The Black Star Project

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Chicago, IL


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The Black Star Project is a Chicago-based nonprofit that works around the country to help preschoolers to collegians succeed academically with the support of parents and communities. The group focuses on low-income Black and Latino student

Company Overview

The Black Star Project operates with a belief in the strength of parental and community involvement in education to eliminate the racial academic achievement ga... See More


* Million Father March, launched by The Black Star Project nationwide in 2004, features hundreds of thousands of men taking children to school on the first day of each new school year. Its aim is to set the tone for men’s year-long involvement in the educational lives of children. This popular initiative helped lift first-day school attendance from about eighty-six percent to ninety-three percent in Chicago alone in 2007.

* Toyota/Black Star Parent University, offered throughout the year at schools and numerous other community locations, features local parenting experts who aim to equip parents with tools to strengthen their families and ensure the proper education of their children. Classes available in English and Spanish demonstrate the strong relationship between effective parent involvement and positive outcomes for students.

* Fathers Clubs encourage men to be involved in all aspects of their children’s development with special emphasis on education. Designed to address the value of male involvement with youth, participants engage in a variety of structured social and educational opportunities with their children throughout the year. Fathers Clubs also elicit participation by grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, and other significant male caregivers.

* Parent of the Year awards are designed in cooperation with public and private elementary schools to identify and recognize parents whose involvement in their children’s academic lives is outstanding. Parents are nominated and selected by schools based on criteria established by Black Star. In addition to recognizing parents at each school, two parents receive city-wide Parent-of-the-Year recognition.

* Student Motivation Program, The Black Star Project’s oldest initiative, is a whole classroom-mentoring model that exposes middle- and high-school students to role models who talk about their careers and the preparation required, and college and career options. More specifically they inspire students to make healthy life-style choices and to stay in school. More than 160,000 6th- through 12th-grade students in 200 Chicago area schools have benefited.

* Educate or Die™ is a concept designed by Phillip Jackson to name, identify, and bring attention to the current historical era while explaining how it came about. It aims to re-popularize academic success among young Black people through its consciousness-raising campaign. Educate or Die™ – the play, is performed before 200-500 youth participants during high-energy, interactive, school-based auditorium sessions. The comic book, Educate or Die™, illustrating themes of the play, along with t-shirts, and wrist bands, are distributed to all student participants. This initiative also reaches students in detention centers. The play is available on disk with post-viewing instructional and dialogue tips for youth educators.

* Black Star Scholars Tutoring Program includes subsidized school-based, after school one-on-one assessment and tutoring opportunities for any student. A private fee-for-service option, which at $40.00 hourly remains the best deal in Chicago, is available at Black Star’s headquarters. Financially qualifying students receive an additional discount below its already low price. These culturally sensitive sessions geared toward students’ learning styles are largely facilitated by college students trained by Black Star.

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