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RPBG Makes Commitment to Sullivan High School

Serving the Rogers Park community has always been a central plank of RPBG’s mission. We have demonstrated this commitment repeatedly, most recently with the approval of a $5,000 gift to Artspace, a non-profit developer that has expressed an interest in creating a live-work space for artists within the Rogers Park community.

Sullivan High School

But now, RPBG has another cause it wants to support. That cause begins with the premise that the future of any community is its children, and that the success of those children depends in great measure on the quality of the education they receive.

The Rogers Park community faces some particular challenges when it comes to educating its children. To start with, many of the kids in Rogers Park are from low or moderate-income families whose only real option for their education is the Chicago Public Schools. In addition, Rogers Park is a “gateway” community, housing children from a wide array of backgrounds, including immigrant and refugee families who have settled in Rogers Park from across the globe.

The Chicago Public Schools face many challenges; these are compounded in communities with limited financial resources and diverse populations. Despite these difficulties, a lot of good things are happening in the Chicago Public Schools, and in Rogers Park in particular. One outstanding example of this positive change is what is occurring right now at Sullivan High School.

Sullivan is a CPS facility that had been struggling for years with low achievement and declining enrollment. It is also a neighborhood institution that has stood for decades. Indeed, some of our RPBG members are proudly alumni, or have friends and relatives who attended.
Eighteen months ago, a new principal was hired, and good things started to happen. When you first meet Chad Adams, the school’s dynamic young Principal, you could be forgiven for thinking that he might be one of the students. But don’t let looks fool you. Chad is already a veteran of the CPS system, having taught at Farragut Career Academy, Fenger and Dyett. Chad was an Assistant Principal at Harper High School in Englewood before taking the Principal position at Sullivan.  Chad is full of ideas and has wasted no time putting these into practice. In his short tenure at Sullivan, he’s made big changes that have altered the direction of the school and, more importantly, the roughly 600-plus students who go there to learn.
 
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Over the past two years, Sullivan has moved from a level three to a level two school and is on track to be off academic probation by the end of the year. The rate of class attendance among students has increase from 80% to 90%, and graduation has increased from 47% to 68%. Currently, 90% of the Freshman class is on track to graduate! A walk through the school reveals tremendous improvements in the physical plant, and there is a palpable sense of school pride among the students and staff. Not bad for a school with a troubled recent history, and even more impressive when you consider that many of the students are from refugee families. In fact, over 40 languages are spoken in the school!

Source: Sullivan HS Website

As we’ve gotten to know Chad and seen first hand what he has accomplished, we have also wanted to make a more meaningful contribution to the good work that he has done, and to the many challenges that still lie ahead. We wanted to take on a project that would benefit the school, but that was also suited to the strengths that our organization could bring to the table. 
This effort is being lead by Brian Semel, our Chairman of Fundraising. The task Brian has set for us is to convert a classroom into a functioning apartment within the school, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. This space will be used to teach kids who are part of Sullivan’s longstanding and successful “low-incidence” program. “Low-incidence” refers to disabilities that are relatively uncommon in the general population; blindness, deafness and autism are all considered low-incidence disabilities. Because they are relatively uncommon, not every school in the CPS system has this type of program. 
With the new facility we will help build, the low-incidence program will have better tools to teach such basic life skills as how to prepare food, do laundry and attend to personal hygiene. All of this will be made possible with the money, materials and expertise that we can offer to make this project a reality. This is a great opportunity to help Sullivan and the kids of our community, and to set an example for what business group can do to give back to our communities.

Source: Sullivan HS Website

Brian has set a goal for this project of $15,000 in money 
and materials. This is a substantial sum and triple what we recently gave to Artspace. Unlike the Artspace donation, most of this money will come from private contributions. We will rely primarily on our members, but will not refuse donations from others in the community, in the real estate field, or from anyone who we can convince of the worthiness of our efforts. Checks can be made out to the Rogers Park Builders Group. Alternatively, you can contact Brian at 773-710-4650 if you have questions about the project or want to donate your time or materials. Some of the specific donations we need are appliances, kitchen cabinets and other building materials used in the construction of living spaces.
As an organization, we are excited about what is taking place at Sullivan, and even more excited to be able to be a part of this transformation. We expect our commitment to Sullivan to be long-term and multi-faceted. The living space project is a great way to begin what we hope is a long and meaningful association.

Join us in our Commitment: Donate Now

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The Rogers Park community faces some particular challenges when it comes to educating its children. To start with, many of the kids in Rogers Park are from low or moderate-income families whose only real option for their education is the Chicago Public Schools. In addition, Rogers Park is a “gateway” community, housing children from a wide array of backgrounds, including immigrant and refugee families who have settled in Rogers Park from across the globe.
The Chicago Public Schools face many challenges; these are compounded in communities with limited financial resources and diverse populations. Despite these difficulties, a lot of good things are happening in the Chicago Public Schools, and in Rogers Park in particular. One outstanding example of this positive change is what is occurring right now at Sullivan High School.
Sullivan is a CPS facility that had been struggling for years with low achievement and declining enrollment. It is also a neighborhood institution that has stood for decades. Indeed, some of our RPBG members are proudly alumni, or have friends and relatives who attended.

RPBG Sullivan Project

The Rogers Park Builders Group  collaborated with Sullivan High School to build out a life skills classroom for Chicago Public Schools’ "low incidence" program (servicing mostly students dealing with Autism, Down Syndrome and mild to severe cognitive disabilities). With nearly $30,000 in donations secured throughout the summer and with the help of the community, the Rogers Park Builders Group was able to construct and equip the room with a washer/dryer, a full kitchen, and a Murphy bed. The low incidence students are now able to learn the ways of everyday living as they prepare themselves for real life opportunities.
 

$30,000 TARGET MET

Thanks to the Following Supporters:

PLATINUM

David Gassman   DLG Management
Sullivan HS Alumni Reunion Class of ’71 & ‘72

GOLD

Allen Smith   Winnemac Properties
Marty Max   MLC Properties
Carla Price   PMG Vintage Apartments
Barbara Edelstein   Supreme Laundry
Jim Abraham
Chase Bank
Community Investment Corporation
Cris Gansari    Gansari & Associates, LLC

SILVER

Michael Glasser   Magellen Properties
Robert Szymanski   Urban Equities
John Brauc   CheckMate Realty & Development
Dorian Bezanis   Alpha Adjustment
Tom Heineman   Tom Heineman Enterprises 
Matt Means   MKS Property Holdings
Bill Barry   Draper & Kramer Commercial Mortgage
James Peterson & Jayson Lemberg   Pioneer Acquisitions
Ursula Moncau   WinTrust
Bill Dunn   Dunn Solutions Group
Ross Landman   The Landman Group
Apartment Investment Advisors
Steve Cain   Greenspire Capital
Sarah and Tom Lisy
Lee and Estella Kiser   Kiser Group

BRONZE

Brian Semel   Kiser Group     
Dan Starzyk   Bank Financial
Jay Johnson   Cornerstone Investment Group
Randy Pavlock  Hunter Properties
David Rees   Hunter Properties
Rockwell Partners
Connie Abels   RE/MAX NorthCoast
Alan Goldberg   Fara Brokerage
Michael Anguiano   Kiser Group
Rick Moskowitz   A Plus Pest Control
Sheryl Rosenberg   Rogers Park Builders Group
Mark Glazer   S & M Management
Neal Siegal
Linda Heneghan
Ryan Johnson   Draper & Kramer Commercial Mortgage
Jane Kanan   Draper & Kramer Commercial Mortgage
McKim Barnes   Draper & Kramer Commercial Mortgage
Alan Cravitz   Draper & Kramer Commercial Mortgage
Litt Clark   Greenspire Capital
Special Thanks To:
Chicago Murphy Bed    
Porch Construction Inc.   
ABT Appliance    
Remodelers Supply
Cris Gansari   Gansari & Associates, LLC
RPBG “Sullivan Campaign” Committee:
Brian Semel    
Michael Glasser    
Allen Smith   
Marty Max   
Tom Heineman   
Steve Cain
 

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Sullivan High Project

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