TEEN TOWN HALLS + WORKSHOP
Sacred Ground hosts two annual Teen Town Hall meetings and workshops for the entire student body at Hirsch High School. Our goal is to give students a voice and let students know that we are listening to, and care for, their concerns.
Our 2015 Town Hall, "Dreams Come True," paired students with panelists to dicuss how dreams come true. Students were allowed to write their dreams down on a card and then participated in a Q&A with panelists. They then broke out into workshops. Panelists then set up in classrooms to address the student individually.
Sponsors have included Illinois Worknet Center, Becoming A Man (BAM), My Dream Entertainment Productions, National Action Network (NAN), and the State's Attorney's Office.
Sacred Ground has organized teacher's appreciation week for the last three years at Hirsch High School. This spectacular week gives us an opportunity to express our appreciation for the teachers, in an attempt to build a relationship with teachers and staff. We want them to feel secure with our presence and to let them know how much they are needed and appreciated. This project gives us an opportunity to celebrate them with a continental breakfast, flowers, gifts, lunch, and on the last day, an appreciation cake.
TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK
Sacred Ground hosts an annual Parent Forum. Parents gather in a wrap session to have their needs assessed and participate in team building activities, complete with refreshments and gift giveaways. The forum is designed to get parents' input and provide schools with information to better meet parent's needs.
Past forums have focused on parents’ desired changes for Hirsch High School and ideas for how they might contribute to those changes; suggestions for better relationship with teachers; interest in a greater access to teachers; discussion on the effect of violence in their lives; needs for stress release; and adult mentoring. We also provide volunteer packets for those interested in becoming school volunteers.
STUDENT COUNCIL ELECTIONS
Sacred Ground mentors our Hirsch High School students to become leaders in their student governments. Volunteers work with them to support their vision for improving their schools and working with their peers by campaigning for student council positions. By working with students to develop their vision, we are building a new generation of leaders that we need to guide and empower our communities.
Sacred Ground Ministries hosts an annual back to school "peace and prayer" march. Families, children, and people from all over the Grand-Crossing neighborhood come together to take a stand against gun violence.
Sacred Ground believes that this attack on our community is an act of spiritual warfare that cannot and will not be won in the natural realm alone. Using the fruit of the Spirit, people of all ages, we prayed and planted seeds of love for the entire school year. We prayed for what we could become and celebrated our community in . By coming together, we promised to continue to put our arms around our children by mentoring, tutoring and supporting our communities.
Sacred Ground partners with Hirsch High School's incoming freshmen and their parents to experience their high school orientation. Parents, teachers, and Sacred Ground volunteers travel with students to downtown Chicago. Riding a double-decker bus through downtown Chicago, students visited Columbia College and the Library of the Chicago Cultural Center.
Our orientation gives freshmen a chance to look ahead to college life and start developing a mindset of success. We will continue to expose our students to opportunities, education, and skills by exposing them to the world around them.
Sacred Ground hosts parent appreciation days during report card pick up. We inform parents about our partnership with Hirsch High School. We encourage parents to get involved through their Local School Council or Parent Action Council. We also appreciate parents with snacks, gift cards, and important information that could be value to their lives.
COVID-19 COMMUNITY FOOD DRIVES
Since 2020, Sacred Ground Ministries has hosted community food drives at Hirsch High School, Tilden High School, and other community partners to address food insecurity in the community that has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sacred Ground has distributed over 3,000 meals to families in the Grand Crossing community since the pandemic. Sacred Ground has worked with the Chicago Food Depository, DOT Foods, Midwest Foods, local churches, and the Touch Gift Foundation to help the community's hardest hit families who are struggling to feed their children. Our trusted relationship with CPS allows us to distribute food on school grounds, making it convenient for community members to receive fresh groceries, non-perishables, and other food items.
BACK TO SCHOOL "PEACE AND PRAYER" MARCH