Summer is nearly over which means back to school for many children. Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard took to the phones this past week calling families. Reminding them the importance of good attendance and encouraging all school children to attend the first day. Brizard commented on setting the tone for the school year.
“Instruction begins on the first day of school and we need every student in class from day one so that they do not fall behind. I know from personal experience as a teacher and a principal that the time spent in the classroom on the first day sets the tone and culture for the rest of the school year and leads to better educational outcomes,” Brizard said.
Back to school donations and backpack drives are in full gear. Every year churches and organizations around Chicago take in donations for the upcoming school year.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Back to School Supply Drive helps students experiencing homelessness to start the school year right. According to CPS stats there are approximately 15,000 homeless students in the Chicago school district.
Kits for Kidz are prepared bundles of school supplies donors can purchase directly. With multiple sizes available, these pre-made kits help thousands of children who cannot afford the school supplies they need.
At a time when fundraisers and charities are enthusiastically hopeful, one disturbing report surfaced this past week.
FOX Chicago news investigation uncovered thousands of dollars worth of unused school supplies discarded in trash dumpsters. This alarming discovery was found behind Northwest Middle School on West Palmer in the Belmont-Cragin area.
This questionable act did not go unnoticed. According to FOX, a CPS spokesperson stated, “While we did not personally bear witness to this, FOX’s account of the situation is very troubling to us, especially as we just kicked off our own back to school campaign. We would encourage anyone with school supplies, regardless of their condition to donate them to CPS.” Watch video (left) for the full story.
This mistake or lack of judgment doesn’t change the back to school donations helping students. Business owners, churches, and volunteer organizations continue to host back to school initiatives.
The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation “Back to School Supply Drive” helps hundreds of school age children within the state of Illinois. The Payton Foundation is dedicated to giving hope and encouragement to underprivileged children. Walter Payton’s legacy is truly living on through his wife and children.
“We are stronger together than we are alone.” – Walter Payton
The Payton Foundation organizes participant donations through a registration form. Their suggested list of needed items is found on their website. These backpacks aid low-income struggling families. On August 27, 2011 the school supplies-filled backpacks are distributed during the Annual Back-to-School Parade.
Cardinal Bernardin Early Childhood Center in the Lakeview area also accepts donations for school supplies, including books for children, and arts/crafts materials. Contact their website www.cbecc.org
Considering donating? Try following these guidelines.
- Contact your local church or school. See what back to school drives are planned.
- Talk to your employer or local business resources.
- Contact CPS directly.
- Register with the Payton Foundation
- For further resources, visit Lincoln Park Connect . There’s a full list of websites accepting donations.
Chicago Public Schools officially begin on September 6. The CPS year round schools begin August 8 and many suburban area schools begin the third or fourth week in August.