The ECHO Middle School Matters program is an initiative enacted by a collaboration of local organizations with the common goal of using technology to help East Chicago students in reading and math.


The program does this by putting in place after school programs for students at Harrison Elementary School, Block Middle School and West Side Middle School. These programs give students supervised learning environments and the use of state-of-the-art learning technologies that they might not otherwise have access to.


All of those who work with the ECHO program are firm in their beliefs that their work can make a difference in the lives of East Chicago children, especially the program’s executive director Reverend Cheryl Rivera.


“ECHO is innovative; an unduplicated community collaboration designed to engage and empower students, parents and community with accelerated academic opportunities,” said Rev. Rivera. “I love the East Chicago community.”


While the program has many volunteers and participants, it doesn’t work without collaboration by all involved.


“ECHO is a grassroots community organizing project that seeks to make parents and community equal partners with educators and administration in improving the East Chicago education system,” said ECHO’s Education Committee Chairman Pastor T. Brian Hill.


After receiving a 2015 collaboration grant from the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC), ECHO is looking towards the future, which includes the possibility of expanding the program to be available to students in other East Chicago schools.


“Working together, our children, parents, families, teachers, administration, school city and civil city make a difference,” said Rev. Rivera.


For more information on the ECHO program, visit



Foundations of East Chicago