Major alumni network announces partnership to volunteer, promote and boost academic experience of 500 Chicago elementary students
CHICAGO – The Chicago Alumni Club of Michigan State University [one of the largest alumni networks in the United States] and Ravenswood Elementary School announced today a partnership to support the magnet arts cluster school with its 30,000 strong network of Chicago area alumni. Ravenswood will be its exclusive Chicago elementary partner school.
Spartan alumni will engage in volunteer activities throughout the year to promote the school, strengthen its outreach to the community, help with fundraising efforts and provide student enrichment activities such as the support of its existing math and running clubs.
“As Spartans we believe that extraordinary potential lies in ordinary individuals to create circumstances in which that potential may be achieved,” said Vic Maurer, head of the MSU Chicago Club network, also known as the Chicago Spartans. “We hope to be a transformative force for good through service to the students and staff of Ravenswood Elementary. From this day forward, our two schools share one future.”
Ravenswood Elementary is a neighborhood, fine and performing arts magnet cluster school. Students at Ravenswood enjoy small class sizes in a close-knit, supportive environment and receive one to two periods of art instruction a week, as well as one period of music a week, and one to two periods of drama a week. Arts are integrated into the curriculum to reinforce core concepts.
The award-winning teaching staff boasts a blend of experienced veterans and energetic new talent who all share best practices and a common educational pedagogy. The school reflects the diversity of its urban surroundings, encompassing students from the Graceland West, Ravenswood, Uptown, Northcenter neighborhoods and beyond.
“Ravenswood Elementary has an award-winning teaching staff, strong parent base and increasing community support, and this partnership will help raise awareness about Ravenswood and enhance the experience for the student body,” said Ravenswood Principal Heather Connolly, whose children also attend the school.
The partnership is supported by Alumni for Public Schools (APS), a Chicago non-profit that creates mutually beneficial relationships between schools and alumni clubs. This is accomplished by matching the strengths, as well as needs, of a local public school with the talents and commitments of a university or college alumni club.
“Connecting a fine-arts elementary like Ravenswood to the experience and resources of a university like MSU, with their acclaimed fine-art department, is a perfect fit” said Cameron Croft, APS Program Manager. “We’re focused on making sure our alumni partners find a school their alumni can truly connect with, and it’s the students, in this case Ravenswood’s, that will benefit.”
See the related article in Center Square Journal.