This would make a nice story for the Alumni Review.

When 79-year-old Oren Pollock — a graduate of both Princeton University and Williams College — walks into the principal’s office today at De La Cruz School, he will be part of a new and growing force in Chicago public schools.

Pollock is among 35 members of several university alumni associations — including Dartmouth, MIT and Yale — who will serve as principals for a day today across the city.

But Pollock and other alumni are forging more permanent relationships. A growing number of university alumni are offering CPS schools regular help.

“My larger hope is that if enough alumni groups start doing this, we can make a difference for Chicago public schools,” said Pollock, a retired assistant treasurer of Sears. “And I think the kids appreciate it.”

About 13 years ago, Pollock, a Lake Forest native who attended only private schools, joined Princeton alums who were helping out at Roosevelt High.

He started tutoring twice a week in Van Walters’ algebra classes and became such a fixture that Walters gave him his own desk.

“I think it keeps him young,” Walters said.

Then, five years ago, Pollock helped a group of fellow Williams College alums establish a partnership with De La Cruz. There, alums help out one Saturday a month, tutoring kids in lessons often revolving around math or test prep questions.

“Because of his age, we knew he knew what he was talking about,” said Pollock tutoring student Darwin Fitz, 13.

Williams alumni have helped put up shelves, painted the interior of the school, and even contributed $4,000 to upgrading De La Cruz’s weather station. They will receive an Outstanding Partnership Award today for their efforts.

Great stuff! I have invited Pollock to write an Eph Diary about these efforts. I hope that he, or someone else involved with similar efforts, can take the time to tell us more.

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