November 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 7 
Cover Story

A shot at success

Boeing-supported organizations help Chicago kids, teachers


On West Madison Street in Chicago, you'll find the United Center, the arena where crowds have flocked to watch sports luminaries such as basketball great Michael Jordan. A few blocks away on the city's West Side, a traditionally underserved community, is Dodge Renaissance Academy, a public school serving kindergarten through 8th grade students.

Helping give the kids there a winning shot is Boeing's support for two nonprofit organizations that help develop better Chicago Public School teachers and principals: The Academy for Urban School Leadership and New Leaders for New Schools.

Boeing was AUSL's first major corporate investor and continues to be among the largest program donors. AUSL enables midcareer professionals and recent college graduates to participate in a 12-month teacher-training program. At Dodge Academy, there are 18 AUSL residents, each partnered with a teacher to master the craft of teaching and classroom management.

New Leaders for New Schools, meanwhile, is committed to developing a national corps of urban-school principals, with the overall goal of increasing academic achievement for all students. As a dedicated funding partner, Boeing has played an integral role in the New Leaders program's first three years of success in Chicago. In fact, Jarvis Sanford, Dodge Academy's principal, is a product of the New Leaders program.

As part of Boeing's community investment commitment, AUSL and New Leaders fit the company's educational strategy to support systematic improvement in school systems, concentrating on school-leadership development.

"Investing in education is part of Boeing's historic fabric. Our corporate role in the community isn't about generating revenue, it's about building strong communities, strong countries," said Anne Roosevelt, Community and Education Relations director for Boeing in Chicago and an AUSL board member.

By all accounts, Dodge Academy is a success. Previously, the city of Chicago closed the school because of low student performance. In partnership with AUSL, the city reopened Dodge in 2003. Since its reinstatement and reorganized leadership operation, students' test scores have increased.

"Boeing's ongoing investment in human capital enables AUSL to train more preservice teachers, [ultimately] increasing the number of children in the city who are taught by highly qualified teachers," said Don Feinstein, AUSL executive director.

Boeing has "adopted" Dodge both in financial support of these two organizations and in dedicating employee volunteerism, executive mentorship and direct donations. Dodge Academy is the beneficiary of the 2005 Books and Backpacks drive at Boeing World Headquarters in Chicago. And in a community-service project last summer, Boeing volunteers painted areas of Dodge Academy and organized its library.

Involvement in these various efforts are part of a plan designed to maximize Boeing's impact on the Chicago area,
Roosevelt said.

"Our approach is to seek out opportunities where we can apply multiple Boeing resources, including employee volunteerism, to those nonprofit organizations with whom we already have a relationship on the corporate giving side, and vice versa," she said. "Coordinating and integrating our community involvement efforts in this way allows us to have a greater impact than our cash resources alone would allow."

Just as New Leaders opened doors for Dodge Academy Principal Sanford, Boeing has focused its commitment to helping kids gain a better education and a better shot in life. "Teachers and students are very, very appreciative of Boeing's outreach," Sanford said.


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