The Connector

February 2020

Community Schools Initiative (CSI)

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) manages the largest community schools system in the nation, known as the Community Schools Initiative (CSI). Awarded by the Coalition for Community Schools in 2006 with the Community Schools National Award for Excellence, CSI has launched more than 200 schools, in partnership with nearly 50 lead non-profit organizations, that serve as hubs of their communities to meet students' and families' academic and non-academic needs to develop educated citizens and strengthen local neighborhoods.

Community Schools bring together the academic and social supports needed to ensure that all students succeed by offering programs before, during and after the school day for students and their families. The programs are designed to support the school's academic program and expand the services offered within the community. Programs and services offered at each community school vary, but most community schools offer some combination of academic enrichment activities for students, adult education and English as a Second Language classes, student and adult technology training, art activities, recreation and health services. For more information about CSI Programming at Tilden CCA, contact Mr. Finney at

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SY19-20 CSI Program Schedule @ Tilden CCA

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Student Spotlight

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Tilden Media Mural by Evelyn M.

Hello my name is Evelyn. I'm from the Brighton Park community in Chicago and I'm in my senior year at Tilden Career Community high school. What inspired me to create the ''Tilden Media" mural for my school are the many murals and inspiring art pieces around the neighborhoods that I pass by everyday when walking to school and other places around the city. The different artwork really stood out to me so I wanted to create my own mural that involves our school media program because we love to capture the best experiences and events that take place at our school. This is the first mural that I have ever completed. When I was little I started by painting, sketching and doodling on paper. I was more used to drawing and painting on paper but now that I'm in my last year of high school, I have decided to do something challenging before I graduate. I want to leave a legacy with my school.

It all began with my grandmother, I thank her because she is an artist too and she gave me some knowledge about art. She used to draw portraits of famous celebrities and of our family members. My grandmother never shared her talents with the world and I want to share my art because I believe that no talent gets left behind. I also want to show and prove that I really want to be an artist just like my grandmother. I've never participated in creating an artistic project and It is truly an honor to paint for my school and I hope to continue painting in my future. After high school I will be attending Columbia College Chicago to gain more experience and knowledge on how to become a professional artist to share my artwork with the world.

My three favorite things about Tilden are my teachers, the media program and the after school programs. I love that my teachers have my back and that they will never let me fall behind on what I need to get done. The second thing that I like is when people get me involved with things that I'm interested in. For example Mr. Finney asked me to think about what design to paint on the wall outside of the media room (thanks for putting me out there and sharing my art for the world to see). The third thing that I like is the after school programs. I like Tilden Tv and Radio because it gives you the experience to express what or who you want to be in your future. Rappers, singers, song writers, photographers and especially artists can express their talents. If you would like to check out more of my artwork, please follow me on Instagram @EvelynMurillo.