ELEV8 is our curriculum program geared toward uniting schools, families and community partners, while helping all students succeed in middle school and beyond. Our ELEV8 program is conducted at:

William Claude Reavis Elementary School

834 East 50th Street
Chicago, IL. 60615

Quad Communities Development Corporation

Scott Witherspoon – Program Director (773) 268-7232

QCDC’s Team at Reavis Coordinates Monthly Dental Screenings for Reavis Students

Students at Reavis receive monthly visits from the mobile dental van, which address oral hygiene needs. Services vary from routine cleanings, to the more intensive root canal. Each appointment is about 45 minutes long and includes a complete evaluation of the student’s current dental state. Individual students are seen in subsequent months to complete necessary treatment if unable to complete during one visit.  These services are possible through our partnership with Advocate HealthCare.

The dental van last visited Reavis on Feb. 7th, and a total of six students received treatment.

Extended Day Framework…Project Based Learning

Our Out of School Time (OST) program will be based on the Project Based Learning (PBL) model. In this program students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student “voice and choice,”  projects and activities are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products and presentations. To help guide this process student will participate in 4 core program areas utilizing the PBL model throughout.

OST/Group Process: Student groups will daily investigate real world questions that they choose from a broad thematic framework. This process complements traditional instruction by providing a vehicle for extending and applying the learning of students in a way that connects with their interests within a broader thematic framework. Students acquire and analyze information, develop and support propositions, provide solutions, and design technology and arts products that demonstrate their thinking and make their learning visible.

Click here for the Reavis School Newsletter! (pdf)

Created by the K.I.P. Photography Club

QCDC Out-of-School Time Staff Coordinated Science Enrichment Outing for Reavis Students.

As the lead community partner at Reavis Science & Math Specialty School, QCDC coordinates all enrichment and supportive activities for students and families. On January 13, 2014, we kicked off the Science Club, providing additional support for students focusing on Science concepts and activities. There are two (2) groups of students: first through third graders and fourth and fifth graders. The Science Club meets for one hour, three (3) days a week before school.  The first through third graders will explore Robotics with the use of Lego Education, and the fourth through fifth graders will gain a better understanding of scientific inquiry through engagement in hands on projects and activities. The clubs will be in session until the end of the school year.

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The Out of School Time Program at Reavis Math & Science Specialty School hosted a Family Literacy Night on November 21, 2013. The night included parents and students enrolled in the Elev8 and 21st CCLC afterschool program engaged in literacy activities such as Literacy Games (such as sight word bingo), Read A Louds, Create Your Own Book, and Poetry.

The Reavis Peace and Leadership Council is a diverse group of students who range from 6th grade to 8th grade. Each student come from different areas around Chicago and bring a unique skill to the group. We have met since October of this year and worked on three issues in our school, lunch food, uniform policy and bullying. Click here for an overview.

The QCDC Team at Reavis Math & Science Specialty took the middle school students on an interactive learning experience to the Chicago Bulls/Sox Academy located in Lisle, Illinois.

The students were exposed and engaged in a presentation and physical activities that focused on the importance of healthy eating and proper exercise. In the healthy eating segment the students learned about proper portions and number of servings recommended, as well as the impact of diet on the body.

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On Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Reavis robotics team brought home one of the five top awards in the Chicago South regional tournament of Illinois’ First LEGO League, held in December.

The First LEGO League (FLL) is an international organization promoting science and technology for youth through robotics competition and related research. FLL teams compete for awards in five categories; Reavis won in the Teamwork category.

“I couldn’t have been more proud,” said coach Jenny DeLessio-Parson. The award had special meaning at Reavis, where LISC/Chicago’s Elev8 programs have been teaching team-building and related skills for two years.

FLL’s 2009 competition theme was “Smart Move,” focusing on safe, effective and sustainable transportation. Reavis students researched CTA bus safety by surveying their peers. Survey data indicated violence at the bus stop is a problem, and they created a flyer to promote more neighborhood watches in the community as a possible solution.

For the robotics competition, Reavis students worked together to build a robot from LEGO pieces, motors and sensors. Using a computer programming system, they programmed the robot to complete various “missions”— tasks like raising a lever or moving an object from one point to another.

“I’m glad that they were able to learn a few things about robots, research, and technology, but I’m also thrilled that they bonded so well as a team,” said DeLessio-Parson.

CCLC 21st Century Community Learning Center LOI (Letter of Intent)

Intent for possible funding

Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) has written Letter of Intent to apply for

FY 2012 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant funds.  QCDC will be working together with Area 15, Cluster 5 Office from the Chicago Public Schools.  Syda Taylor, Elev8 Director over Q.U.A.D. Programs –Quest for Urban Achievement & Dreams will be working with partnering schools mentioned below.  Please contact her with any questions in regards to 21st CCLC at 312.371.7036 or

Partnering schools

-        Florence B. Price Elementary – 4351 S. Drexel, Chicago IL. 60653

-        Jackie Robinson Elementary – 4225 S. Lake Park Chicago IL 60653

-        William Claude Reavis Elementary -834 E. 50th Street, Chicago IL 60615

 21st CCLC summary

For more information please go to

 Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, authorizes the establishment of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC). The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers that:

 • Provide academic and enrichment opportunities for children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 (Pk-12), particularly those students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, to meet State and local student academic achievement standards in core academic subjects. Core Academic Subjects: include English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography;

 • Offer academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families. Student activities must be provided during non-school hours (before or after school) or periods when school is not in session (including holidays, weekends, or summer recess). Family activities, however, are not restricted to non-school hours and may take place at any time;

• Offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic programs of participating students. Activities may include youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, and recreation programs, technology education programs, and character education programs; and

• Offer literacy and related educational services to the families of participating children.

For Immediate Release           
October 16, 2012      
Elev8 Baltimore and Chicago Schools
Win Department of Education Award
Elev8 Picked as a Model School-Community Partnership 
As Part of Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Program
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recognized two sites with Elev8 schools, Chicago and Baltimore, as Together for Tomorrow (TFT) School Improvement Champions on Monday, October 15, in an event held at the Department.  

Elev8 was one of 24 initiatives named as Together for Tomorrow Challenge Champions. This first-time award was given to schools, educational programs and organizations that met Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge’s criteria for community school models that propel improvement in low-performing schools. An additional seven demonstration sites operating as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA program through CNCS were recognized.

“When it comes to turning around low-performing schools, the Department’s investments and the work of schools and districts are only part of the solution,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who presented the awards. “Our schools need community engagement to support and sustain school improvement. The Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Champions we recognize today have made model commitments to help foster partnerships, propel school improvement, and produce better outcomes for students. To sustain change over the long haul, nothing is more important.”

Elev8 was represented by Nicole A. Johnson, Senior Director, Elev8 Baltimore; Syda Segovia Taylor, Director, Elev8 Chicago; Mark Carter, Program Director, Elev8 Baltimore; and Carlos Nelson, Executive Director of Chicago’s Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp.

The two sites with Elev8 schools won in the Showcase category for existing initiatives. The award recognized Elev8 as one of America’s best existing and emerging school-community partnerships working to raise student achievement in our lowest-performing schools. A panel of staff at the Department of Education, the White House and CNCS judged the winners of the challenge.

“Time after time, we have seen how committed parents and community volunteers can make a powerful difference in the educational outcomes of our students,” said Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer. “Today we shine the spotlight on 31 initiatives that are bringing together citizens and communities to help young people achieve their best in school and prepare for success in life.”

Elev8 is a full-service community school model that unites schools, families and other community partners to provide an array of services to help students succeed. The initiative focuses on four elements linked to achievement and success: extended-day learning, family and community support services, school-based health care, and family and community engagement.  Elev8 was launched in 2007 as a full-service community school model with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. There are Elev8 schools in Baltimore, Chicago, New Mexico and Oakland.

“Elev8 is a model for what can be achieved when communities come together to improve the outcomes for students and families,” said Stephen McConnell, Country Director for U.S. Programmes at The Atlantic Philanthropies. “We congratulate the Baltimore and Chicago Elev8 schools for this significant recognition of the positive impact they have had in their communities.”

The Baltimore and Chicago Elev8 schools were recognized as TFT Champions for the 2012-13 school year in part for the following work:   

  • Elev8 Baltimore is an after-school, health and family support initiative operating in four neighborhood schools in East Baltimore. The initiative aims to provide learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom and offers a variety of support and resources to promote economic stability, good health and continuing education, including school-based health centers. A key to the initiative’s success has been coordinating and collaborating with communities and the city. One such effort, for example, involves partnering with Humanim, a community-based organization specializing in workforce development, to provide case management and job training supports to parents and caregivers, at the school sites. These and other efforts to strengthen partnerships were a major component of the TFT Challenge.
  • Elev8 Chicago is an after-school, health and family-support initiative in five middle grade schools in underserved areas of Chicago. Elev8 Chicago offers learning opportunities outside school hours, school-based health and family support initiatives, mentoring and leadership programs, and capacity-building for students, parents and community members.  Part of the TFT Challenge called for building capacity to work together to strengthen partnerships. Elev8 Chicago did this by linking each of the five Chicago public middle schools in the program with a key community organization in each neighborhood. They in turn developed relationships with representatives from Chicago Public Schools, health and student services, and local youth development partners.

In addition to the receiving the award, TFT is committed to helping Elev8 Baltimore and Elev8 Chicago expand efforts to help turn around the lowest-performing schools through measureable student outcomes such as attendance, behavior, course performance and college access. 


Based on the expectation that the coordinated delivery of learning, health and family supports with a school is more likely to foster lasting change in the lives of disadvantaged children than providing any one of them in isolation, Elev8 Baltimore is the local arm of a national initiative developed and funded primarily by The Atlantic Philanthropies. In Baltimore, the program is supported by East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI), the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Institutions, the Baltimore Community Foundation, the Goldseker Foundation and other partners.Elev8 Baltimore began site-based operations in August 2009 in four schools in East Baltimore: Collington Square School of the Arts, Dr. Rayner Browne Academy, East Baltimore Community School and Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle.

Elev8 Chicago is led by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Chicago office (LISC Chicago).  Elev8 Chicago operates in five schools: Ames Middle School, Marquette Elementary School, Orozco AcademyFine, Perspectives Middle Academy, and Reavis Elementary School.

A total of 80 plus people turned out for the Family Night event. As part of the event there was a live cooking demo (and taste sampling) with Chef David Blackmon, former executive chef of Blu 47 restaurant that was located in Bronzeville on 47th and King Dr. Chef Blackmon is currently the program coordinator of the Agricultural education, culinary arts and hospitality program for CPS. Nurse Alecia Jefferson from Near North Health Corporation set up a station where she was administering B.M.I. evaluations.  A new member to our team, Cliff Moore–that teaches the Junior Achievement class–is also a personal trainer, ha facilitated mini workout sessions for guests.  We served  healthier refreshments, e.g. fresh fruits and a cheese platter and Tsadakeeyah ( Elev8’s culinary arts instructor) prepared a Hibiscus tea( a.k.a Sorrel), served delicious bite sized sweet potato cakes with collard greens and a cranberry relish, literature was placed near our refreshment table on the benefits of eating right. 


The Mikva Challenge

Safety, Health, Recreation, Employment and Education

The Southside Community Art Center 

3831 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL. 60653