Children & Teachers
Children & Teachers Foundation of the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation
The Children & Teachers Foundation’s mission is to develop networks that advance education for students, advocate for teachers and resource underserved communities. In 2014, the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation (CTUF) reorganized, established the Children & Teachers Foundation (CTF) of the Chicago Teachers Union, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization that houses the Quest Center. Now in its 27th year, the Quest Center has extended learning opportunities to improve teachers’ professional growth and students’ performance through professional development and the Nurturing Teacher Leadership Institute (NTL). The NTL has a 94% success rate contributing to Chicago Public Schools system having the third highest number of Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers of any school district in the nation. The Quest Center professional development includes innovative program offerings like Restorative Practices, Trauma-Informed, Critical Race Theory, Cultural Competence, and recertification courses and many more.
Currently, the Children & Teachers Foundation is in partnership with Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park providing professional development to help build a positive school culture of respect and rapport, and enhance relational trust among staff. The CTF has strong partnerships and affiliations with organizations committed to youth development and system change like the Safe Schools Consortium (SSC). The SSC is a unique collaboration of three partner organizations: Alternatives, Inc., Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center, and Voices of the Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE). This unique collaborative aimed at reforming school discipline approaches (e.g., restorative practices) that address behavioral problems without pushing students out of school which adds to the school to prison pipeline. Through the SSC, a custom Teacher’s Guide to Building a Restorative Classroom was developed. This guide aligns with CPS Framework for Teaching and is a resource for educators to use in their classrooms for carrying out successful restorative practices.
The CTF has a long-standing relationship with ACCA. Our goal is to expand our services to school wide approach to restorative practices. This grant will allow us to put into action restorative practices in a community plagued by violence. “Creating a restorative school culture is transformative because students are able to engage in the process of redressing harm, discipline becomes focused on rebuilding and strengthening relationships, and students develop essential social-emotional and academic skills that are transferable and beneficial beyond the school setting.”-Walter Taylor, NBCT, Director of Professional Development at the Quest Center (Alternatives, Inc., 2017).