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Applications from Evanston youths as young as 14 are being accepted now for jobs ranging from tutoring elementary school kids to setting up Chromebooks for incoming ninth graders.

The ABC Boosters program is looking for 14- and 15-year-olds to read to children who are due to enter kindergarten in the fall but are not quite kindergarten-ready. 

The program is sponsored by the Evanston Public Library and offered at the JEH Early Childhood Center, Family Focus and Fleetwood-Jourdain.

Each year, teachers identify pre-schoolers who could benefit from extra coaching. During the five-week program, which is offered in both English and Spanish, students read to the children and help them identify letters, numbers and colors. District 65 reading specialists developed the program, selected the books and oversee the tutoring.

There is no cost to parents for participation, says Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons. Funding has been provided by the Evanston Community Foundation and other groups for several years. This year, Evanston Township High School gave a gift of $25,000 to the program, ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said at a meeting of the City School Liaison committee last week.

“We hope to have 108 little ones in the program this year,” says Danczak Lyons. “The children are assessed at the beginning and end of the program,” she says, “and each year every child shows definite learning.”

At the end of the program, the children are given backpacks with whiteboards, magnetic letters and numbers, books and tip sheets for parents to continue the learning.

The Youth Job Center handles applications for ABC Boosters as well as Summer Tutors, a program in which youth are employed as tutors and classroom aides in District 65 elementary and middle school summer programs.

Applications for the tutor and aide jobs are being accepted starting today.

The Youth Job Center also handles applications for many other summer programs, including 10-week paid internships at the Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic stores.

ETHS IIT is looking for students to work over the summer to repair and set up Chromebooks for incoming ninth graders.  Positions are both paid and unpaid. Applications are accepted at the high school until Friday, May 4.

Mayor Hagerty’s Summer Youth Job Fair, held at ETHS in March, yielded over 600 applications, according to Lawrence Hemingway, the city’s parks director, with 300 placed already.

Hemingway says they expect to place the rest of the kids. Options include work at Six Flags Great America or Home Depot and internships at the Kingian Nonviolence Institute.

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