Get involved with local schools now

To the Editor:

Now is the time. Now is the time to get involved in the Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council (CAC). There is so much going on that directly affects our schools. Now is the time to give what you can, however that looks — simply attending a monthly meeting, applying for membership, joining a committee, running for leadership. Investing in our neighborhood schools results in more than increased property values. Our schools are the foundation of our future and the bridge through which we tackle other social issues. The Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council is young but it is strong. Now is the time to jump on board and recommit your energies for the betterment of our children and their education.

I have helped lead the CAC for the last three months. I am consistently impressed with the individuals and organizations in our neighborhood who have invested in conversations, brainstorms, planning, and research, all in the interest of our children. It has been an honor to work with Denise Hill, LaKeisha Hamilton and Jeffrey Alstadt as the interim leadership team of the CAC.

I will not continue to lead, however, because of a new job that has new demands on top of my family needs. I will continue to serve as a CAC member to work towards a vision for our neighborhood schools as an educator in the classroom. All of us have demands and commitments and I truly believe that we all do whatever we can to make things happen on many advocacy fronts. Thank you to all who have already put in any time to get the CAC up and rolling and to anyone who works to support our schools in any aspect. I am continually encouraged and energized by my experiences with the CAC and strongly urge others to step up and lead.

The CAC is holding elections at the June 25th meeting. Now is the time to put all of our rhetoric to use and our philosophies to practice. Run for office. Encourage other leaders in our community to run. Look for information on our blog or e-mail the CAC for more information at or

Due to work being done at Kenwood Academy, our next monthly meeting will have a different location. The next Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council monthly meeting will be held at the Hyde Park Art Center in The Beast, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with elections for the leadership team (two co-chairs and two co-secretaries). The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Parking is limited but consider parking at Kenwood Academy and walking east to Cornell. The Beast is an architectural installation that is described as “part carcass, part cathedral” that incorporates furniture from CPS schools. We are very fortunate to have such an appropriate and interesting space in which to meet.

Let’s continue this collaboration and community investment. The stakes are high. Our children need the CAC to continue to be successful. Now is the time.

Kristy Ulrich Papczun
Interim Co-Chair, Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council