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Teens work toward educational equality

Homestead High School student Chandlar Strauss poses with students while tutoring at Milwaukee College Prep.

Homestead High School student Chandlar Strauss poses with students while tutoring at Milwaukee College Prep.

May 28, 2014

Whitefish Bay — Chandlar Strauss and Danielle Fleming attend top suburban high schools, but their efforts are focused on the central city.

Strauss, a student at Homestead High School, and Fleming, from Whitefish Bay High School, recently became aware about the educational challenges in Milwaukee. They were motivated to action after hearing statistics that only 55 percent of Milwaukee Public School students will graduate with a high school degree, 12 percent will be able to read at their current grade level and 8 percent of those who graduate will go on to college.

"Danielle and I understand that this is not just an adult problem, but one that involves us, our peers and our future," Strauss said.

The two girls tutor at Milwaukee College Prep every Tuesday, but felt the need to do more. They formed a nonprofit organization called Kids4Kids, which is focused on creating awareness, raising money and building relationships. They aim to organize a yearly fundraiser.

Their first project is organizing a formal dance for 270 high school students Friday at Rail Hall. The event will have food, dancing and a presentation to educate suburban teens on the educational challenges facing Milwaukee.

The dance will raise funds for Milwaukee College Prep and Schools That Can Milwaukee, a nonprofit with a goal to get 20,000 central city students into high-performing schools by 2020. The organization supports 3,200 kids in six high-performing schools. They also work with 33 schools serving 14,000 students in high-potential schools, working to transition them into high-performing schools.

"This will be an occasion for us to educate our peers about what is happening in our central city," Strauss said in an email. "This will be a great opportunity to recruit suburban high school students to help further the tutoring and mentoring relationships with grade school urban students."

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