By TONIA HILL
Hyde Park’s Target, 1346 E. 53rd St., is donating $24, 000 to local elementary and high schools within a two-mile radius of Hyde Park.
The announcement for the donations was made yesterday, Tuesday, March 28, at Target and featured guests included Ald. Sophia King (4th), Chicago Public School (CPS) Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson, representatives from United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, 333 S. Wabash Ave., and principals from 24 elementary and high schools.
Each of the 24 schools will receive a $1,000 unrestricted grant meaning schools can use the funds how they see fit. Children’s First Fund, which is the district’s non-profit organization, will manage the funds. Principals who are recipients of the grants will not have to submit a Target grant proposal, said a spokeswoman from King’s office.
“These $1,000 unrestricted grants to neighboring schools, including six schools in the 4th Ward will serve to enable our students to have access to dire resources, programs and tools designed to help shape their paths to success,” King said in a written statement. “As Chicago Public Schools endures the current budgetary crisis, I am certain I speak for all principals, teachers, parents, students and community stakeholders, when I say thank you for this investment.”
Mark Walgamuth, relationship manager at United Way Metropolitan Chicago helped to facilitate the donation with Target. He said the idea came from Target store manager Clevitta Scott, who he said has looked for ways to engage with the local community since the store opened in October.
“They really wanted to engage with the local community so she got together with some of her staff, and they came up with giving back to the schools,” Walgamuth said. “Target historically has done a really great job of giving back to communities. They like to give back in a very local way and that’s why this is such a targeted gift.”
United Way has a partnership with Target and assists them on all of their philanthropic programs locally. Each of their local stores runs an employee giving campaign and they also make a corporate gift to United Way. United Way has also worked closely with schools in Hyde Park.
The local schools that will receive the grant include:
• Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 East 50th St.
• Kozminki Community Academy, 936 E. 54th St.
• Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave.
• Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave.
• Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th St.
• Reavis Elementary School, 834 E. 50th St.
• University of Chicago Laboratory School, 1362 E. 59th St.
• Dyett Arts High School, 555 E. 51st St.
• Hyde Park High School, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave.
• Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.
• University of Chicago Woodlawn High School, 6420 S. University Ave.
The schools will receive the $1,000 grant in May.