About Us

For nearly a decade, Saturday Place has been successfully helping students improve their academic performance in reading, reading comprehension, writing and math, one Saturday at a time. Our students may arrive performing as the lowest in their classroom, however by the end of the academic year, our students minimally demonstrate:

  • 20 percent growth in Math
  • 13 percent growth in Reading Comprehension
  • 6 percent growth in Spelling
  • 47 percent growth in Writing

(2016/2017 academic year)

With improved academic performance future opportunities for students abound. They become more confident, more social and excel in all areas of their lives. Within the first year of the program, their learning growth helps to change the course of their academic performance. By their second year, students are becoming scholars and leaders, evidenced by their increasing academic performance and behaviors.

3rd graders moved to the 66th Percentile nationally
4th graders moved to the 49th percentile nationally

3rd graders moved to the 94th percentile nationally
4th graders moved to the 99th percentile nationally

Our Mission

Saturday Place is a two-year academic enhancement program for 3rd and 4th grade Chicago public school students who are performing at least a year behind grade level. Our mission is to enable our students—most of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds—to reach their full academic and personal potential.

Saturday Place focuses on boosting academic performance in core skills, reading and reading comprehension, writing, and math). Participating students come to Saturday Place every Saturday during the academic year for a half day of engaging hands-on learning and discovery.

But Saturday Place engages students beyond academic success. We know that to imagine what’s possible, students need see and experience the many opportunities that higher education can offer. To that end our programs are held on university campuses to make college education feel like a real option for our kids. In addition, we offer field trips and other inspiring activities to empower them to envision lives and careers beyond their impoverished communities. Participation in Saturday Place instills confidence, broadens perceptions, and gives students the skills that will help them be successful both academically and in their personal aspirations and interactions.

  • Improved academic performance and academic self-sufficiency
  • Student development in key social-emotional learning domains.
  • Increased desire among students to attend college
  • Improved relationship skills at home and in school
  • Cultivation of a healthy sense of self-awareness and self-esteem

Our History

Charged with wanting to inspire the community just as he had been by a third-grade teacher, former Chicago Bear Wide Receiver, Rashied Davis, along with his wife Dianna established Saturday Place in 2010.

The Davis’ wanted Saturday Place to be a refuge and training ground that would challenge students to see beyond their current circumstances and live to their full potential, just as Davis’ teacher inspired him to overcome his impoverished South Central Los Angeles neighborhood and make it to a major NFL team.

Understanding that just one experience can change the course of a person’s life, Saturday Place is a thriving program that enables Chicago kids to improve their academic proficiency in a fun, confidence-building, judgement-free environment.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Rama Dandamudi, Chair
Snaidero Chicago

Don Biernacki
Related Midwest

Rebecca Darr

Rashied Davis
Saturday Place

John Wallis
Hyatt Corporation

Bert Brandt

Eve Rodriguez Montoya
President & CEO of Rodriguez Media Communications

Jonah Siegellak
Founder and Principal
Millennium Advisors

Frank Gurtz
President & CEO
Gurtz Electric


A successful program requires an exceptional team. Our enthusiastic teachers are experienced and have a deep knowledge of elementary education, and also possess the passion, commitment, and imagination to make Saturday Place a special program for the students.

Maribel Herrera – Director
Anali Guzman – Sub-director
Esmeralda Rocha – Sub-director
Marissa De La Riva – Math Teacher
Zhen Huan Yi – Word Study Teacher
Cynthia Ruiz – Writing Teacher
Melanie Perez – Math Teacher
Luz Herrera – Support Teacher
Marcos Barrera –Word Study Teacher
Amanda Lonis – Reading Teacher
Ricardo Delgado – Writing Teacher
Melissa Alvarez – Reading Support Teacher
Gina Fulgieri – Reading Teacher
Rosi Lopez – Reading Support Teacher

Web development provided by Nick Alberico

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