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Ames Military School Opposition to be a Focus of Neighborhood Congress

LOGAN SQUARE — Residents and community organizers say they’llcontinue to publicly standagainst a recent Board of Education decision to convert Ames Middle School into a military academy.

The 52nd Logan Square Neighborhood Association Congress will convene Tuesday night at Funston Elementary, 2010 N. Central Ave., where association members will pledge their support for efforts to register 2,000 voters, according to organizers.

“It’s another way to keep politicians on their feet and tell them we have power and we can do a lot — especially when we have the support of the community,” said Jennifer Valasquez, 19, a youth organizer with the association and former Kelvyn Park High School student. “We did the same thing when we wanted Ames to have the referendum on the ballot.”

The Chicago Board of Education hasn’t budged on its plans, approved in December, to convert Ames to a Marine Leadership Academy despite the March advisory referendum — during which two out of three voters in the eight precincts surrounding Ames said they wanted Ames to remain a neighborhood school and not be converted into a military academy.

Leaders of the neighborhood association expect three aldermen and more than 500 community members from 50 community groups to join them for the event from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday.

At 7:15 p.m., the People’s Orchestra’s Bucket Band from Ames will lead the gathered crowd on a march along Armitage Avenue for a candlelight vigil in front of the school, organizers said.

Organizers said they also will ask the school board to make public its plans for Kelvyn Park High School next year. The congress will also highlight immigration and housing justice issues in Logan Square.

Keywords: Ames, Ames Middle School, Ames School, Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools, community school, Congress, CPS, Funston, Jennifer Velasquez, Kelvyn Park, Kelvyn Park High School, KPHS, lsna, LSNA Congress, march, military academy, parents, students, youth

Posted in Parent Engagement, Youth, Education, LSNA in the Media