In 1994, the School Development Program partnered with two school districts and a nonprofit organization to establish regional SDP Training Centers: Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, the Detroit Public Schools, and Youth Guidance, Inc, in Chicago. The Detroit RTC is no longer in operation.
Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland
The Comer School Development Program Office and Regional Training Center provides coordination, oversight, technical support and assessment of the implementation of the Comer SDP schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland.The office also conducts visits to P.G. County Comer schools by groups who are exploring implementation of the Comer Process. Schools and districts may also participate in the training events conducted for P.G. County Comer schools. For more information, please contact Sheila Jackson, Director of School Improvement: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midwest Comer Training Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Midwest Comer Training Center under the leadership of Youth Guidance is available to provide Comer SDP professional development and consultation to school districts throughout the Midwest. Locally, they are integrating the Community Schools model in the Comer Schools in Chicago. For more information, contact Michelle Morrison: email@example.com.
Vivian Loseth: "The Mother of the SDP in Chicago"
In a taped message on YouTube, Dr. James P. Comer pays tribute to Vivian Loseth who he calls the "mother of the School Development Program in Chicago." Vivian is retiring as CEO after more than 30 years of service at Youth Guidance, one of Chicago's oldest and most established social service agencies.
Dr. Comer recalled the first time he met Vivian:
The first time I went to Chicago to give a talk, the first person to come up to me said, 'You need to come to Chicahhgo,' with that deep Alabama drawl. And I said 'No way. It's too difficult.' Vivian encouraged us to come to Chicago, insisted that we come to Chicago. She made our day. She's the mother of the SDP in Chicago. We would not have made it without her 15 plus years ago, and we greatly appreciate her because she validated in Chicago the importance and the significance of the work and demonstrated its effectiveness.
Youth Guidance supported implementation of the Comer Process in the Chicago Public Schools and serves as the Midwest Comer Training Center. Youth Guidance provided implementation support to the Lowndes County Schools in Alabama in a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
On May 22, 2010 Vivian was honored at the Youth Guidance annual gala, "A Legacy of Service - Inspiring Bright Futures," at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. Proceeds from the gala will provide academic and youth-development programs to at-risk children and teens in Chicago public schools.
In 2004 during the the School Development Program's 35th anniversary celebration, Vivian received the SDP's Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership for a lifetime of dedication to children and families. She has been honored at the Congressional Black Caucus and was named Social Worker of the Year in 2007 by the Chicago District of the National Association of Social Workers - Illinois Chapter.
To watch Dr. Comer's tribute to Vivian, please click here.