in a Chicago school, opportunities abound on our calendar. Chicago Cares partners with 10 Chicago Public Schools in programs include Saturday Science, Students on Stage, and Eco-Art. Sign up to volunteer at one of our partner schools: Brennemann, Brunson, Burr, Fuller, Guggenheim, Henderson, McCormick, Pilsen, Sherwood, and Young.

Create a healthy meal with students – If you care about children’s nutrition but aren’t too keen on school lunches, why not help students learn nutrition and cooking skills? Chicago Cares offers several opportunities for volunteers to work with students, teaching them portion control or how to read a food label, followed by preparing a healthy and delicious recipe. Sign up to volunteer at Healthy Start at Bethel, Cooking Adventures in Pilsen, or Young Chefs.

Tutor a student – Chicago Cares offers opportunities to help students with their homework at Homework Help at Chicago House and Homework Help at Chicago Lights. Additionally, students at Henderson Elementary are spending their Saturdays this month preparing with teachers for the ISAT exams. Help a student excel on the test by volunteering with ISAT Prep at Henderson.

Become a leader for a Chicago Cares education program – If you are looking to make a consistent impact with students, consider becoming a volunteer leader for an education program with Chicago Cares. Volunteers commit to leading their program once or twice a month and receive ongoing support from Chicago Cares staff, including two trainings on how to manage a program and how to work with children. Becoming a leader for an education program is a great opportunity to learn more about the site with which you’re serving, as well as allows you to build a stronger relationship with the students. Learn more about becoming a leader on our website.

Today’s post is by Education Coordinator, Martha Renken.