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Case Study

GALE COMMUNITY ACADEMY

Transforming Culture And Community

WORK PRODUCED: Rebranding | Photography | Film | Web Design | Traditional Marketing

Gale Community Academy is located on the North side of the Chicagoland area, in Rogers Park. They serve over 370 students in Prekindergarten through 8th Grade. By walking with them and becoming a strategic partner, Gale is no longer on a path of closing, but growing and building into it's own community.

The Process of Revealing the True

Brand Identity

Set back in the "rough" part of Northern Chicago, Gale Math and Science Academy had record lows in attendance and academics.  The surrounding community was being affected by crime and the school was struggling to stay afloat.  2016 marked the catalyst for change when CPS leadership removed the school's principal and assigned an interim one month before the school year began.

Interim Principal, Augustine (Augie) Emuwa had his work cut out for him and knew he couldn't accomplish change on his own.  With the help of his assistant principal, staff and over 30 community partners he placed an emphasis on commUNITY and growth. Their core values became the driving factor and their curriculum was revamped. While Gale was under "construction," Augie reached out to ILS to visually communicate the change that was occurring and the direction they were heading.

How we impacted the brand using our

7-Step Creative Process

1. Listen & Learn the why

Understanding target, core values & beliefs

After sitting with Augie and seeing the transformational work that was happening at Gale, we clearly saw that the picture of the community was not consistent with the school's new direction.

The students simply needed role models to look up to, adults to believe in them and a community to foster their growth.  Gale's desire to provide those elements are evident in their motto, "We Grow Kids."

Everything from the front their logo to their classrooms needed to be filtered through this mindset and their values.

2. Research & Develop

knowing the market & what set them apart

Students need more than academic help to drive results. Gale revamped their curriculum to improve learning, but they also work with community partners to invest in the whole child through mentor-ship and experiential learning. This provides the social and emotional support that the kids need and in turn improves their learning ability.

Gale has put on events like Men and Women's Days to aid in students growth.  They also put an emphasis on teaching the kids to become producers in society, which is cultivated through their indoor greenhouse space and their outdoor garden.

3. Collaborate

Processing the Strategy together

Gale invited us into their space and revealed their heart for the kids and the desire to see them grow.  We attended and captured a number of school and community events, including the inauguration of their garden space, their first Men's Day, a community MLK Service Day, and more.

Because of this, we were able to understand and visualize their truth - their identity. We saw how they interacted with the kids, how they emphasized unity and drive, and what their vision was as a school. As a result, we were able to visually communicate the culture we experienced with the surrounding community.

4. Design

Speaking their language & Emotionally Connecting

In the past, Gale was the elementary school in the Roger's Park community that focused on Math and Science. As the community developed over the years, urban farming advocate Anthony Boatman, invested time and resources in creating a community garden next to the school. As the school was growing, it built another building, the annex building, in which it establsiehd a rooftop greenhouse. In understanding this Gale's History, both the Principal and Assitant Principal understood the landscape in which they were entering into - it was not one focused on Math and Science anymore, but on agriculture.

"It's all about looking at things from a growth mindset. We grow kids, because we want kids to do the exact same thing our plants are doing in the school community. If a seed doesn't work, then we've got to figure it out. What we're really trying to do is grow our kids so they can grow our community." [article on DNAINFO.COM]

- Augie Emuwa, Principal

Knowing that using the green space was the platform in which to speak, we utilized this in their design, keeping a common theme of life and growth by implementing imagery that spoke to that - plants, leaves, trees, birds, etc.

WEB DESIGN, MARKETING, & STORY

5. Deliver

Going to Market

With the ability to influence its narrative through visual media, Gale embarked on a journey to communicate to it's community all that was happening inside the school. The changes that took place, events that were happening, and the vision the leadership had was now being communicated to those vested in the community and beyond. In capturing what the leadership was doing, other community partners got involved and continued to build upon it. The Girls Day Summit is an example of what was birthed through telling the story of Gale's Day For Young Men, and innitiative brought through rebranding at the school.

6. Measuring

results

Augustine-Emuwa

"The branding that you did for us helped us attract about 60 partnerships, which then helped us to bring back our $500,000 in CSI funds which then helped us to build a $300,000 CVS clinic in the school that’s there today!”

"Prior to this work, I would never have understood the impact that quality branding has on human capital. As we were building a new team, instead of having to look for candidates to hire, they approached us with a passion/desire to work and invest in our school and community."

Augie Emuwa | Principal, Gale Community Academy (2016-2019)

REVITALIZED TEAM MORALE

With a sense of cohesiveness and vision, it brought unity to staff and faculty. CPS changed the school's rating from "Partially organized" to "Well organized."

INCREASED STUDENT INVOLVEMENT

Gale decreased suspensions and increased attendance with both students and teachers.

INFLUENCED SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

Visualizing all that was happening at the school as well as establishing an identity allowed the Local School Council to vote in a leader who had vision.

IMPROVED COMMUNITY PERCEPTION

Rebranding the school created excitement and energy. The staff, faculty and community was excited to invite, promote and share what was happening at Gale.

RE-ENGAGED STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

Gale gained positive attention and re-engaged networks of people who became re-engaged with the school.

REFOCUSED ON STUDENTS

Gale was able to raise $300K to install a SMART Clinic - backed by CVS partnership.

RAISED MILLIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS

Gale was able to raise millions of dollars toward after school programming, student services, green-space education initiatives, and capital improvements like all new camera systems and an updated lunch room.

GREW ACADEMICALLY

Students meeting reading and math growth increased dramatically in year two.

INCREASED ENROLLMENT

Rebranding the site inserted excitement and energy with the staff. With the new visuals, the sales team was excited to promote and share their content.

BROKE YEARS OF UNDER-PERFORMANCE

Gale finally broke it's 14 year under-performance metric and changed it's perception built over 30 years.

ESTABLISHED LEGACY FOOTPRINT

As new leadership engages, Gale and it's stakeholders are now eager to keep its identity moving forward in order to build upon it's reputation in the community.

ACHIEVED

NEW ACADEMIC HEIGHTS

Students meeting reading and math growth increased dramatically in year two.

REFOCUS

ON STUDENTS

Gale was able to raise $300K to install a SMART Clinic - backed by CVS partnership.

INFLUENCED

LEADERSHIP

Visualizing all that was happening at the school as well as establishing an identity allowed the Local School Council to vote in a leader who had vision.

INCREASED

INVOLVEMENT

Gale decreases suspensions and increased attendance and with both students and teachers.

RE-ENGAGED

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

Gale gained positive attention and re-engaged networks of people who became re-engaged with the school.

IMPROVED

COMMUNITY PERCEPTION

Rebranding the school created excitement and energy. The staff, faculty and community was excited to invite, promote and share what was happening at Gale.

RAISED

MILLIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS

Gale was able to raise millions of dollars toward after school programming, student services, green-space education initiatives, and capital improvements like all new camera systems and an updated lunch room.

REVITALIZED

TEAM MORAL

With a sense of cohesiveness and vision, it brought unity to staff and faculty. CPS Rated the school from partially organized to well organized.

INCREASED

STUDENT ENROLLMENT

Rebranding the site inserted excitement and energy with the staff. With the new visuals, the sales team was excited to promote and share their content.

BROKE

YEARS OF UNDER-PERFORMANCE

Gale was able to raise millions of dollars toward after school programming, student services, green-space education initiatives, and capital improvements like all new camera systems and an updated lunch room.

ESTABLISHED

LEGACY FOOTPRINT

As new leadership engages, Gale and it's stakeholders are now eager to keep its identity moving forward in order to build upon it's reputation in the community.

Get Ready To

Make An IMPACT!

Being a leader at your school was a very specific choice. You knew the time, effort, and energy it would take invest into the lives of the community. You're mindful, compassionate, a visionary, and one who wants to leave an impact in the lives you meet. But, there's only so much time and energy you can commit in making this a reality.
ILS is here to help you with that!

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