Pictured are Kristin James, D65 PTA Council; Maria Allison, Chief Strategy Officer; Paul Goren, Superintendent

Thanks to the generosity of community partners, local businesses, and residents of Evanston and Skokie, over 1,000 District 65 students were able to start school feeling prepared and ready to learn. This summer, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 partnered with Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston (COPE) and the District 65 PTA Council to provide school supplies for students in need. At the onset, the team set a fundraising goal of $20,000 to purchase backpacks and supplies for District 65 students. Early in August, the team learned that the funds collected through the Evanston Community Foundation website combined with in-kind donations would well exceed the goal set forth and totaled just over $30,000. In addition, local businesses and community organizations made in-kind donations of backpacks and supplies.  “We are truly amazed by the overwhelming support from our community. Every single donation has the power to make a difference in the life of one of our students,” said Maria Allison, District 65 Chief Strategy Officer.

The district was able to purchase supplies and backpacks in bulk to serve 1,000 students at two distribution events held at St. Mark’s Church on August 13-14. Volunteers from COPE, District 65, ETHS Booster Club, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Rotary Club of Evanston, school PTAs, and St. Mark’s Church gathered earlier that week to sort supplies and assemble kits by grade level to hand out at the events. In addition, District 65 social workers and school administrators have access to supplies to continue to provide support outside of the distribution events. “With the additional funds raised, we are able to provide more comprehensive support to families across the district,” said Dr. Allison. “We know that some families may not have been able to attend the distribution events and that there are students who register after the school year begins. The fact that we can continue to provide supplies into the start of the year to help even more students is something that the community can be proud of.”

For the third consecutive year, Evanston Community Foundation and Foundation 65 launched the effort with each organization making generous donations towards the purchase of supplies. District 65 thanks St. Mark’s Church of Evanston for donating the use of their facility and to the strategic partners that made the supply drive and fundraising initiative so successful – COPE, District 65 PTA Council, Evanston Community Foundation, and Foundation 65. “COPE and the PTA Council recognized and really embraced the importance of this work. They took the reins this year and with the support of Maria Allison and the District 65 team were able to take the supply drive to the next level,” said Superintendent Goren. “I am truly grateful for their leadership and for the residents and organizations of Evanston/Skokie who rallied around this effort. We are fortunate to have a community that often does ‘whatever it takes’ for our children. The kindness, dedication, and generosity embody the meaning of true partnership and I am so appreciative for the ongoing support.”

The District would like to thank individual donors as well as the community organizations and local businesses listed below for their generosity and support.

·         Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Delta Chi Omega Chapter

·         Backlot Coffee

·         BMO Harris Bank

·         Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston (COPE)

·         City of Evanston

·         Curt’s Cafe

·         Dewey Elementary School

·         District 65 PTA Council

·         Evanston Community Foundation

·         Evanston Day Nursery

·         ETHS Booster Club

·         Evanston Township High School Service Club and the Koffend Foundation

·         First United Methodist Church

·         Five & Dime/Lulu’s/Taco Diablo

·         Foundation 65

·         Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

·         Lincoln School PTA

·         Little Beans Cafe

·         Northwestern University

·         Northwestern University Neighborhood and Community Relations

·         Rotary Club of Evanston

·         St. Mark’s Church

·         Starbucks

·         The Mather

·         The Steele Foundation