After 29 years, Cluster Tutoring has a new home. As of the beginning of September, the Cluster office and Tuesday night tutoring space are now at 118 N. Central Ave. in Chicago.
The new space is housed at Circle Urban Ministries, a nonprofit organization whose aim to to help disadvantaged residents in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. That organization runs programs to help youth, so Cluster fits perfectly into that mission.
The new Cluster space offers two large rooms for tutor-student pairs, a tutoring office, a library, and a computer lab. There are other advantages, too: There are multiple parking lots, one at the side of the building, one behind the building, and one across the street; a receptionist at the entrance; a large lobby where tutors and students will meet before tutoring; and an elevator. A smaller room also is available for small groups of tutor-student pairs.
“We’re looking toward program growth,” said Cluster Tutoring Executive Director Kara Kalnitz. “We’re closer to public transportation — the Green Line isn’t far away, and we’re just north of Washington. There are other programs in the building, so we have an opportunity to network.”
Kara and the new Cluster program assistant, Max Tabb, have been busy unpacking materials and setting up the new tutoring quarters. Rooms have been painted and cleaned.
The new space is still a work in progress, but everything is scheduled to be ready by the time tutoring starts on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Besides moving all belongings out of the old tutoring office, the tutoring program bought some new tables, chairs, shelves, and other items to make the program run more smoothly. In addition, some outdated books and little-used items were removed to conserve space in the cozy new tutoring digs.
Materials such as pens, pencils, paper, and other supplies will be kept in a storage cabinet in the second-floor tutoring room, the larger of the two tutoring spaces. The new computer lab will offer several work stations for tutor-student pairs, plus a printer. There also is Wi-Fi for those using computers and their own laptops or tablets; Kara will supply the password at tutoring.
There’s little doubt that Tuesday tutors will be pleased by the organization. The new compact approach means that everything will be available close by. And lest anyone was worried: The library still has a games closet for the last 15 minutes of tutoring.
While the location for Tuesday tutoring has changed, the location for tutoring on Thursday remains the same: First United Church, 848 Lake St. So tutors and students alike can get ready to start working the first night of tutoring on both Tuesday and Thursday.