ServeNext.org Blog

Thank You for Helping to Improve Chicago Public Schools!

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on January 19, 2011

MLK Jr. Day of Service – 2011

Post by Patti Kurtz:

Dear ServeNext Chicago Partners,

Thank you so much for taking part in one of the many initiatives that went on throughout Chicago in the past month to help improve literacy in Chicago Public Schools! We appreciate your help and support and could not have done this without YOU.

What all did we accomplish and who did we work with to make this happen? Great question!

Organized by ServeNext Chicago, we started in December with a city-wide book drive to collect children’s book. We were able to collect an entire U-haul truck full of books donated from people throughout the city. With your help, we set up about 50 donation boxes in offices, coffee shops, restaurants, local ward offices, and other places of business. We partnered with Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s Office to help promote the event and collected even more books!

With AmeriCorps Alums Chicago, we set up additional donation boxes throughout the city to collect small electronics donations.

On the 25th anniversary of MLK Jr. Day on January 17th, 2011, we brought the books to Chicago Public School – Cameron Elementary and hit the ground running with our amazing corporate sponsor – Allstate to put the books to use.

The day of volunteering included:

* Sorting out all of the book donations
* Working in small groups to help teachers in their classroom with book leveling, paper grading, bulletin board decorating, and other activities needed to support the teachers
* Packaging and sending out the small electronic donations to Recycle Fundraising, an organizing that collects the electronics and in turn provides a donation to a local charity

We sorted out the children’s paperback books from the donations and sent them to the Chicago Juvenile Detention Center that is supported by Chicago Public Schools. These books will be used to educate the children to help promote literacy and break the cycle of limited access to books in the detention center.

In addition, we donated the adult books that could not be used in the school (about 15 boxes) to Open Books, a local non-profit that resells the books, provide community programs, and mobilizes volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago.

We accomplished more than we ever ancitipated!!

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

You answered the call. Because of you, one more child will have a book to take home from school today. One more child will have the tools needed to learn to read. And one more child will know that someone, a complete stranger, took time out of their day and cared about them.

Thank you again!
Patti Kurtz
ServeNext Chicago Organizer

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One Response to “Thank You for Helping to Improve Chicago Public Schools!”

  1. […] In December 2010, we held a city-wide book drive in Chicago to collect books for low-income schools in the city. The original post was published on the ServeNext blog located here. […]

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