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Led by CTC teambuilding staffer Brian Lagrone, trust-building activities included a rope circle (above) and a group lift of the prinicipal!

21st Century Learning Communities December 27, 2010

Adventure Time for Students Over The Winter Break

Over the 2010 winter break, middle school students with the 21st Century Learning Communities program enjoyed a teambuilding session at Prosser High School. The high school had activities for 8th grade students from Thurgood Marshall and Northwest Middle School; many of them participate in weekly Saturday classes for early high school credit – a program also funded by the 21st Century grant.

Pat James sorts through some of the donated gifts before the holiday potluck.

Holiday Party at the Center December 16, 2010

CTC Staff Support Comer Children's Hospital

Staff from the Chicago Teachers’ Center dug deep to make their annual holiday donation of toys and gifts. In addition to enjoying a potluck luncheon, these Santas brought a little holiday cheer for kids in need. This is the fourth year Comer Children's Hospital has been part of our holiday tradition.

Parents and their children were able to choose from hundreds of free books.

Cicero-Berwyn Education Initiative November 20, 2010

Nuestras Historias, Nuestras Voces
Our Stories, Our Voices

The Cicero-Berwyn Education Initiative and the Morton East Literacy Committee held a great family literacy festival Saturday, November 20, 2010. Held at Morton East High School, over 600 parents and their children listened to the student choir, watched culturally-based dancing and were able to take home free books.

Cristina Silva greets teachers at
the reception.

Arts Reception October 27, 2010

Staff Celebrates Release of Every Art, Every Child

Ravenswood Elementary School was host to a October 27th reception celebrating the publication of CTC's newest arts integration resource: Every Art, Every Child: a curriculum in, about and through the arts. Over five years in the making, this is a unique teaching resource that show you how to integrate the arts across core curriculum. Not only was the food great, but program artists entertained with music thoughout the evening.

Wendy M. Stack, Director,
Chicago Teachers' Center

CTC Receives $21 Million Grant to Fund GEAR UP Program

Chicago Teachers' Center (CTC) has received a $21 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue funding its GEAR UP program. GEAR UP, an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

”As a state institution, we've got to do community outreach; it shows that we care about success early on," said Wendy Stack, director, Chicago Teachers' Center.  "It's very important that we be at the forefront against the national challenge of alarming high school dropout rates and low college attendance and graduation rates.” This grant will serve about 5,000 students and their families.

yal conference

Maryanne Brandt and Dee Simpson (right) teachers from Thurgood Marshall Middle School, look forward each year to the conference.

YAL Conference October 22-23, 2010

Young Adult Literature Conference Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Chicago Teachers' Center is very happy to present the Young Adult Literature Conference. Teachers experience the richness and depth that young adult literature can bring to the classroom, as well as opportunities to explore innovative and differentiated teachings techniques.

Pictured at left are two teachers who regularly attend the conference: Maryanne Brandt (nine years) and Dee Simpson (ten years). Both work at Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Not pictured is Susan Nusbaum (10 years) from Wells Community High School. We appreciate their support in this program.

yal conference

Hector Uriostegui, David Sperling, Principal Edwin Rivera and Pat Stephens at the reception for Principal for a Day at Navy Pier.

Principals for a Day October 21, 2010

PFAD: A Unique Experience in CPS Schools

On Thursday October 21, 2010 ten staff members from CTC became Principals for a Day (PFAD). This was a great chance to experience a day in the life of a school and at the same time share what CTC has to offer. We meet the principals and their key staff, toured the school, observed classrooms, and meet teachers and students. The day ended with a reception in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.

We discovered that although some of the schools we visited are long-time partners, our programs are new to incoming principals and staff. Networking can be an important tool for promoting CTC programs and contracts.

CTC makes a strong showing at the NEIU Professional Employee Recognition Awards.

NEIU Reception October 20, 2010

CTC at NEIU Recognition Awards

We are very proud to recognize staff who have been at the CTC for five years or more. Pictured (left to right) Andy David (25 years), Tahsuango Pickett (15 Years), Margaret Boyter-Escalona (15 years), Anne Stapleton (15 years) and Evelyn Gray (20 years). Not pictured Mary Massie (10 years), Alfred Miller (10 years), Trish Rosado (10 years), Ellen Zipprich (10 years), Rhonda Thomas (5 years) and Kim Warman (5 years). Congrats to you all!

Katina Lacey and Amy Hendricksen at work early Saturday to share opportunities for teachers available at the Chicago Teachers' Center.

Chicago Foundation for Education Fair October 3, 2010

Meet and Greet Educators at CFE Resource Fair

Over 400 teachers attended the CFE Workshop on Saturday October 3, 2010 and we were there to greet them. This is an exciting event for teachers who get to see 60 CPS teachers presenting their award winning projects and teaching strategies. Katina Lacey and Amy Hendricksen staffed the CTC booth at the Resource Fair, handing out information about CTC and our resources. This was a great way to get the word out on our upcoming iMathination and College Planning For Students with Disabilities conferences.

Clemente students and teachers with staff from CTC support Peace Day.

Celebrate Peace September 21. 2010

Peace Day 2010

In an effort to show  their commitment to individual, school-wide, community and world peace, over 200 students from Roberto Clemente Community Academy led a Peace Ceremony on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 for the opening of the World Music Festival at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Each year since 1978, Peace Day celebrations are coordinated by the Chicago Build the Peace Committee.

Margarent Boyter-Escalona,
Parent Services Manager,
greets parent advocates before the summit.

Parent Summit June 10, 2010

Making Connections: Parent Involvement Initiatives
at CTC

Parents were the focal point of the first Parent Summit held at CTC. Their participation is integral to the success of our school programming.

Parents created four stations at the conference that showed examples of their work in book clubs, college bound initiatives, art and culture and community of learners workshops. They were also part of a Parent Panel which fielded questions on what works and why.

Discover how our approach has developed in twenty years of working directly with parents. For more information click here.

Resource Center

Math and Science Teachers Explore Antarctica

Teachers served by Rush University Medical Center's Science and Math Excellence (SAME) Network toured the Resource Center on Thursday, May 13, 2010 and attended a presentation by Louise Huffman. As a teacher she spent 6 weeks in a tent in Antarctica in the harshest environment on earth, and is now the Coordinator of Education and Public Outreach for ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing). ANDRILL scientists are studying the geologic history of Antarctica and its relation to global climate change.  

GEAR UP Program

Students Explore College Opportunities

In one busy week over CPS spring break, 192 students took part in six bus tours going to three different colleges. Each all-girl college tour had 32 students representing five of our partner high schools. They visited the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Alverno College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Overall, it was a very successful trip.

School visits are one of the most powerful influences in helping students decide where they want to go to college.


In creating lesson plans using Google Earth, Aaron Cortes tracked the recent volcanic dust cloud from Iceland, accessed wind patterns and predicted the environmental impact.

iMATHination Conference Followup April 26, 2010

Exploring the World from your Classroom through Google Earth

In this Resource Center workshop, teachers had the opportunity to experience how Google Earth can be used effectively in math and science classes. They were shown how to integrate current events into the classroom and bring math and science to life for their students. This workshop is a followup to the January iMATHination

This workshop is made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP Program.