Austin Briefs
Police are looking for a man in multicolored overalls who is wearing a mask or white face paint and is approaching West Side elementary school children.

The man allegedly approached students at Polaris Charter Academy, 620 N. Sawyer, in East Garfield Park; Beidler Elementary, 3151 W. Walton, in Garfield Park; in the park itself and in the area around North St. Louis Avenue and West Walton Street, according to a sergeant at Area 4 Special Victims Unit.

The alert listed Pritzker Elementary, 2009 W. Schiller, in Wicker Park, as another area where the man dressed as a clown had been seen. But the sergeant couldn’t confirm that Pritzker was on the list of areas being investigated.

The man was reported to be driving a white or brown van with the windows broken out and approaching kids as they walked to and from the schools, according to the alert. The first incident was Sept. 22, the sergeant said.

If you have information about the man matching this description or about his van, call Area 4 Special Victims Unit at 312/746-9259.

-Micah Maidenberg

Fire destroys Bynum’s home

Rev. Elizabeth Bynum, chaplain of the South Austin Coalition and advocate worker at the Austin senior satellite location, 5071 W. Congress Pkwy., recently had her home destroyed by fire. Rev. Bynum is a longtime Austin resident and community activist. Anyone wishing to send cards and/or offer help to Rev. Bynum can contact the Austin Senior Center, 312/743-1538.

-Delores McCain

Calling all tutors to help West Side students

Cluster Tutoring is in need of additional volunteers to tutor students from Chicago’s Austin community one evening per week during the school year. At this time, we have 16 students on our waiting list.

All of the students on the waiting list are either in elementary or middle school, which means that they will need help developing basic reading and math skills. Many of them are in first or second grade or kindergarten, which makes this a great opportunity to reach out to a child early in their school experience.

Cluster Tutoring is a 19-year-old program that provides free one-on-one tutoring for students from the Austin community and the West Side of Chicago. Many of our tutors have been involved with Cluster for three or more years and find they get as much out of the program as the students. The atmosphere is supportive, friendly, and relaxed.

The commitment involves one 90-minute evening session, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., each week through mid-May. Volunteers can come either on Tuesday to the Pine Avenue Church (5460 W. Augusta in Chicago) or on Thursday to the First United Church of Oak Park (848 Lake St.).

For more information about tutoring, please call 773/378-5530.

Karen Heller
Cluster Tutoring board president