Ringo Starr knew he couldn’t get by without a little (OK, a lot of) help from his friends. Neither can most of Chicago’s public schools. “Friends of…” groups have cropped up at both the elementary and high school levels to fill chronic budget gaps; they raise money for everything from teaching positions to sports equipment. They’ve also come to serve as a sort of status symbol: Having a “Friends of…” group signals significant community investment in and commitment to a school’s success.
Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave., now has that commitment. Tuesday night, Amundsen’s LSC unanimously approved a proposal, crafted by Stephen Reynolds and Amy Williamson, to form Friends of Amundsen.
Reynolds, a member of Ald. Ameya Pawar’s Grow47 education committee, will begin actively recruiting members and networking with other local “Friends of….” Bylaws need to be crafted and documents need to be filed to create a 501(c)(3) charitable organization–any accountants or lawyers out there willing to help are more than welcome to lend their services.
“Most importantly,” Reynolds told CSJ, “I will begin to build a strong partnership with the school by meeting with LSC members, staff and administrators of the school to get a better understanding of how this extension of the school can assist.”
Once up and running, the group can begin to tackle its stated long-term goal: To help raise the community profile and academic success of the school to a level that encourages many more high achieving local eighth graders to attend Amundsen High School instead of private or selective enrollment schools.
Anyone interested in helping spearhead the new Friends of Amundsen High School is encouraged to email Reynolds.