Going Above and Beyond: The Safe Passage Program in Humboldt Park
By Michael Kurshan-Emmer
The 2015-2016 school year has begun and with it, the staff of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Safe Passage Program is once again prepared to make sure students in the area have a safe and secure walk to school. This year, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is the CPS vendor for five schools, which fall within the network of Community As A Campus. Roberto Clemente Community Academy, José De Diego Community Academy, Wells Community Academy High School, Chicago High School for the Arts, and Frederic Chopin are all staffed by Safe Passage Community Watchers employed by the PRCC. These selfless individuals work together as a team, and in addition to looking out for the children in the neighborhood as they make their way to and from school, they also interactively represent the communities of Humboldt Park/West Town that they work and live in. Going above and beyond, the Safe Passage Community Watchers not only do what is expected of them from CPS, but also take the community into their own hands, getting to know students and fostering and strengthening positive relationships in Humboldt Park.
Of course none of this would be possible without the amazing support the Safe Passage Program has received from the principals and staff of all five schools who have been consistently engaged and supportive of the Safe Passage Program and its participants.
As the PRCC returns for a second year as vendor for the Safe Passage Program, we look forward to a safe and successful year for all the students in the five schools represented, as well as for a motivating, safe, and supportive year for the Safe Passage Community Watchers.