For almost 90 years, Ella Flagg Young Elementary School has stood tall in the Austin neighborhood. Built just a few years after “Austinville” was annexed into Chicago as one of the largest neighborhoods in the city, Young School has educated thousands of community members since opening in 1924. Proud graduates have an active alumni network and frequently visit the school, sharing how much it has grown and changed since they were young students.
Over the years, Young School has always been a place of support and stability for its families as the community evolved. Under Principal Crystal Bell’s watchful eye, Young School continues to be “excited about teaching and learning” and is always looking for ways to offer more opportunities to them. By partnering with Chicago Cares, Young School is able to provide fun, engaging, and valuable experiences to its students beyond the school day. Students must demonstrate good behavior, attendance, and attitudes during the school week in order to take part in the Saturday programs; participation in Chicago Cares is always a reward for their weekday efforts.
As a partner with Chicago Cares since 2008, Young School has also always been a warm and welcoming place for volunteers. Volunteers can work with students in kindergarten through eighth grade or their parents at a variety of programs. The youngest children attend Read-with-Me, at which we hope to build a love of reading by having volunteers collaborate with them on great books and art projects. Students in third and fourth grade attend Young Scientists to explore with volunteers science and the scientific process through fun hands-on experiments and games. Art Around the USA teaches fifth and sixth grade students about different states each week by having them work with volunteers to read a book, create a craft, and execute a recipe using ingredients native to that state. Seventh and eighth grade students attend Young Sports League, during which volunteers help them focus on teamwork, cooperation, and positive attitudes while taking part in a variety of sports and games. And parents can also participate in the Chicago Cares Adult Computer Skills program, during which they will receive from volunteers individual support and skills-practice based on their needs.
All of our programs at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School support its long history as a community center that is always focused on the best for its residents. We hope you’ll come see a piece of Chicago’s history for yourself and join us at an upcoming program!