August 31, 2012
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has taken this year’s back to school campaign to great heights by enlisting some of the city’s most iconic skyscrapers to increase awareness of first day attendance. Two of the buildings on the Chicago skyline are using their lighting to display CPS’s back to school Twitter hashtag, #CPSB2S, pointing Chicagoans to online video and social media messages that were created to help communicate the importance of attendance on the first day and every day.
In addition, a variety of celebrity sports figures including Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls; Israel Idonije, Khalil Bell and J’Marcus Webb of the Chicago Bears; Jesse Crain of the Chicago White Sox; Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs; and Pavel Pardo of the Chicago Fire are featured in video announcements urging Chicago students to attend school on the first day. Several of these videos have been broadcast on cable channels, thanks to support from Comcast.
“It is incredible to see our back to school message light up the sky of this great city and to receive such generous support from our local businesses and athletes,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “The launch of the Full School Day marks one of the most exciting years in the history of CPS and we want all kids to experience what this quality day can offer them. Making sure all students are in classrooms on day one is something we cannot do alone and we appreciate all parents, communities, local businesses and athletes who have joined in our efforts to spread the word.”
This evening the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building, located at 300 E. Randolph St., will switch on its lighting to display #CPSB2S with illuminated windows. Yesterday, the building located at 150 N. Michigan Ave. turned on its slope lighting to display the back to school Twitter hashtag. CNA Financial joined the back to school cause by installing a 42-foot picture of a train on its building's second floor window, located at 333 S. Wabash Ave. The yellow school bus inspired window display depicts an elevated train full of students, designed to attract the attention of CTA riders who pass by the building throughout the day.
Chicagoans who search for the #CPSB2S hashtag on Twitter will find information about the first day of school, back to school videos from celebrity athletes, and links to the District’s back to school website, which provides bell times, information on health requirements, and other important resources for students and families.
Back to school web videos are also available on the District’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/chipubschools. These YouTube videos have also been broadcast on the CPS website (www.cps.edu), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicagopublicschools), and Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/chipubschools), so that Chicagoans who search for #CPSB2S on their mobile phones will be able to easily watch back to school messages from their favorite local athletes.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.