Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

School District 65 will implement the Child-Parent Center (CPC) education program at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center and four elementary schools starting in the fall. District 65 was selected as one of the school districts to benefit from a five-year $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement an extension of the University of Minnesota’s “Investing in Innovation” (“i3”), the Child-Parent Center (CPC) education program.

The CPC education program is designed to provide intensive and continuous educational and family-support services for pre-K to third-grade children in low-income families and high-poverty neighborhoods, including the establishment of parent resource centers within elementary schools. Its goal is to promote school readiness, parent involvement and early school achievement which have long-term positive effects on achievement, graduation and career success.

The program will start at the JEH Education Center and four elementary schools. It is expected to expand to other schools across the Evanston community as the initial phase of the research project expands in Illinois.

“Conversations and interest in participating began last spring with University of Minnesota Professor Arthur Reynolds, myself and Ellen Fogelberg, literacy and early childhood education director,” said Superintendent Hardy Murphy. “Professor Reynolds felt that our pre-K initiative in the JEH Education Center and follow- through as students enter kindergarten and the early school years offers an ideal opportunity for the i3 grant expansion. Professor Reynolds is widely recognized for his comprehensive early childhood education research, and District 65 is honored to partner with this project.”

Cost-benefit analyses indicate a return of $8 to $11 for each dollar invested in the program. Bringing the program to Illinois required Professor Reynolds to find a 15% match to the $15 million grant. In less than two weeks, community partners in the local Evanston and surrounding area communities made significant contributions to support the grant.

Dr. Reynolds said, “The level of support and encouragement from the Evanston Community and District 65 has been amazing. We are delighted to partner with District 65 to advance excellence in children’s learning. The CPC expansion project will build on an already strong foundation for early learning in the District to create an exemplary system of services that others could emulate.”

Local community partners who supported this grant with matching funds gathered earlier this month at the JEH Education Center to hear about the project first-hand from Dr. Reynolds. They included the Evanston Community Foundation, Finnegan Family Foundation, Foundation 65, Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, and Northwestern University.