Chicago Lights Tutoring

Chicago Lights Tutoring dates to 1964, when a group of Fourth Church members gathered once a week to tutor children from the Cabrini-Green housing projects. The program has been operated continuously since then and has grown to serve 400 students a year.

Committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through academic and emotional support for students from low-income families, Tutoring helps these children and youth improve their academic performance, stay in school through high school graduation, prepare for higher education and meaningful careers, and expand leadership and social skills.

Children in grades one through twelve, from the Near North, West Town, and Humboldt Park neighborhoods, come to Fourth Church for weekly one-to-one tutoring sessions with volunteer tutors/mentors. Healthy meals, creative enrichment activities, computer lab access, job training opportunities, internships, scholarships, and literacy activities are key components of the program, which operates four evenings a week during the school year.

Tutoring students entering ninth grade are given opportunity to apply to be Ferguson Fellows through a program, funded by the Dana Ferguson Myers Memorial Education Fund, that provides financial assistance and other educational tools to encourage successful completion of ninth grade.

To learn how you can become a Tutoring volunteer, click here.


New Volunteer Orientation

The 2014–2015 Tutoring year is in full swing, and we’re looking for volunteers! Please attend one of our New Volunteer Orientation sessions to learn about the program and how to become a permanent or substitute tutor. 

New Volunteer Orientation Sessions
Thursday, November 13, 6:007:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 11, 6:007:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 8, 6:007:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 5, 6:007:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 5, 6:007:00 p.m.

During the orientation session, Tutoring staff will provide volunteers with information regarding the history of the program and the children it serves, the various programs and classes offered to students and tutors, the volunteer opportunities available, and how one is matched with a student.  

RSVP for an orientation session online here.


Tutoring News and Photos

Off of Rough Streets, Into a Haven for Learning
October 9, 2014
Bob Greene | The Wall Street Journal

A Child’s Future Is Your Reward
September 6, 1988
Bob Greene | Chicago Tribune

Congratulations to the 2012–2013 Ferguson Fellows | October 14, 2012

Christmas Wishes 2011 | December 2011

More information about Chicago Lights Tutoring is available on the the Chicago Lights website or by contacting Alex Cornwell, Director of Tutoring and Summer Day.