IWA has recently been able to establish a program of philanthropy that both supports the organization’s mission of putting global understanding into practice and builds upon our community service programs to serve children in the Chicago Public School System. Our initial funding is being used to increase the resources devoted to the students of the George B. Swift Specialty School, a K-8th grade port-of-entry school on Chicago’s north side. Swift School serves a population of low income, immigrant and refugee students from 55 countries who speak 65 languages and dialects. Of the 736 students in the school, almost 50% are English language learners. These children face many barriers to successful assimilation into their new country and the Chicago community, including language, culture, and lack of financial resources.
The following programs at Swift School are now being supported by IWA philanthropic funds:
- Standardized test preparation seminars for 5th and 7th graders.
- An “Ideal Student” workshop to teach executive management and learning skills to all 6th and 8th graders.
- A book distribution program several times a year.
- An essay contest for grades 4-8 with a significant prize for each grade’s winning essay.
- Funding of special educational enhancement projects