Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Mayor Rahm Emanuel knocked on doors in the Auburn-Gresham community Tuesday reminding parents and students about the first day of school.
The initiative is part of a greater Back-to-School campaign promoting student attendance as Chicago's early start schools begin Monday. Regular-start schools begin Sept. 6.
"I know from personal experience as a teacher and a principal that being in the classroom on the first day sets the tone for the rest of the school year and increases a student's chance for success," Brizard said in a statement.
The campaign also features robo-calls to households of CPS students, phone-bank calls targeting parents, text messages and email notifications for families.
The campaign received corporate donations to support different portions of the overall effort. Wal-mart Stores Inc. donated $25,000 for the door-to-door initiative while Target Corp. donated $3,000 to the CPS school with the highest truancy rate. Clear Channel Communications has committed to handling the communication parts of the campaign, which have a net worth of $120,000.
Additionally, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality donated $45,000 for Back to School Kits full of supplies for students. Groupon also provided Chicagoans with the opportunity to buy supplies for low-income students, which raised $15,000. Groupon's offer bought 1,200 Back to School Kits.
"Excellence in education starts with excellent attendance," Emanuel said in a statement. "This is a shared goal for all of Chicago and I am heartened by Chicagoans' commitment to making this important investment in Chicago's future."