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A season of youth violence

Chicago after-school programs show staying power

by Marissa Mitchell

Even amid violence and poverty in Chicago's low-income communities, long-standing social service organizations prove that staying power can be achieved.

More money doesn’t promise less violence for special ed students

by Bree Tracey

Access Living, a disability rights groups, organized a 2010 budget review for special education funds after one-quarter of school shooting victims in Chicago were found to be students with disabilities.

CPS transfer offer to Fenger students not good enough, parent says

by Adam Wren

Chicago Public Schools agreed Tuesday to grant immediate transfers to a group of 10 students afraid to attend Fenger High School. But that offer is not good enough for some parents from Altgeld Gardens, who are demanding that CPS open a neighborhood school inside Carver Military Academy. 

Program hopes to get ahead of youth violence curve

by Paul Schott

With a new day to showcase its violence prevention programs, one Illinois state agency wants to show youth in violence-plagued communities that there are many positive alternatives available to them.

Medill exclusive: Chicago again poised to be country’s most violent city for youth

by Adam Wren

In a year when the city has come under the heat of media camera lights for the beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, Chicago’s youth homicide rate is set to eclipse those of major cities such as Los Angeles and Philadelphia, with two months still remaining in 2009

South Side church posts bounty on youth killers

by Adam Wren and Kelsey Snell

The Rev. Michael Pfleger and parishioners from St. Sabina Catholic Church unveiled billboards promising a $5,000 reward for information on youth shootings Tuesday.

There were more victims than Derrion Albert, and educators hope to help them

by Marissa Mitchell

Teachers and social activists discussed the tragedies that encircle both victims and perpetrators of youth violence during a recent forum at the Teachers for Social Justice Conference in Chicago.

Student sees violence stop -- starting with his own fists

by Layton Ehmke

An expanded anti-violence program attempts to show young men how to turn their energy toward positive results. The program’s designer and one of his students talk about the program and the frustrations of fatherlessness in urbanyouth.

Program gives youths tools to cope with tough situations

by Justine Jablonska

A new anti-violence program for adolescent boys is being launched this month in 15 schools throughout the city. Roberto Clemente students and program participants talk about the way the program has impacted their lives.

U of C ranks violence prevention program top of the class

by Paul Schott

The University of Chicago's Crime Lab has unveiled a new program designed to measure the success of  anti-violence initiatives.

Blight of street crime creeping into Arab-American community

by Lauren E. Bohn and Paul Schott

The conversation on Chicago's torrent of youth violence has largely centered on outreach to black and Latino communities. However, the pervasive blight of guns, drugs and gangs also afflict Chicago’s growing Arab-American community -- a group some say is increasingly at risk.

For Fenger students from rival neighborhoods, peace proves elusive

by Adam Wren

Almost two months after the death of their classmate Derrion Albert, Fenger High School students from rival neighborhoods came together at a CeaseFire Searching for Peace Summit. But for many students, the search seems quixotic.

Kids learn the art of safety

by Alison Fox

Chicago's kids are painting, sculpting and skating their way to safety.

Chicago scholar: Education to fight youth violence

by Lahaina Mae B. Mondonedo

Can a proper education target youth violence? Chicago scholars weigh in on the importance of education as a way to give underprivileged students a way to escape the cycle of violence.   

As violence surges, so do crimes of opportunity

by Marissa Mitchell

You’ve read the headlines and watched the newscasts about violence in Chicago. You want to do something about it, but stop and think before reaching for your wallet.

Program's struggle for funding as fierce as its battle to keep teens safe

by Jessica Binsch and Marissa Mitchell

As Chicago is looking for new ways to fight violence, established community programs like the Gads Hill Center in Pilsen are fighting funding cuts.

Program's struggle for funding as fierce as its battle to keep teens safe

by Jessica Binsch and Marissa Mitchell

As Chicago is looking for new ways to fight violence, established community programs like the Gads Hill Center in Pilsen are fighting funding cuts.

The desert of Altgeld Gardens

by Layton Ehmke and Justine Jablonska

Many basic services are out of reach for Altgeld Gardens residents. This interactive map shows the distances people  have to travel for things like groceries, libraries and hospitals. 

Teachers cite poverty, not violence as the key issue in schools

by Kelsey Snell

Where do violence and poverty meet? An education expert, two teachers and state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) weigh in on the relationship between violent behavior and poverty.

In Altgeld Gardens, problems run deeper than Fenger violence

by Layton Ehmke, Justine Jablonska and John Lund

Residents of Altgeld Gardens stand behind their youth, who've been run out, beaten and murdered as they cross neighborhoods to go to school. Those who live there talk about the deep-rooted problems of living without access to a local high school as the neighborhood boycotts Christian Fenger Academy.

Church sees youth violence as crisis of faith

by Danny Yadron and Paul Takahashi

Members of Lilydale First Baptist Church, located just across the street from Fenger High School, organized a prayer service in the streets surrounding the school last week. Hear what church leaders and members think about the church's role in the community and why youth violence hasn't ceased despite their efforts.

Mental health issues key to addressing youth violence

by Marla Friedman and Sean Cooley

Ron Huberman plans to curtail violence in Chicago public schools using statistical analysis to identify at-risk youth.  Clinical psychologists explore the mental health issues behind the statistics and the connection between mental health and violence.

In Back of the Yards, an alternative high school flourishes

by Adam Wren

Upton Sinclair Alternative High School, with its innovative approach to educating former dropouts, is seen by many as a model for future public schools. They say programs like that at Sinclair could also play a role in combating youth violence.

CPS Mom says Huberman’s plan comes too late

by Melissa Tussing

One Chicago Public Schools mom believes anti-violence programs reach students too late. Two experts on education and gang violence say that catering to young children can make a greater impact, but the need to help high school students right now is too great to ignore.

Violence in school can start at home

by Brooke Bowen and Alison Fox

Children who witness domestic violence have a tendency to develop problems with violence in their own lives, according to experts. 

Some question future of stimulus-funded anti-violence programs

by Chris Neary

Three weeks prior to Derrion Albert’s death, Chicago Public Schools announced it had indentified 200 students at the highest risk to be shot. The district plans to provide these students with many services, including a mentor and a job.

95th Street, a hub for transit and crime, becomes focus for beautification

by Sofia Resnick

A South Side community group wants to adopt the 95th Street Red Line station to improve the problematic station's self-image and to advocate for needs and wants on the station's behalf.

Daley: ‘Ending the violence must be Chicago's crusade’

by Mari Fagel

Mayor Daley emphasized the importance of combating youth violence in the city during his 2010 budget announcement Wednesday. He unveiled several new programs to address the issue.

Black church turns its historical activism toward youth

by Chika S. Oduah

 From abolition to civil rights, the African-American church has led the fight for its community. Youth violence is at the top of the agenda today.

Gangs and violence not just a 'guy’ thing

by Lauren E. Bohn

Boys Town of Chicago started a female group in Back of the Yards last year to deal with the unique challenges females face and their own participation in gangs. .

Critics say mayor's after-school jobs program is flawed

by Mari Fagel

Mayor Daley announced the creation of an after-school jobs program in response to the beating death of Derrion Albert. Yet, critics say the program doesn't address the issue of youth violence.

On a tour of Fenger, north suburban parents confront a new ground zero

by Sofia Resnick, Kelsey Snell and Danny Yadron

Some say that money is the answer to the problems that lead to incidents of violence. Some say money alone won't fix the ills. A group of north suburban residents troubled by the disparity in education funding in classrooms across Illinois started a conversation more than a year ago that brought them to the site of one of Chicago's most recent brutal violent acts. For now, answers aren't as important to members of United We Learn as is involving more people in the conversation.

After-school programs reach some, but not enough, experts say

by Bree Tracey

More than a quarter of children in America are alone and unsupervised after school. Activities, supervision and mentors are designed to combat youth violence.

Police, pastors get together to address youth violence

by Paul Schott

Chicago police and religious leaders want to collaborate more closely to combat the city's epidemic of youth violence.

Daley promotes after-school programs to combat youth violence

by Bree Tracey

The day after top federal officials visited Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley discusses a “troubling and frustrating challenge” -- violence in city schools.

Experts, students, advocates all say plan to stem youth violence a good starting point

by Melissa Tussing

Crime experts, students and community organizers offer their own solutions for keeping teens safe at and after school, though they say they are glad that the Obama administration and the city have started to pay attention to the problem.

'Children should not be dying'

by William Kunkel

 On Oct. 6, Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Bears Running Back Garrett Wolfe headlined an event at a West-Side community center that stressed the importance of after-school programs.

Obama administration anti-violence proposals fail to impress Fenger students

by Paul Schott

Paul Schott Far from the flash of cameras and crush of reporters at City Hall, Fenger High School students reacted indifferently today to proposals by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to address youth violence. “That ain’t gonna do nothing,” scoffed Fenger sophomore Damien Colem

Duncan, Holder call for national conversation on youth violence.

by Adam Wren

America needs to hold a national conversation to stem the tide of youth violence, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says. He spoke only four days after a 16-year-old Fenger High School student was buried after he was fatally beaten.

Unruly students need their own school, teachers' union president says

by Adam Wren

Problem children throughout the Chicago Public Schools system would be removed from their classrooms and placed in a new alternative school for chronically disruptive students.