Waukegan High School Students 
Need Your Support this Summer!

Your generous support will provide 40 high-poverty and low-performing Waukegan High School students viable options this summer beyond gangs. On Monday, June 18, 2012 an innovative six-week summer learning program will begin – one that will keep our kids off the streets and out of harm’s way of being in the wrong place and the wrong time. Research has shown that high school students who participate in summer programs are less likely to use drugs, commit crimes, or make poor decisions. Your tax deductible donation will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of several local community teenagers. Without your sponsorship, our young adults will be left to their own devices, deprived of meaningful purpose, and constructive mentorship they so greatly depend on throughout the school year. 

Over the past 12 years, the Waukegan STARS (Successfully Targeting and Reaching Students) 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program has provided over 4,500 students in grades 2-12 high quality academic enrichment opportunities such as culinary arts, graphic design, photography, music production, entrepreneurship, etc. during non-school hours. The STARS Program assists students in meeting state and local student standards in reading and math, offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that complement students’ regular academic programs, and provides literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

The foremost purpose of the STARS 21st CCLC Summer Program  is to extend the successes of the school year offerings into the summer months. The students have bonded, gained a sense of respect and comradery towards one another – as demonstrated by the students’ strong desire to attend even on school holidays. In short, STARS staff members have become the constant in our students’ lives as mentor, coach, and “go to person.” This Monday through Thursday 1pm to 5pm summer program will deliver successful music production and culinary arts curriculum with purposeful life skills intertwined. The staff is committed to support students as they become responsible citizens and offer lessons in core values and a greater understanding of themselves as learners, the dynamics of relationships, and insights into setting and achieving short- and long-term goals.

Over the summer, in addition to the skills and knowledge required to produce music, students will continue to learn and broaden their horizons by practicing fundamental skills that can transfer into any situation in life such as:

*         Listening to direct instruction

*         Following through with a sense of commitment

*         Challenging themselves

*         Collaborating and establishing dependable friendships

Within the culinary classes, in addition to the life skills mentioned above, young women and men will continue to practice essential skills required for personal growth such as:

*         Self-respect and setting limits as ladies and gentlemen

*         Future planning in regards to potential life partners

*         Attentiveness and time management

*         Goal setting, conflict resolution, and positive decision making

As the STARS Program Evaluator and Learning Consultant, I am reaching out to you to get involved and do whatever you can to ensure this highly successful program will continue. With this program, our students are learning invaluable life lessons in a safe and nurturing environment that would otherwise not happen. STARS staff members are devoted to empowering students to become aware of their role in the community and to succeed in setting and reaching goals so they have the skills and knowledge to prosper upon graduation within a chosen career and/or college degree program.

Nearly 75% of our program participants do not benefit from a stable home life, for example students:

*         Lack support and encouragement during the summer months

*         May not engage in continuous contact with an adult

*         Suffer from an inadequate diet and may go hungry

*         Some have never met one or both of their parents

*         Many are being raised by their grandparents or other relatives

The 2012 summer high school program budget is at risk because the 21st Century Community Learning Center High School Grant is quickly coming to an end – and may not be renewed for fall programming, meaning not only could future summer programming cease to exist, but all 120 Waukegan high school students will not benefit from services during the school year.

Professional staff salaries for the summer remain in place; however, there are zero funds available to cover expenses such as academic field trips, fitness activities that promote healthy living, and nutritious snacks.  A total registration fee required for each participant is $75.00. Our targeted goal is to gain sponsorship for all 40 students.  Resources for at least 15 students must be secured by June 1, 2012 to keep our doors open. 

Contributions of any size are needed and welcomed!

Doris Wells-Papanek, M.Ed.
STARS Program Evaluator and Learning Consultant

P.S. Please donate today without delay! Your financial support as a local community member will have direct impact on the quality of life of our high school students with the greatest needs. 

To download a PDF version of the Waukegan STARS Program Donation Letter and Form, please click here.

To access a version of the Donation Form that you can fill out electronically, please click here

Please do complete the form and write the check no later than Friday, June 1, 2012.

Your very much appreciated donation can be mailed to:

Mr. Michael Gonzalez
Before & After School Program Manager
Waukegan Public Schools

Lincoln Center for Educational Services
1201 North Sheridan Road
Waukegan, IL  60085