Monday, January 26, 2009

Alternatives Seeks Resident Tutors

Many who attended the Crime Safety meeting last summer were impressed by Alternatives, Inc., whose representative spoke of the need to help area kids to keep them out of gangs. If you're someone who wants to help in that effort, Alternatives is seeking a few Uptown citizens to commit to becoming a tutor for this pilot program. Click on the flyer for a larger version.


  1. This looks like a good program, but the times are tough for 9-5'ers. I'll call and see if there are any sessions later in the day.

  2. I liked the guy from Alternatives, but this strikes me as a ploy just so they can say the community doesn't care.

    They setup a tutoring program that nobody with a job can possibly join, then say that the evil condo owners don't care because nobody signed up.

    I tried contacting Alternatives and they never returned my phone calls. Put that together with this shoddy attempt at help, and I'm starting to believe that they, as an organization, don't really want you to help.

  3. Is this an old program or a new program? The "flier" states that it will begin on February 9, 2000. Have they tried this before and it failed or are they in a time warp? If this is a regurgitated flier from a previous failed attempt why would they try the exact same time frame? Is anyone out there familiar with the original attempt and/or this attempt? I am available on one of those days and would be up for volunteering but will need to do more research. I also vaguely remember hearing that this group is a little shady. Is this an erroneous recollection?

  4. Probably just a typo. Feb. 9 is a Monday this year. Feb. 9 was a Wednesday in 2000.

  5. This is Zach from Alternatives and I'm the one who sent in this info. This is by no means a "set up" or anything tricky. We genuinely are looking for a few more tutors. The 2000/2009 thing is a typo.

    As for the schedule, we realize that this is not a good option for 9-5ers but it really is the best option for the kids we are signing up. It is much easier for elementary students to come here straight from school rather than go home for a few hours and then make their way back here to have tutoring at 6pm.

    We expect most people taking us up on this will be retirees, students, shift workers, and those with non-traditional schedules. By no means would we try to intentionally set something up to complain about the community. Alternatives enjoys great support from the Uptown community and we always value it!

    If this doesn't fit with some schedules we understand. If it does, though, give me or Valarie a call! We're hoping to see this program grow even bigger and maybe eventually include H.S. tutoring that could take place later in the evening.


  6. Zach, if things change and later scheduling is available, please post. I've been looking for a chance to tutor and this is really close to where I live.

  7. I volunteered for a couple of years at a drop-in tutoring program in Wicker Park called 826 Chicago (and for the record, as they were searching for a location, I tried my best to get them in Uptown). The times are consistent with Alternatives. Kids can come by immediately after school, do their homework, socialize in a safe environment and go home as their parents are getting in from their jobs.

    My schedule no longer allows for participating, but it was an incredibly fulfilling experience. And made a big difference in the lives of the families who used the facility. One child was on the verge of just dropping out of, well, everything, and after one year of coming to the program she was a different kid.

    And the benefit to parents is amazing, as they struggle more than I ever imagined. Sometimes just knowing their kid is in a supervised place for a couple of hours takes so much pressure off. Once, while picking up her first grader, a woman thanked me and said, "You help me be a better mother."

    I don't know anything about Alternatives really, but this stuff makes a difference. For everyone involved.