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$1M grant to fund classrooms and IT

Tue, Jul 15, 2014

Chicago Commons has received a $1 million Early Childhood Construction Grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) for renovation of classrooms, playgrounds, improved security and technology upgrades.

“On behalf of Chicago Commons, I want to thank Gov. Pat Quinn for giving us the resources to increase attendance, serve more families and continue to build the foundation for stronger facilities,” said Edgar Ramirez, president and CEO, Chicago Commons.

Chicago Commons operates four child development centers: Paulo Freire Family Center in Back of the Yards, Nia Family Center and Taylor Center for New Experiences in West Humboldt Park, and Guadalupano Family Center in Pilsen. Security and IT systems will be modernized across all four centers; two centers will receive additional classrooms, a kitchen and upgraded playgrounds. An additional 70 children will be served.

“Study after study has shown that high- quality early childhood education provides the highest return of any public investment we can make – more than $7 for every dollar invested,” Gov. Quinn said. “Illinois leads the nation in number of 3-year-olds attending pre-school, [but]… More than a third of our youngest and most vulnerable children still don’t have the opportunity to attend early care and learning programs before they enter kindergarten.”

Common’s child development centers and partner sites serve 1,300 children through daycare, Head Start full-day preschool and after-school programs for children eight weeks to 5 years old.

Thomas Fowkes
StreetWise Editorial Intern


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