Boeing helps Chicago-area students head back to class

August 26, 2020 in Community

Boeing awarded a $1.5 million charitable grant to support the expansion of technology access for approximately 4,500 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. The donation – which will fund the purchase of computer equipment and other remote learning technology – will be directed through the Children First Fund, the independent partnership and philanthropy arm for Chicago Public Schools.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented disruption and challenge for students and teachers here in Chicago and across the nation,” said Greg Smith, Boeing executive vice president of Enterprise Operations and Communications and chief financial officer. “With this grant, we’re proud to support Chicago Public Schools and help ensure all students have the remote learning tools they need to succeed, no matter where they live.”

CPS will distribute the computer equipment and remote learning technology equitably across the district based on need. Students receive items such as devices, headsets, and carrying cases. Schools were selected based on known need — located in communities with a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch aid and with the highest hardship based on the University of Illinois at Chicago hardship index. In addition, approximately 100 educators will receive new devices, webcams and headsets to enhance remote learning capabilities.

“Our district is working to ensure that every student has the resources they need to stay engaged when we start the school year remotely,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “This contribution from Boeing strengthens our efforts and commitment to bridge the digital divide that too often keeps our highest-need students and families from many of the opportunities available to grow academically while at home.”

Boeing also selected Children First Fund, along with Gary Community School Corporation, as the recipients of the annual Liftoff for Learning back to school drive in the Chicago area. The drive raised an additional $13,000, including Boeing gift match funds. Employee donations will help fund the purchase of laptops and other remote technology for students for students in Chicago and Gary, Indiana.