Expansion of summer reading initiative will keep more students academically engaged during the summer months
Today, Chicago Public Schools is joined by Chicago-based Hilco Redevelopment Partners through their charitable organization, Hilco Helps, to donate thousands of English and Spanish language books for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students across 50 schools as part of the city’s Summer Reading Initiative.
The Summer Reading Initiative, announced in February 2019, is designed to foster a love of reading and increase independent reading among CPS students in the intermediate grades during the summer months. Through this program, students can establish stronger connections with new teachers and peers to support the transition back to school and families are provided increased access to resources and educational programs.
"Expanding access to books for thousands of our students will help students stay engaged in learning and inquiry during summer break and return to school eager and ready to learn in the fall" said CPS Chief Executive Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "We are grateful for Hilco’s support as the district works to promote learning and development outside of the classroom during the summer months.”
The extension of this program builds on the success of the CPS PreK-2nd Grade Balanced Literacy Initiative while complementing the Chicago Public Library’s Summer Learning Challenge, which facilitates student and family educational engagement. Participating schools serve majority low-income students, engage in the CPS Balanced Literacy Initiative, and have demonstrated a need for additional literacy support.
Hilco Redevelopment Partners is the industry leader in transitioning obsolete industrial sites back to commerce and has a strong track record of successfully completing large industrial redevelopment projects across the country. In 2018, the company purchased the shuttered Crawford Power Generating Station site in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and is redeveloping the property into a state-of-the-art facility for last-mile logistics and retail warehousing. The project is expected to boost the local economy and bring new skilled jobs to the community.
Hilco is dedicated to making a positive impact within the communities in which they work and is proud to assist many organizations and initiatives who share a similar mission. Through its charitable organization Hilco Helps, Hilco has donated both time and millions of dollars of goods, services and financial assistance to people in need in Chicago and across the world.
Earlier this year, Hilco announced Hilco Scholars, a college scholarship program in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago to be awarded to qualified candidates living in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. In addition to Hilco Scholars and its support for Chicago Public Schools, Hilco Redevelopment Partners supports many charitable initiatives and service organizations across the city including Youth Guidance, Chicago All-Stars, Cradles to Crayons and many more.
“Hilco is a proud member of the Chicago West Side business community and we are dedicated to making a positive impact and supporting long-term investments in these communities,” said Roberto Perez, CEO of Hilco Redevelopment Partners. “Hilco believes every child deserves access to a quality education and we feel privileged to partner with Chicago Public Schools to expand access to books and encourage summer reading to set our city’s students up for success in their next academic year.”
Hilco Redevelopment Partners is joined by Success Bound, an initiative of the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, as a corporate partner dedicated to the support of the Summer Reading Initiative.
Donated books were selected based on three criteria, the books must: reflect the students’ cultures and environment, reflect the languages spoken by students and/or is available in Spanish and aligns with the Chicago Public Library theme of summer, ‘play.’