Photo from Chicago Housing Authority
Photo from Chicago Housing Authority

Partner up and help out at Hilliard Reading Connection !

Hilliard Reading Connection, the newest to our ongoing children’s programs, starts in just a few days! This program brings volunteers to Hilliard Apartments and helps to provide additional one-on-one support to the children as they develop their love of reading.

Upon my first site visit to Hilliard Apartments, I couldn’t believe how convenient the building was (just steps from the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line stop) and how diverse the neighborhood is (nestled at the corner of Chinatown and the South Loop). The building is a piece of architectural history, built by the famed Bertrand Goldberg, who is famous for his historical architecture in Chicago, including buildings such as Marina City.

For me, the most exciting aspect of visiting Hilliard was the warm welcome of the children and staff at Hilliard Reading Connection. The children were eagerly waiting in the social room to get started early, helping to get the books and art supplies out on a lovely Saturday morning. I learned from the staff at Hilliard that these children are always eager to start and reluctant to leave, asking for extra time with the books or using the online reading program to build their skills. They were friendly and welcoming, excited to meet a new volunteer and get started on the activities for the day. I was so inspired by their enthusiasm about reading and learning and couldn’t wait to get our programs started!

Hilliard Reading Connection was developed to provide weekly reading support and enrichment while improving reading comprehension and fluency in its children, and all the programs at Hilliard aim to include increasing youth development programs which educate and mentor young people socially and academically. Chicago Cares is partnering with Hilliard to help provide more one-one-one support, encouragement, and resources to the children in the program. Each project will include reading, art, and computer time with a partner student, providing more support to the Hilliard Program.

I hope you’ll join us on April 20th, our first project date at Hilliard Reading Connection, or any of our upcoming projects at Hilliard Apartments. For more information about this program or upcoming volunteer opportunities, please contact Emily Collins.