We know that indigenous leaders best understand the challenges and dreams of their own community. Each summer, ZION’s Choppi Leadership Program trains neighborhood youth in principles of Christian community development and leadership. During this time, they learn hands-on construction skills and assist volunteer work groups that ZION hosts from all over the world. They also benefit from intense mentoring by ZION staff and college age supervisors. Education is vitally important to leadership, so ZION’s vision is to encourage Choppi participants to graduate from college and urge them to return to the neighborhood as leaders. We are establishing scholarship funds to ensure that these young leaders have the ability to go to college.
Communities are built from the ground up. Once people have jobs and can depend on secure housing, they can start thinking about the future. Registering to vote means having a voice in that future and becoming a citizen rather than just a resident. Communities benefit from informed, actively involved citizens, so ZION provides opportunities for voter registration. Communities also need places for people to gather. We aim to create welcoming spaces where our neighbors and the wider community will be comfortable. Together with RALM, ZION Development has been hosting community-wide conversations about issues of the day viewed ‘through the lens of faith.’ We are looking forward to holding future sessions in our bright, new space at Katie’s Cup coffee-bar and bookstore this summer.
Neighborhoods are stronger when people know each other and share their strengths. ZION is introducing a new resident driven tool called Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) to identify the skills, strengths and passions residents possess. With a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, residents are being trained to interview one another, discover their gifts and abilities and find ways to use them to build a better neighborhood. Respecting the gifts of our neighbors and using our own abilities to benefit the community enriches us all.
Building a community is hard work. It takes many hands, many skills and lots of commitment. At ZION, we value tremendously the skills and dedication of our board, our staff, our volunteers and our friends. We are all enriched and humbled by the many gifts you can bring to our mission and our neighborhood — your time, your talent, your treasure. If you are just learning about ZION Development, we invite you to join us in this most difficult, most important, most rewarding work. We challenge you to consider ways in which you can help.
CICS Patriots Rockford Charter School is a tuition-free elementary school serving grades K-4 in the fall of 2010, expanding to K-5 in 2011. CICS Patriots is an independent public school-of-choice that is highly accountable for student achievement, and committed to fostering a partnership between parents, teachers, and students.
CICS Patriots, Rockford Charter School
615 South Fifth Street
Rockford, IL 61104
- No interviews or test score requirements for admission
- Open to all School District 205 residents
- Transportation provided by the Rockford School District in accordance with district busing policy
- Midway Village Museum, Zion Development receive first Lundin preservation grants
- LSA consulting helps ZION Development realign grassroots community engagement to large-scale community redevelopment
- Ribbon Cutting for Katie’s Cup Coffeebar
- ZION Development's Sixth Annual Doors of Rockford Art Show and Auction
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