Puente del Pueblo

Reaching out in friendship and service to residents of the Timber Lake and Main Park Apartments in West Chicago is the mission of Puente del Pueblo. Puente del Pueblo provides opportunities for our Spanish- and English-speaking congregations to express God's grace, love, and justice to people in our neighborhood.

Puente’s goal is to work with the community to foster change that benefits residents’ personal, family, and community lives by providing case management services for families, adult literacy programming, and after-school programming for children and youth—and it is now the largest social service provider in West Chicago.

Youth Services

Puente del Nino serves 1st-5th grade students every day that school is in full-session. The program runs from 3:25-6:00pm during the school year. Two locations serve our elementary students: Indian Knoll Elementary School and Wegner Elementary School. Most student participants will come from these two schools, but exceptions are made on a case by case basis. No transportation is provided by Puente for children from other schools. Parents are encouraged to visit the program anytime!

The program costs $30/year per student.

  • Build academic skill, with a special focus on Math and Language Arts. Each day students will be challenged and coached to understand and complete their homework
  • Access to all D33 digital learning activities on Chromebooks
  • Experience a deep sense of belonging as they build positive relationships with peers and supportive adult volunteer tutors
  • Grow their bodies with structured large motor motor activities.
  • Enjoy a variety of recreational activities
  • Grow their trust in God (For parents who chose to opt their child into the Christian education component of the program, a rich curriculum of faith development is offered. Students whose parents chose to opt out of Christian education will receive an equally rich character building curriculum.)

To learn more, contact the program coordinator:

CONTACT wegner COORDINATOR

Contact Indian Knoll Coordinator

Puente del Futuro serves 6th-8th grade students every day that school is in session, most breaks, and occasionally on the weekends.  The program serves 35 students at the Timber Lake Community Center and runs from 3:00-6:30pm during the school year.  Leman Middle School students who live at Timber Lake and Main Park apartments composed the majority of our students, but residency exceptions are made on a case by case basis.  Parents are encouraged to visit the program anytime!

The program costs $30/year per student.

Puente del Futuro provides middle school students with opportunities to

  • Build academic skill, with a special focus on Math and Language Arts. Each day students will be challenged and coached to understand and complete their homework.
  • Access to all D33 digital learning activities in our Computer Lab
  • Experience a deep sense of belonging as they build positive relationships with peers and supportive adult volunteer tutors
  • Gain life skills from caring adults as the navigate adolescent social pressures. Learn wisdom in decision making. 
  • Challenge their bodies and minds with structured athletic activities and sportsmanship guidance.
  • Build a repertoire of new cultural experiences while on field trips.
  • Explore ways to give back to their community through our service-learning curriculum.
  • Grow their trust in God and deepen their understanding of what it means to serve Him (For parents who chose to opt their child into the Christian education component of the program, a rich curriculum of faith development is offered. Students whose parents chose to opt out of Christian education will receive an equally rich character building curriculum.)

To learn more, contact the program coordinator:

Contact Coordinator

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Puente's High School Program capitalizes on the efforts of our students by helping them become highly successful participants in post-secondary education.  The majority of the student’s in Puente’s Youth development programs are first-in-the-family college attenders.  As such, the families served by the program take advantage of the supports it offers to unlock doors of opportunity for their youth.

 

Puente’s High School Program has capacity to serve 35 students from Community High School. The program is open on all days school is in session, many break days, and some weekends.  It operates at Glen Arbor Church, which is adjacent CHS, from 3:00-6:00pm.  Students remain in good standing by meeting all program expectations (especially keeping regular meetings with their tutor-mentor) and by logging a certain number of hours per week in the program based on their grade level and academic performance.  Parents are encouraged to visit the program anytime!

The program costs $70/year per student.

The High School Program provides High School students with opportunities to

  • Build academic skill by offering: 1) distraction free study space, 2) individual tutoring as needed, including guided ACT/SAT test practice and coaching, 3) free access to a reliable WIFI network so that they can complete assignments using their D94 issued Chromebook, and 4) accountability from a one-on-one volunteer tutor-mentor.
  • Explore a wide variety of career options presented live and personally by our network of nurses, engineers, business owners, attorneys, and a wide variety of other professionals every week
  • Experience a deep sense of belonging as they build positive relationships with peers and experience the focused attention from a one on one adult volunteer tutor-mentor
  • Gain life skills from caring adults as the navigate adolescent social pressures. Learn wisdom in decision making. 
  • Visit a variety of colleges and universities on local day trips plus an annual out of state spring-break college tour.
  • Guidance in completing College Applications, Scholarship applications, FAFSA a
  • Grow their trust in God by joining the youth group at Wheaton Bible Church/Iglesia del Pueblo

Email the coordinator to find out more:

Contact Coordinator

Puente Summer Program

Puente’s Middle School Program transforms in the summer into an eight-week, full-day, academically-focused program that gives families an affordable way to provide a safe and skill-building summer for rising 2nd-9th graders. Core activities include Language Arts/Reading, Math, Life Skills education, service learning, optional Christian Education—plus a field trip every Friday!  Lunch is included for all 45 student participants.  Our bus picks up students from the Timber Lake and Main Park Apartments at ~9:00am and returns them home at ~4:00pm. 

Puente’s High School Program transforms in the summer into an employment and small business development training program with two unique components:

  • Classroom-based employment soft skills training with assistance in finding paid summer jobs.
  • Small-business development practicum: Our curriculum and volunteer small business owners lead students through the creation of a real business, with real inventory, sales, investors, and leadership structure.

The program costs $120/student.  Puente offers a $20 discount on early registration.  Scholarships are available for families who meet with Puente’s case management office and are determined eligible for assistance.

Adult Services

The Case management team at Puente del Pueblo begins with a needs assessment and then provides relevant information and referrals, along with advocacy to obtain services, budgeting assistance, transportation, interpretation and translation, and other services.  Eligibility for crisis financial assistance from Puente del Pueblo is carefully evaluated as well.

In our case management program, we work together with a client to resolve any pressing issues or crises facing the household, as well as plan together for the household’s long term stability.  Working on long term stability may include joint problem solving around food access, public benefits advocacy, issues related to immigration status, gainful employment, difficult roommate or family relationships, access to housing, access to education, transportation, spiritual care/community and many more elements.

Would you like a Puente Case Manager to reach out to you? Contact Rosie at the link below.

Connect with Case Management

Puente works with people needing help with reading and language skills by offering both Spanish and English literacy programs. By enhancing these skills, individuals are able to pursue further education and employment goals. English literacy volunteers receive training through Literacy DuPage.

ESL Tutoring

Puente del Pueblo, in partnership with Literacy DuPage, equips volunteers to teach adults how to speak, read, and write in English. Upon completion of a twenty-hour ESL (English as a Second Language) training course, Puente’s volunteer ESL tutors are scheduled to meet every week for two hours in small groups (1:1 to 1:4) with adults in the community. Our volunteer staff then teaches adult students how to speak, read, and write in English. They meet at a time that fits the schedule of both the student and the volunteer tutor, with some lessons taking place in the morning, and others in the evening or on weekends. The individualized instruction allows us to serve students at many levels of English proficiency but limits the number of openings for new students. For that reason, most English literacy students must be placed on a waiting list before they are able to join the program and students who make a determined commitment to learning are given priority.

Spanish Literacy

For our adult residents who never had the opportunity to complete formal schooling in their country of origin, Puente offers free Spanish Literacy classes (students pay only for books).  Classes meet once each week for 2½ hours and target adults who are learning to read and write in Spanish for the first time. Basic math, and in some cases other primary subjects, are available as well.  Class sizes are always small, typically 3-8 students.  Those who are interested in this opportunity should contact us. 

A request to our literate neighbors: Since illiteracy itself is a barrier to knowing about this service, if you are aware of a Spanish speaking illiterate adult in West Chicago, please share information about our class with that individual. 

Connect with Literacy

Due to the COVID 19 crisis

PdP case management staff are engaging adults by phone and online through video conferencing to address routine family stabilization service needs.  For families impacted by COVID-19, PDP is amplifying our services to include doorstep delivery of food and other basic needs items, expanded capacity to support the submission of unemployment, Medicaid, and other public benefits applications, and expanded capacity to assess eligibility for crisis financial assistance. 

If you live in West Chicago, IL and your family needs support because you have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, please complete the following form and a member of our case management team will be in touch with you shortly:

English: https://forms.monday.com/forms/f1533e9dbf4d7ad571dc148dce20952e

Spanish: https://forms.monday.com/forms/8cf5636c70c70544d49de18820aec2a3

PdP youth development staff are engaging students individually online through video conferencing to support academic progress, support parents navigating e-learning for the first time, check-in on student social and emotional wellness, and maintain vital and active staff to student relationship.  Additionally, staff will convene groups of students on virtual platforms to foster social connections.   

Please see also: https://wheatonbible.org/coronavirus-updates/

To view the COVID-19 Response for Outreach Community Ministries please click here.

Staff

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Wheaton Bible Church

27W500 North Ave, West Chicago, IL 60185

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1 East Bode Road, Streamwood, IL 60107