Traveling north on the Lakeshore Trail, you may have noticed that at around 33rd Street the manicured lawn of the surrounding grass shifts to prairie grasses and shrubs. This marks one of the borders of the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, one of the Chicago Park District’s designated natural areas.
Two months ago, Englewood thirteen-year-old Tamya Fultz sparked a media flurry when she won first place in the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Academic Chess South Conference Playoffs, earning the epithet “Chess Queen of the South” from her math teacher and chess coach, Earle STEM Elementary School’s Joseph Ocol.
On a sunny July afternoon, four teenage girls are sitting around a table, walled off from the rest of the Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) by a green curtain. They are reading out lines from Macbeth but, despite all appearances, this isn’t summer school— it’s YOUmedia, one of the first Chicago Public Library programs devoted specifically to teenagers.