Improving Our Educational System

THE CHALLENGE
  • • U.S. students trail their counterparts in more than twenty other industrialized nations in math and science achievement. Within an urban school environment like Chicago, research into educational outcomes paints a disturbing picture.
  • • Significant disparities in education achievement persist between low- and higher-income students in the United States. In the United States, impoverished students are roughly two years of learning behind the average better-off student of the same age.
  • • Youth in urban areas are twice as likely to be living in poverty as other children, face more problems with a language barrier, have smaller chances of living in a two-parent household, and are much more likely to drop out of school due to many of these issues. They are also faced with factors such as community violence, teacher quality, and after-school opportunities that may be limited or non-existent depending on the availability of funding and services.
  • • 25% of students are at the proper reading level for their age or over, while only 5% of students are ready for college level reading by the time they graduate.


 
 
OUR STRATEGY
  • The magnitude of need within the urban education space can be overwhelming. The Foundation provides the lens through which funders can clearly see the highest priorities. The Foundation will work with school systems to fund opportunities for teacher quality, specific needed resources and additional learning opportunities within the K-12 demographic. Our focus is on the intersection of creativity, the arts and education to make a measurable impact and to improve outcomes. We will also support after-school programs that promote further education and achievements



Volunteerism + Financial Support = Our Success

As a part of the “Sheridan Road: Driving Change” program, Sheridan Road employees made their way to the Ray Graham Special Education Training Center, a Chicago Public School for students with developmental disabilities. There, the team met with Principal Rebecca Parker and the Chicago Care leaders to begin their volunteer efforts. The Sheridan Road volunteers painted wall murals with encouraging words for the students, created and painted the School’s mascot at the from entrance, and constructed a raised garden bed to create a more tactile experience for the students’ science curriculum. For lunch, they met and interacted with the students and were treated to the school’s impressive student drum line. More recently, Sheridan Road employees volunteered at Minnie Riperton Apartments, a low-income senior living center. There, the team met with Principal Rebecca Parker and the Chicago Care leaders to begin their volunteer efforts. The Sheridan Road volunteers prepared and served lunch for the seniors and then lead a craft and art time where employees had an opportunity to get to know the group. After lunch, part of the team broke off to help assemble winter kits for The Lincoln Park Community Shelter. The Company plans to continue volunteering with Chicago Cares for similar opportunities as Ray Graham Special Education Training Center and Minnie Riperton Apartments.