Monday, March 4, 2013

Hancock and Lincoln Park Students Kick-Off Cesar Chavez Month of Service

Students from Lincoln Park and Hancock High Schools spent their Saturday mornings kicking off the 8th annual CPS Cesar E. Chavez Month of Service.  Each year students from across the city participate in service projects designed to honor the life and legacy of our great civil rights leader, Cesar E. Chavez.  Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union at a time when most critics said it was impossible to organize poor migrant workers who toiled to bring produce to American tables.  Chavez' response:  Si, se puede.  Indeed, using non-violent strategies learned from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Chavez organized in the southwest and the work impacted the entire country.

Hancock students "playing for peace"
Students from Hancock High School spent their Saturday morning on March 2, working with the non-profit organization Play for Peace.  The goal of Play for Peace is to bring groups together to learn how to build peace through cooperative games.   Hancock students learned about leadership, cooperation, collaboration, and the spirit of non-violence and were challenged to bring their new skills back to their high school to carry forward the tradition of Cesar E. Chavez. 

While Hancock students were hard at work, World Language students from Lincoln Park were paired with adults studying the citizenship exam at Erie Neighborhood House in Bucktown.  While students coached the adults on the exam (100 questions about American government and history), they also had the opportunity to practice their language skills and interview the prospective citizens about their journeys to America. 

More than 50 student groups will be serving throughout the city during March, to celebrate the spirit of Cesar Chavez through service.  April 6 will feature the culminating activity in Pilsen where students will create various works of art to remember Chavez and his work then march peacefully through the streets of Pilsen to commemorate the fasts and marches of the Chavez and the United Farm Workers.  

Lincoln Park students working with immigrants to prepare for citizenship exams

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