Elev8 Success Stories

Bookmark and Share

Elev8 Chicago: How Elev8 sparked a neighborhood school-health revolution

Teaser: 

Even if you build it, they still may not come. That’s the hard truth behind the happy photos of ribbon-cutting ceremonies at school-based health centers. If students don’t come in, the service can’t be sustained. That’s exactly what happened at Englewood’s Lindblom High School. After three years of operation, Lindblom’s center closed for lack of use.

But at Perspectives-Calumet Middle Academy in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, the health center, which was built through a partnership with Elev8 Chicago, is thriving. Since May 2008, the health center has served 19,845 students from Perspectives and surrounding elementary schools.

Elev8 Oakland: Luis, an Elev8 Graduate, Finds His Pathway to a Successful Future

Teaser: 

Luis Reyes was only 10 years old when he came with his father from El Salvador to make a new life in Oakland; it was a difficult transition.

 

"I was having a hard time with my family. My father had no time for me and my mom was in El Salvador. I spent most of my time with my friends in a gang," he says. "There were rival gangs in the neighborhood. It was hard for me to walk the streets."

 

Academics were not a priority for Luis as he moved through middle school. But in the 8th grade, Elev8 began operating at his East Oakland school, Coliseum College Preparation Academy. Luis was particularly interested in one Elev8 offering - a History of Gangs program - and he worked hard to bring his grades up to be eligible to take part after school. 

Elev8 2013 Fall Learning Institute Held in Chicago, IL

Teaser: 

Several hundred educators, community partners, evaluators and funders gathered in the Windy City last month for the sixth and final Elev8 Fall Learning Institute. Held November 13-15th, these  stakeholders came together to expand their knowledge and skills, share lessons, and to celebrate Elev8’s accomplishments.  Plenary speakers included Susana Vasquez, LISC-Chicago; Dr. Steven McConnell, Atlantic Philanthropies; Dr. Charles Payne, The University of Chicago; and Tony Smith, W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation.

Elev8 New Mexico's Family Resource Center Assists Single Parent

Teaser: 
For the past few months, the staff at the Family Resource Center (FRC) at Wilson Middle School, a YDI-Elev8 New Mexico community school in Albuquerque, have assisted Richard Delano, a single father who initially came to the FRC when threatened with eviction.

Elev8 Chicago Student Selected for Community Service Project in Costa Rica through The Road Less Traveled

Teaser: 
Brendan A., Elev8 student at Ames Middle School in Chicago, had the opportunity this summer to travel to Costa Rica and perform community service with The Road Less Traveled, a program that aims to give youth important life and inter-personal communication skills through planned trips involving exploration and service learning.

In Oakland, Healthy Schools = Healthy Families

Teaser: 

Though schools often educate their students about healthy living and importance of exercise, Elev8 Oakland makes an effort to involve the whole family in successfully leading a healthier and more fitness-driven lifestyle. At the Madison Park Academy Elev8 Family Resource Center, parents have the opportunity to come in for walking and exercise along to a Zumba DVD, both during the school year and during the summer school program. They can also learn about other ways to stay healthy as supplements to their involvement at the Family Resource Center.

Linda Cardenas is a parent who participated in the daily exercise program and is an active volunteer. She shares her experiences with the program and how it has made her happier, healthier, and more involved in her daughter's academic and emotional life.

With Elev8, College Planning Starts in Middle School

Teaser: 
Middle school isn’t too soon to start thinking about college. That was the message of Ames Middle School’s first annual College and Career Day (Chicago), open to all Logan Square parents and students. Ten representatives from area colleges turned out for the May 15th event, capping off a year of Elev8 activities aimed at helping Ames families understand the range of college options and how to finance them. Activities included five college tours, financial aid workshops for parents and essay-writing workshops for students meant to simulate the college application process.

Elev8 Chicago Releases Brief on Community Schools and Data-Informed Decision Making

Teaser: 
Communities across the country are grappling with the challenge of preparing young people for a bright future, in an era of extremely tight resources. This brief summarizes some of the early lessons that have emerged from Elev8 Chicago's work, with a focus on our approach to evaluation and data-informed decision making. Our experience points to several insights about how to effectively evaluate and continuously improve community school initiatives - efforts that are critical as we strive to improve struggling schools and create conditions that allow young people to thrive.

Elev8 Chicago Student Shares Importance of Afterschool Program

Teaser: 
Brendan Aleman, an Elev8 student at Ames Middle School, participates in the Ames Peace and Leadership Council (PLC), to tackle issues in their school and community, learn leadership and team-building skills, and serve as advocates for students and their school.

Elev8 Chicago's Ames Middle School Hold Peace Assembly

Teaser: 
About 80 students at Ames Middle School in Logan Square participated in a student-led peace assembly yesterday afternoon in order to promote ways to diffuse violence and empathize with others who may have stressors in their lives that affect how they behave.

Elev8 Wins Department of Education Award

Teaser: 

The U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service have recognized Elev8 Baltimore and Elev8 Chicago as model school-community partnerships, as part of the Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge.

Elev8 Baltimore “Changing the Odds” for Students and Families

Teaser: 
Elev8 Baltimore's annual review, "Changing the Odds for Children, Youth and Families in East Baltimore," presents an overview of programming in the 2010-2011 school year, as well as profiles of individual students and families whose lives have been impacted by Elev8.

Elev8 Oakland Student Interns Focus on College and Careers

Teaser: 

This summer, as part of an internship spearheaded by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, five interns drawn from Coliseum College Prep, an Elev8 school, explored their career ambitions in innovative and exciting ways.

New Report from Chapin Hall Highlights Elev8’s Parent Engagement Work

Teaser: 
Drawing on its evaluation of Elev8 Chicago, Chapin Hall examines the efficacy of different parent engagement strategies and makes recommendations about how middle schools can effectively involve parents in their children’s education.

Elev8 Chicago Student Wins First Place in School Health Center Essay Contest

Teaser: 

Linda Taylor, a student from Perspectives Middle Academy, won first place for middle and elementary students in the IL Maternal & Child Health Coalition's recent school health essay contest. 

Elev8 School-Based Health Centers Make a Difference for Students and Families

Teaser: 

School-based health centers are an essential part of Elev8's integrated, full-service community school model. Across Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland and New Mexico, Elev8's health centers are helping families access much needed medical care, including assistance with obtaining insurance coverage.

“When My Children Needed a Doctor”

Teaser: 
Meet Deanita, an Oakland parent who fought to brings school-based healthcare to her children's school."

High School Students Praise Elev8’s Influence

Teaser: 

Elev8 Chicago has begun interviewing graduates to explore how their Elev8 experiences in middle school have impacted their high school careers. Meet Vanessa Perez, who says that Elev8 taught her to try new things- "You never know what you're missing"; Brianna Reed, who credits Elev8 with helping her develop "leadership qualities"; and Richlyn Whittaker, who grew into "a peacemaker... and national youth advocate," with Elev8's support.

Youth Recognized at Elev8 Oakland Awards and Celebration Dinner

Teaser: 
Elev8 Oakland celebrated its third annual Student Award Dinner Ceremony in May at the Mills College Campus. The event was held for over 300 students who successfully completed the required work in the Extended Academic Mentoring Program.

Elev8 Chicago Finds Lessons Don't Stop at Graduation

Teaser: 
In June 2010, Reavis Elementary in Bronzeville bid farewell to its 8th-grade graduates. More than a year later, most are still there-mentoring younger students, painting murals or just dropping by to help out.

Elev8 New Mexico College Fair Inspires Students to Plan for College and Careers

Teaser: 
On April 27, 2011, Elev8 students from Gadsden Middle School attended the school's first annual College Awareness Fair. In all, 800 students and their parents attended the event. The fair gave both students and parents initial contact with representatives of different colleges, let them get a broad feel for the programs they offer, and showed them what it takes to be admitted to college. The result: Students and parents learned that college is in fact within the students' reach.

Elev8 New Mexico Receives National Award for Learning Achievement

Teaser: 
Elev8 New Mexico was honored this summer with the Rookie of the Year Award from MicroSociety, a leading national nonprofit after-school organization, at its 18th Annual National Conference for Real World Learning.

Elev8's Computer Course: Bridging the Digital Divide

Teaser: 
A computer class at the Orozco Community Academy has quickly connected multiple generations of the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago.

Reavis Robotics Rocks!

Teaser: 

RoboticsThe Reavis robotics team brought home the "teamwork" award in the Chicago South regional tournament of Illinois’ First LEGO League. The award has special meaning at Reavis, where Elev8 programs have been teaching team building and related skills for two years. >>

Elev8 Chicago Celebrates Successful 2009

Teaser: 
Elev8 Chicago's 2009 accomplishments were many. All five schools  — Ames, Marquette, Orozco, Reavis and Perspectives – successfully followed the Elev8 recipe to help students and families grow. They opened health centers, developed engaging summer and extended-day programs, and enticed parents into their schools with classes, workshops and social events.

Math + Money = Music

Teaser: 

In a collaboration with Elev8 partners Creative Alliance and Kariz Kids, students at Tench Tilghman middle school in Baltimore produced their very own CD this fall. Students learned how to create original instrumentals, format and structure songs, operate recording software, as well as the business side of the music industry. >>

Food in Focus: An Elev8 New Mexico Photo Project

Teaser: 
Food in Focus Students from the Native American Community Academy, Grant Middle School and Wilson Middle School worked with their teachers, families, providers and  Elev8 staff to produce Food in Focus, a photography exhibit that appeared in the Rotunda of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque in December 2009.

The show offers a revealing look at how youth view themselves and their cultural identity through what they eat, how the food is prepared, and how this creates a close relationship within their families and communities. >>

Elev8 Cooks Up More Learning When School’s Out

Teaser: 
Some of Elev8’s after-school offerings bring classroom subjects to life. For example, Sisters4Science gives girls the chance to meet women in science-oriented careers. On one Tuesday in November, nine young women from Perspectives sat down and talked with Gladys Nash, a registered nurse and case manager of high-risk obstetrics for the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Healthy Demand At Marquette Health Center

Teaser: 

In its first three months, Marquette Elementary School’s new health center attracted twice as many clients as expected.

Parents love it,” said Meredith Casey, the nurse practitioner at the center, which is run by Access Community Health Network. “I think a lot of people are switching over here because they like the care that they’ve gotten, and they like the convenience.”

Extended Learning Program Helps Basketball Team

Teaser: 
Basketball at Wilson Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, is popular, but last year the team was forced to forfeit a number of games because too many of Wilson’s athletes had low grade-point averages.

Elev8 Chicago Goes Streetside With Health Fair, Art Show

Teaser: 
Elev8 Chicago is becoming fully rooted in all five of its middle schools with the opening of on-site community health centers.

Elev8 New Mexico Hip Hop Students Wow NMSU Audience

Teaser: 
On April 18, 2009, Elev8 New Mexico students gave an "off the hook" performance of rap and Hip Hop dance as part of the Soul Verse Open Stage at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, NM.

Students Learn Stay Cool When Tensions Heat Up

Teaser: 
Students at Ames Middle School in Chicago received important lessons in how to cool tensions and warm relationships as part of Elev8 Chicago's summer learning programs.

Elev8 Parents Get Lessons in Budgeting

Teaser: 
Elev8 New Mexico provided a much needed and timely support for families through its financial literacy program.

Elev8 School Based Health Center Steps Up to the Plate

Teaser: 
When a teacher at Gadsden Middle School, in New Mexico, noticed that Marcos, a 7th grade student, had been suffering from headaches and anxiety and his grades were dropping, the teacher sent him to the school's new Elev8 health center.

Reavis Students Showcase Afterschool Talents

Teaser: 
On a rainy spring evening at Reavis Elementary in Kenwood, the hallways were lit and bustling. Three seventh-grade girls in cheerleading outfits leapt and waved their pom-poms, shouting, “Hi, welcome to the showcase!”

Elev8 Chicago Parents Tour Field Museum

Teaser: 
As part of the growing relationship between the Field Museum of Natural History and the Elev8 program, nine parent mentors from Marquette Elementary School in Chicago Lawn recently participated in a special tour of the museum.

Elev8 Chicago Students 'Keep it Real'

Teaser: 
It’s not as if the 7th-graders at Perspectives-Calumet Middle School are strangers to street violence. But still, the man in front of their class a few weeks ago grabbed their attention in a way their teachers often don’t.

Sign up for our newsletter and get updates on Elev8 programs around the country.
 

On average, students’ GPAs drop a full letter grade between eighth and ninth grades. Students who experience this decline in GPA are by no means doomed to failure, especially if they live in neighborhoods where they can access support services. However, for students who are already struggling and lack access to help (a common scenario in low-income neighborhoods), a decline in grades during this transition makes it even harder to get on track toward graduation.
Learn More