Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chicago Dives into Urban Education

Chicago's 2015 Urban Intensive Team

This past week CSM Chicago had the honor of hosting an Urban Intensive. College students from around the United States came and joined us in an intensive study on what urban education looks like, how we can be equipped in the classroom, and how individuals can join together to make a difference in the public school system both here in Chicago as well as in everyone’s own backyard.

If you've ever planned a service trip, you know that more often than not, we gain things out of the week that we weren’t planning to. After a few days of serving in schools and seven sessions later, we had to have a hard discussion about education. The question that kept coming to the surface was, “What is more important, Education, or Christ?” Of course, reading that quickly, it’s easy to respond with “Christ!” However, going beyond a surface level, we were challenged by educators to think of this - “Would you rather a child in the projects go to college and become successful, or would you rather that child stay in the projects, and find Christ?”

Oftentimes education is seen as the way out. It’s the pipeline that gets kids into colleges, careers, as well as comfortability. This week, the Urban Intensive team collaborated on how to effectively take both of these and implement them into a classroom. Several teachers shared with us on how they bring Christ into their classroom, even when their class is in a public school. 

Our Urban Intensive students ended their time with a debrief session that processed the following conclusions: 
  1. Pouring one's self out and loving students is fruitless if not motivated by Christ’s abundant love. 
  2. Students' spiritual needs are more important than their physical needs. 
  3. Every single person can play their part in a child’s life to lead them to a brighter future as well as to affect the urban education system.
Though they may have left with more questions than answers, the Urban Intensive participants have gained the confidence to ask those questions and skills to dig deeper into finding answers.

We invite you to continue to pray for this team of young leaders as they process all that they learned and deeply desire to use their gifts for the Kingdom.

- Lauren Maniaci, CSM Chicago City Director