Throughout December, Busy Beaver has donated 10% of each week’s sales to organizations working in Chicago that the Beaver staff is passionate about. For the final week of the month, our Production Shift Lead, Carrie Vinarsky, selected Citizen Schools, an organization she taught for earlier this year.
Citizen Schools pairs volunteer “Citizen Teachers” with middle school students in low-income neighborhoods to lead apprenticeships in the teacher’s area of expertise. The students are exposed to professionals who are knowledgeable and passionate about their field, and get to engage in real-world experiences outside of the classroom. Students who participate in Citizen Schools go on to earn better grades and are less likely to have attendance problems, in addition to being exposed to a wider world of possibilities for their future careers.
A talented illustrator and print artist, Carrie helped lead a comics workshop for students at Cesar Chavez Multicultural Academic Center in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. She said, “My teaching partner and I lead our students through the process of making a comic and publishing their own zine. We introduced a new drawing concept each week and brought in special guests that were teachers, illustrators, community print shop presidents, etc. Citizen Schools provided us with the framework and support we needed to come into the school and create our own class. I believe that even if none of our students go on to draw or be interested in comics afterwards, our program gave them an extra two hours after school to be introduced to things they would have never seen or heard of otherwise.”
Through the end of the month, 10% of Busy Beaver’s sales will go directly to support the good work that Citizen Schools is doing for students in Chicago. For more info on their programs, visit Citizen Schools online.