Nonprofit Communities in Chicago Schools Delighted by MacKenzie Scott’s Multimillion-Dollar Gift – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) –Chicago’s troubled kids just got a big boost from one of America’s richest women.

MacKenzie Scott, billionaire philanthropist and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, has donated $133.5 million to the national education nonprofit Communities In Schools. A total of $4 million went directly to the organization’s local chapter, Communities In Schools of Chicago, or CIS of Chicago for short.

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“At a time when the global COVID pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Chicago students and families, including experiences of social isolation, economic crisis, stress and trauma, Ms. Scott’s investment will help CIS Chicago continue to break down systemic barriers to opportunity and success for tens of thousands of Chicago public school students each year,” the organization said in a press release.

Jane Mentzinger, executive director of CIS Chicago, told CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra that she was shocked by the gift.

“It came totally by surprise to us, so we had no idea. Wonderful surprise,” she said.

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The mission of CIS Chicago is to unlock the potential of students in the Chicago public school system at both the elementary and secondary levels. The organization partners with 175 CPS schools across the city.

The mission of the Chicago CIS is twofold. The organization connects schools with community partners to provide academic support, health and wellness, supportive counseling and counseling, college and career readiness, and parental and family engagement . It also places masters-level student support managers in 30 of the 175 partner schools to provide individual counseling and intervention for students with special needs.

“I think this giveaway, first of all, is validation of the work that Communities In Schools of Chicago is doing across the city. I think that means we can continue to do the work we do connecting resources to students like counseling, mentoring, college and career planning, and arts and enrichment programs – all children of the services students need to succeed. in school and in life,” Mentzinger said, “and this gift means we can do it.

Mentzinger clarified in a press release that the donation ensures that CIS Chicago can support several crucial programs for years to come – including community partnerships and direct student orientation, as well as training for teachers, parents and any adult in a Youth Mental Health First Aid Program to support students in crisis and meet the needs of students and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mentzinger said the Chicago CIS already had the money and could put it to good use immediately.

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