Eva Giglio with Bela Moté, Chief Executive Officer, and her team at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning.
(Left to right: Sonja Knight, Bela Moté, Eva Giglio, Tara Harper, Ashley Nazarak, Vivian Taylor)

A message from Eva Giglio, CME Group Foundation Executive Director

We want to sincerely thank you for the warm welcome into my new role as the CME Group Foundation’s Executive Director. It has been a notably busy quarter, and I’d like to share some highlights on what we’ve accomplished.

In late September, I hosted six meet and greet sessions with individuals and organizations across the Foundation’s network – from Kindergarten Readiness to College and Career Success – which was a great opportunity to build on existing relationships and foster new ones. We brought together more than 100 people throughout these sessions, and it was a pleasure getting to learn more about everyone’s focus. Since then, I have been diving in deeper with one-on-ones and site visits where I am able to see the work in action. One thing is abundantly clear: even in a pandemic, this community continues to show up, dig deep, and push forward for our students.

Many of you have been asking what’s next for the Foundation. The answer is we will continue to nurture the cradle-to-career continuum, with a strong focus on STEM and finance; furthermore, equity remains at the core of the Foundation’s mission. Our work will ensure support and opportunities for students who are underrepresented in fields related to STEM and finance, while creating equity in access to programs and resources.

My goals are to maintain this positive momentum for the Foundation, as we progress a forward-looking strategy that will continue to respond to the evolving daily needs of Chicago’s youth. I look forward to working with everyone in our community as we do this together. In the meantime, as we close out another complex year, we send you and your loved ones our very best wishes this holiday season.

In partnership,

CME Group Foundation 2021 Year in Review

Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago release the first Chicago Roadmap Progress Report

As we all know, the transition from high school to college can be bumpy for students. To help them prepare for the journey ahead, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has teamed up with City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) to create the Chicago Roadmap, a partnership that supports students to and through college, in addition to helping them find an eventual career. CME Group Foundation funded the Chicago Roadmap with a five-year, $1 million grant beginning in late 2020.

The Chicago Roadmap aims to build economic mobility for Chicago students, based on extensive research and assessment of current opportunities and needs. Recently, CPS and CCC released the Chicago Roadmap Progress Report 2021, chronicling significant milestones from the partnership’s first year. The Chicago Roadmap “aligns social, political, educational, financial, and philanthropic efforts to create seamless pathways across Chicago," according to the report. “Concerted efforts empower our students to make tomorrow their own."

First-year outcome highlights include:

  • The launch of 25 working groups of CPS and CCC staff focused on nine game changers for equity strategies aligned to the following five domains: Academic Readiness and Success; Access to High Quality Programs; Student Advising and Supports; Career Exploration, Experience and Readiness; Transparency Alignment and Collaboration
  • The launch of a pre-apprenticeship program designed to support students’ career exploration
  • The launch of a new virtual dual credit course at 14 CPS high schools
  • An increase in the number of high schools served by City Colleges post-secondary navigators, who support CPS students’ transition to college, and the launch of a new strategy to reduce summer melt, leading to a 17 percentage point increase in college matriculation

“The vision of the Roadmap is to improve both opportunity and outcomes for students, and it is encouraging to see how much progress has been made in just the first year," CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a press release for the Progress Report. “By creating targeted academic initiatives that meet students where they are, and by grounding all of our work in equity, rigor, and collaboration, we are taking significant steps toward solidifying the solid Pre-K - 14 continuum our young people need to pursue and achieve their dreams."

If you have questions regarding the Chicago Roadmap, please contact Sadie Stockdale Jefferson (sstockdale@childrenfirstfund.org) and Rhonda Brown (rbrown365@ccc.edu).

Read more.

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New study finds PreK support for English learners has long-term impact

New research from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, a CME Group Foundation grantee organization, studies the influence of preschool and early grade years on English Learners (EL) in CPS. The study examines two groups of CPS students ‒ ELs in PreK and ELs in kindergarten through third grade ‒ to determine which types of programs are most beneficial and which ELs are most in need of early support.

Based on evidence from the study, there are four major findings: first, ELs who attend full-day PreK versus half-day PreK have higher attendance and stronger kindergarten readiness in terms of English language development and early literacy; second, ELs who enroll in CPS PreK programs at age three show stronger language and reading skills than those who enroll at four; third, ELs who receive bilingual education services show higher English proficiency scores by the end of third grade; fourth, refusing bilingual services is associated with lower grades, attendance, and test scores in the long run.

“The main take away from our study is clear: full-day pre-k and bilingual education services help to set up ELs for long-term academic success," shares Marisa de la Torre, Managing Director and Senior Research Associate with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

Sylvia Puente, President and CEO of The Latino Policy Forum, says, “The findings from the study show that, without a doubt, there is an overwhelming benefit for students to be in bilingual programs as early as possible. Based on the evidence, we will continue to advance policies which reinforce the availability of bilingual education to Chicago’s youth, as we want to ensure that all students have the resources and support they need to be successful."

Read more.

100Kin10 surpasses goal to provide STEM teachers to US classrooms

In 2011, President Barack Obama made the call for better STEM education and soon after, 100Kin10 was born, delivering a network to provide 100,000 new STEM teachers nationwide by 2021. The initiative has received support from the CME Group Foundation since 2019, and we are proud to let you know that 100Kin10 recently announced they have exceeded the original goal – by successfully adding 108,000 STEM teachers to schools across the country over the past decade.

100Kin10 kicked off with 28 founding organizations, which has since expanded to over 300 ‒ including the CME Group Foundation and several Foundation grantees the Erikson Institute, Academy of Urban School Leadership, and Chicago Public Schools. Since its launch, 100Kin10 has partnered with Chicago Public Schools and districts across the country to increase access to STEM curriculums. The network recently launched a process called “the unCommission" to understand the experiences of young people, and particularly young people of color, in STEM to identify goals for the future of STEM learning. Over the fall, 100Kin10 has heard from nearly 600 young people who have contributed their voices to the process; 80% identify as people of color. CME Group Foundation will support the unCommission with a $50,000 grant in 2022.

“Too few kids have opportunities that allow them to be the problem solvers our future needs them to be," says Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Executive Director and Founder of 100Kin10. “Our work over the past ten years has proven that students who believe they can succeed, coupled with STEM teachers who can support their learning and growth, are the magic to unleashing a generation of problem solvers."

Learn more about the unCommission at this website and the impact 100Kin10 has achieved over the past ten years here.