- Oglesby Elementary
Friend of the Food Chain Dakota Prosch teaches fourth grade at Oglesby Elementary in Auburn-Gresham. Oglesby, the only CPS neighborhood Montessori program in the city, is in a video competition with four other schools across the country for thousands of dollars from FedEx to help fund various educational projects. The program is specifically targeted at Teach for America alumni, which Prosch is, who still teach at low-income Title I schools, which Oglesby is also. “All of our students receive free lunch and breakfast,” she says.
There’s an arts enrichment program in the running, a science lab, and a library, but Oglesby deserves your vote not just because they’re the home team, but because they want to build a community garden in the empty lot in front of the school, in which they plan to install 15 to 20 raised family plots, a greenhouse, beehives, chicken coops, fruit tees, and a composting program.
“I just racked my brain and thought, ‘What do we need?” says Prosch. “We’re in a food desert and have a lack of nutritious, healthy food. There’s a huge field and it’s unused. There are a ton of unemployed parents, so there’s an opportunity for them to work. I’m hoping we’ll be able to put all that together with the volunteers we have.”
The first-place video wins $25,000 to make its project happen. Second place gets $10,000, third gets $5,000, the rest get bubkes. Currently Oglesby is in third. All you do need to do is go here and cast a vote on the Twitter or Facebook icons to bring that corporate dollar to the south side—and you need to do it by December 27. Meanwhile, here’s the Oglesby video: