Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Speaking to the kids at Cabrini Green in Chicago

I’ve been in some rough places in my life. Right after I was discharged from the army, and while the Vietnam conflict was still raging, I went there to shoot a film project.

In the middle of the worst “troubles” as they called it, in Northern Ireland, I made another film in the heart of Belfast.

Cabrini Green is a rough place for kids to grow up.

Earlier this week, I had the honor and privilege to speak to a group of students in Cabrini Green, in Chicago, Illinois. If you want to know more about Cabrini Green, just enter that name into your search and you’ll find plenty.

For several years my son, Jim, has tutored at Cabrini Green, even though he has a very demanding law firm schedule downtown. He was the one who opened the door for me to speak there. He tutors at a place called By the Hand Club for Kids  I hope you’ll take the time to learn more about them.

And they’re making a difference in the lives of the kids they serve both spiritually and academically.

Their children ended the school year with 45% making As, Bs, and Cs. This was a 45% increase over the 1st quarter.

130 students made the honor roll.

12 students graduated from high school. Of those, 11 are going to college and one will be going to the army.

I spoke to the students for about an hour and a half. I gave my presentation on using the imagination. This includes music and sound effects that come out of my film and video production background.

Jim accompanied me to the event along with my daughter, Sarah, who teaches 2nd grade in a public school in the Orlando area. I gave out several books, bookmarks, and an information sheet about the book and motion picture called Gifted Hands, written by Cecil Murphy, as we talked about how important reading is in their education.

What impressed me most is that these kids could have been anywhere else doing any number of other things. It’s summer. It’s hot. But they chose to come to the center to learn.

In all, it was a great time.


Llama Momma said...

A good friend of mine works at "By the Hand" -- Dara. The work they do there is amazing.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Students coming to listen in the summer- that is really amazing. It sounds like a wonderful program and a blessing not only to the students, but the volunteers as well.

Kristi Bernard said...

Congratulations Max! It looks like you had a great time.

James D. Maxon said...


max said...

Thank you for your comments. Getting ready for the release of the current book and then on to the next.