Unique Partnership Brings Police Officers and Chicago Public School Students Together

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Chicago, Illinois—September 23, 2015—Police and community relationships have been tested across our country in particularly volatile ways over the last several years. In Chicago, two organizations are teaming up to bring Chicago Public Schools (CPS) middle school studentsand officers from the Chicago Police Department together to help forge a solution. Citizen Schools and the N.O.B.L.E. (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) organization. This program will offer the innovative "The Law & Your Community"program at The Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School, 4414 South Evans Street in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

The program, created by the N.O.B.L.E., offers student participants an uncommon opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with members of the Chicago Police Department who work the streets of their community. It will be offered as part of the Expanded Learning Time (ELT) program run by Citizen Schools Illinois.

“In these weekly meetings, our students will learn about many aspects of a police officers’ job as well as what their rights and responsibilities are as citizens of the city of Chicago,” said Erin Linville, interim Executive Director of Citizen Schools Illinois. "This opportunity will give students an in-depth look at everything from democracy to the criminal justice system to community policing to internet and social media crimes."

"It is our belief they will finish the program with a better respect for both themselves and our law enforcement officers, as well as be better equipped on how to best interact with law enforcement officers.”

Woodson students taking part in the N.O.B.L.E. “Law and Your Community” program will learn a variety of lessons which they will carry into their neighborhoods with them, among them:

  • “Know your rights” when interacting with law enforcement
  • Make smart decisions in regard to outward behavior and appearance
  • Know how to react in a situation involving potential police misconduct.

The motto throughout the 10 week session is “Be Smart. Stay Safe!”

Citizen Schools, a national education nonprofit, expands the learning day by three hours for middle school students in low-income communities across the country, providing targeted academic support, homework help and apprenticeships with community volunteers.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Citizen Schools. We look forward to having an honest and restorative exchange between our young people and law enforcement that we hope will lead to a better understanding of how to resolve the issues our nation faces and improve community-police relations in our neighborhoods,” said Carla Kupe-Arion, Director of Community Relations for the Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of N.O.B.L.E

Media Contact

For Citizen Schools: Matt Ellis | matt@ellisstrategies.com | 617-278-6560

For the N.O.B.L.E.program: Carla Kupe-Arion | communityrelations@noblechicago.org | 312-401-8291

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/

Citizen Schools expanded its operation to Illinois in 2012 bringing a proven model to Chicago Public Schools. During the 2015-16 school year, we will serve 500 middle school students at our five partner schools.  Please visit citizenschools.org/illinois for more information.