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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is A.C.E.S.?
    Athletes Committed to Educating Students (A.C.E.S.) is a tutoring/mentoring organization for inner-city youth that uses an interactive, sports-themed curriculum to enhance academic performance, particularly critical thinking and problem solving skills, and social development.

  2. What is the A.C.E.S Mission?
    Athletes Committed to Educating Students is dedicated to developing, from the heart of our inner cities, a new generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers through our unique sports-themed curriculum.

  3. When and where did the program begin?
    The program began in October of 1994 with a pilot program in Minneapolis. In 1995, A.C.E.S. expanded to Boston and St. Paul. In 1997, Chicago joined the A.C.E.S. family.

  4. What are the age groups of the Children you serve?
    Students join A.C.E.S in fourth grade and remain with the program until they graduate from high school. Each academic year a new fourth grade class of students school are added. Eventually, we will be working with students in grades 4-12 in each market.

  5. What types of children do you work with and how are they selected?
    A.C.E.S. serves under-privileged, inner-city children. Many of them come from single-parent homes and need extra attention and positive role models. A.C.E.S. looks for children who can succeed given additional academic and social support. Teachers select students based on four criteria: desire to learn; behind grade level; no participation in any illegal activity; and parents/caregivers must agree to be involved.

  6. How do the Athletes participate?
    Athletes lead an educational activity once per month. Before an athlete attends, the students read a grade-appropriate biography about the athlete, write interview questions, and work on a math or verbal assignment that will reflect the work to be done during the athlete session. The athlete attends the session and leads the students in a sports-related learning activity. Finally, the athlete autographs completed assignments. The only way students can earn an autograph is by completing their A.C.E.S. work. Should their schedules permit, athletes are encouraged to serve as weekly or drop-in tutors.

  7. Where do you find tutors/mentors?
    Tutors/mentors are recruited from area colleges and universities, businesses and community-based service organizations.

  8. Who are the A.C.E.S. Chicago Partners in Education?
    Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, White Sox and Wolves. Athletic departments at DePaul, Loyola, Northwestern, and University of Illinois at Chicago. Community organizations: Cabrini Connections and Communities in Schools.

  9. Where does funding come?
    The majority of funding comes from Chicago Public Schools, as well as, the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, White Sox and Wolves. We also depend on private donations from companies and individuals. A.C.E.S. is a registered 501 c (3) organization.

  10. How can I get involved?
    In order for A.C.E.S. to succeed we always need volunteer tutors/mentors. Tutors/mentors volunteer once a week for three hours in one of our three schools. We also have opportunities for guest activity leaders, associate board members, interns and Ameri Corps members.

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