February 19, 2010
Chicago Public Schools today donated more than $200,000 to the American Red Cross for Haitian relief, money raised as part of the District-wide Culture of Caring campaign last month.
CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman, joined by other top District officials and students from several CPS schools, made the presentation at Walt Disney Magnet Elementary School, 4140 N. Marine Drive. A total of more than $229,900 was raised from contributions made at hundreds of CPS schools, Area offices and at the District’s Central Office.
Following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 and left hundreds of thousands dead, injured and homeless, school communities throughout the city took notice and began seeking opportunities to educate and assist.
“This tragedy has captured the attention of the world and the hearts of our students,” Huberman said. “Many of our Chicago Public Schools were eager to help and immediately undertook planning efforts aimed at providing assistance to those in need. On a District-wide basis, we also quickly realized that this exercise would also serve as a useful teaching experience for students to recognize the importance of helping others during times of unexpected circumstances.
“Under the leadership of Barbara Lumpkin, our Department of Partnerships and External Affairs swung into action. Barbara’s staff became our internal clearinghouse for information on the events and activities planned by individual schools, and also the organizational force behind our citywide voluntary fund-raising drive, which we called CPS Culture of Caring: Haiti Relief.”
The culmination of those efforts is the donation to the American Red Cross but, Huberman pointed out, the engagement of thousands of students in the overall effort is equally significant.
“We greatly appreciate and are impressed by the amount of money donated by our CPS community of families, students and staff. Yet beyond fund-raising, we wanted this campaign to be a teachable moment,” Huberman said.
“At Chicago Public Schools, we are committed to promoting a Culture of Caring. We want to equip our students to be global citizens who know the value and importance of helping others. Our students, parents, teachers and staff throughout the city answered that call to action.”
Huberman pointed out that:
- 303 schools participated in some kind of Haiti Relief drive.
- 273 of them donated money to the American Red Cross through the Culture of Caring initiative.
- Another 30 engaged in their own unique donation drives.
- Students and teachers throughout the city were very creative in the ways they fundraised. Many integrated the disaster into lesson plans and curriculum.
Prior to the check presentation, students from Disney, Kershaw and Eberhart Elementary Schools and Kelvyn Park High School spoke briefly about their personal involvement in the Culture of Caring-Haitian relief effort.
“We know that the funds we raised and other school-based activities will not by themselves repair Haiti,” Huberman said. “But we believe providing our school communities with an opportunity to help, and by raising the conscience of our young people and engaging them in this campaign, they will have learned an important life lesson.”
Chicago Public Schools serves 417,855 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.