June 2, 2008
Target Corporation will be the official provider of uniforms for students who attend Chicago public elementary schools following action Monday by the Chicago Board of Education.
The sponsorship agreement, which was approved at the board’s meeting, allows families with children in CPS elementary schools that require uniforms to purchase the uniforms at a discount at any Chicago-area Target store with coupons that will be distributed by CPS prior to the end of the school year. In addition, Target has agreed to donate, and have CPS distribute, thousands of uniforms for homeless children within the CPS system and pay CPS a sponsorship fee which will support CPS programs.
“We are pleased to welcome Target as our official uniform provider,” said Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, CPS Chief Education Officer. “This agreement does many things, but primarily it will allow families who have students in schools that require uniforms to save money at the point of purchase and it helps parents and guardians purchase a high-quality, durable product for the students.”
Eighty-five percent of CPS elementary schools had uniform policies in place for the 2007-2008 school year. About 7,000 homeless elementary school students, who will receive free uniforms donated by Target through CPS, attend CPS schools.
The partnership with Target, which takes effect immediately, provides better value for CPS families faced with purchasing uniforms for their students; lessens the stress level on parents and guardians by implementing enhanced inventory levels when thousands of them are shopping for uniforms; and includes a donation of uniforms for all homeless elementary school students, thereby lessening direct costs to CPS.
Under the agreement, CPS will distribute a Target discount coupon worth $5 off a purchase of $25 or more. In addition, a Hanes discount coupon will provide $1 off socks or underwear at Target stores. The coupons will be redeemable in stores and have an expiration date of Aug. 31.
Education is a top priority for Target, with its own programs such as Take Charge of Education and Target Field Trip Grants, and with support for national and local reading programs. Since 1997, Target has donated more than $229 million to 100,000 schools around the country – representing 75 percent of schools in the U.S.
Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to support and enrich the communities it serves. Today that equates to more than $3 million every week to support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism.
CPS will begin promoting Target as the official uniform provider to CPS families with information sent to students’ homes along with a coupon. Student uniforms can continue to be purchased elsewhere as well.
The Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third-largest school system. It includes more than 600 schools and serves about 409,000 students.