Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Knock Knock, It's Your Mayor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard on Tuesday went door-to-door to remind kids about the importance of good attendance at school. (Published Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011)

    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."