Men Making A Difference (MMAD Men) will hold a free summer gardening/ youth recreation summer program for twenty 7-14 year-olds in North Lawndale. These youth will be supervised by two college-age Youth Supervisors and five high school age Mentors. MMAD Men will provide this free program for five hours per day, five days per week in a vacant city-owned lot. The campers will be taught gardening, construction, and painting while they beautify the lot and create a public community space. Two days per week, the youth will work in other community gardens taught by a local Master Gardener. Meals will be provided daily on the site. There will be a weekly 90-minute literacy program, with books and reading time provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. The program will also include weekly field trips so that the youth can learn and experience new places outside of the community. Planned field trips include Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, Navy Pier Children’s Museum, a water park, and MLK skating rink and bowling alley.
The vacant lot site will also be used for movie screenings for the community and other gatherings. In addition, on Saturdays, breakfast is prepared and distributed to the community on the site. Peace Circles are also conducted on Saturday mornings before and after breakfast.
Funded by Chicago, IL (June 2021)