In 2007 CBT has taken great strides towards fulfilling its mission. We have creating avenues of influence for young working professionals as well as instilling community centric values in our high-school tutors and young learners. The 2007 calendar year was a very successful year for our programs as we are rapidly approaching our 1,000th hour of free tutoring. Additionally, our board has grown from six to eleven members and has added two part-time employees and one pro-bono consultant. These additions have been extremely valuable as we continually work to refine our tutoring program and supporting activities.
Of specific note is the contribution of our consultant, Darrin Aase, who is a PhD student at DePaul in Clinical and Community Psychology. In conjunction with our board, he is developing some survey tools for our high-school tutors that we will use to assess the positive impact our program is having in their lives. Although our survey is still being refined we expected to have some very interesting results to share with the tutoring and mentoring community by the end of the 2008 academic year.
In the winter and spring of 2007 we provided our tutoring program at three locations in different areas of Chicago (Lakeview, Bucktown, and the West Loop). To ensure these programs ran smoothly we hired a part-time employee. This decision quickly returned dividends as our tutoring program at Chase Park in the fall of 2007 has never been better. Not only did we see consistent attendance through the twelve-week program (8 high-school tutors and 10-12 young learners) but we also executed our first fall volunteer outing that saw our board members and volunteer tutors working side by side to paint some rooms at a local NFP called Alternatives. This activity truly fulfilled our mission as we brought together multiple generations (high-school, college, and working professionals) to strengthen our community and interact with one another.
These successes and the knowledge that our program methodology is easily reproducible has spurred us to investigate other communities within Chicago that would be receptive and benefit from our programming. After a review of available options we decided Holstein Park, located at 2200 North Oakley, would be an ideal location for our next program. We expect this site to become operational in February of 2008. Lastly, we plan to dedicate some of our resources to identify an additional site for the Fall of 2008.
Growth is important to us but as we offer our programming free of charge we must remain cognizant of the financial burden required to do so. To date, we have run our organization on a shoestring budget. However, in 2007 we realized that to have a greater more consistent impact we must increase our fundraising. To that end we hosted a number of small fundraising events and partnered with the Chase Park Advisory Council to launch a one-day summer festival. The Family Fun Fest, which occurred on July 27th, was extremely successful as over 600 people attended an afternoon at Chase Park that featured child friendly games and activities. Building on that event, we are currently in the planning stages for a larger two-day summer festival that will occur in July of 2008. This will be a collaboration between the Chase Park Advisory Council, the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and CBT and has the generous support from our local alderman, Gene Schulter. In addition to this larger fundraiser we plan to establish some partnerships with local business to offset our program costs.
We laid a strong foundation in 2007 and look to build on that in 2008.
All the Best,
President of the Board