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MAYOR LIGHTFOOT JOINS GOVERNOR PRITZKER TO ANNOUNCE
ARTS FOR ILLINOIS RELIEF FUND TO SUPPORT ARTISTS, ARTISANS AND CULTURAL
ORGANIZATIONS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

More than $4M Already Raised for ‘Arts for Illinois Relief Fund,’ a Partnership Between the
City of Chicago, State of Illinois and the Philanthropic Community
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Governor JB Pritzker to announce a new
‘Arts for Illinois Relief Fund’ to provide financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural
organizations impacted by COVID-19. The fund is a partnership between the City of
Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community. Arts for Illinois
Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts
Work Fund. To date, more than $4M has been committed from public and private sources
to seed an upcoming statewide campaign that will provide additional funding to meet the
growing and critical needs of the state’s creative sector.
Grant applications for artists, artisans and cultural organizations open today. The City of
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has contributed $1
million to the relief effort, along with leadership gifts from Walder Foundation and John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Fundraising activities will be co-chaired by First
Lady MK Pritzker and First Lady Amy Eshleman, with support from other civic leaders.
Individuals, corporations and charitable foundations are encouraged to donate to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund by visiting www.artsforillinois.org.

CPS to Offer Free Meals During Scheduled Spring Break and Consolidate Meal Sites to Ensure Support for Staff and Families
CPS has Provided 2.8 Million Free Meals to Families and Will Continue to Provide Access to Free Meals for All Students During School Closure

CHICAGO —  As the district works to support families during the unprecedented challenge presented by COVID-19, CPS announced today that grab-and-go meals will be available to families during the district’s scheduled spring break, which begins on Monday, April 6. Through one of the nation’s most ambitious free meal programs, 2.8 million grab-and-go meals have been provided to CPS families since schools closed earlier this month. To provide greater flexibility for district staff who have helped feed students in recent weeks and to ensure long-term consistency in location pick-up for families, the district will be consolidating its least utilized meal distribution sites beginning April 13.  

“Chicago is offering the most ambitious free meal distribution program in the country, and we are committed to providing free meals at the majority of our schools for the entire time schools are closed,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The modifications we are making will provide additional support for our school staff, and ensure a strong staffing plan is in place that helps prevent disruption for our families.”

Since schools closed earlier this month, CPS has operated meal sites at nearly all district schools. Grab and go meal sites are open every weekday, and families who visit meal sites are provided with three days of breakfast and lunch per child. Free, CPS-provided meals are a necessity for a large number of CPS students, and the district is committed to providing free meals to all students for the duration of the school closure. 

Under the district’s revised meal distribution plan, which will begin on Monday, April 13, 276 schools that have been high demand distribution sites for families will continue to provide free meals, and schools that were less frequently utilized by families will no longer serve as distribution sites. Consolidating meal sites will promote operational stability for the length of the closure and provide the following benefits for staff and families:
  • Lunchroom staff: By consolidating sites, the district will need fewer staff each day while still ensuring students are fed each day. All staff will continue to be paid, and staff who are not working or assigned to an active meal site will be able to stay home and practice social distancing.
  • School administrators: Reducing the number of active meal sites will also reduce the number of principals and assistant principals who are overseeing meal distribution each day. The district will rotate administrators through the consolidated sites, which will provide additional time for all principals to support remote learning, which launches district-wide on April 13.
  • Families: It’s a priority for the district to offer reliable service and certainty about the meal sites that will be open each day. By consolidating sites and supplementing staffing levels by transferring in some of the staff from deactivated sites, the district will have stronger staffing plans at each school. Improved staffing will help ensure meal sites do not need to close in the event of staff absences, which has the potential to become a greater concern due to the growth in COVID-19 cases.
"SEIU Local 1 lunchroom managers are happy to step up to do their part for our communities during this unprecedented crisis and feed thousands of Chicago children," said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. "We look forward to continuing to work with CPS during these trying times to protect and strengthen our communities."

"Caring for the kids is not simply what the CPS lunchroom staff do, it is who they are,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1. “Continuing to do that work in these times demonstrates the depth of their commitment to Chicago's children."

Under the district’s consolidated meal plan, 52 percent of CPS schools will offer free meals on a daily basis, far outpacing options provided in most large cities. Ninety percent of all students will live within one mile of a meal distribution site, and 75 percent of sites will be located on the south and west sides of the city. Although the revised site structure is designed so that families will maintain close proximity to the nearest site, the district will continue to provide free delivery for families who need additional support. 

During the week of April 6, which is the district’s scheduled spring break, 136 CPS schools will provide free meals from Monday through Thursday, with no food distribution on Good Friday, April 10. School-based lunch staff were not previously scheduled to work during spring break and those who continue to work during this period will receive additional compensation and their paid vacation will be rescheduled to a later date. Staff who do not work will receive paid vacation as scheduled.

For the full list of meal sites that will be open during spring break and under the consolidated site plan beginning April 13, please visit cps.edu/mealsites  or call 773-553-KIDS.

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district. 
A NOTE FROM NOBLE'S CEO

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker extended the shelter-in-place order to April 30th in Illinois, and Noble Schools will be closed during this time. We are taking the state’s guidelines on social distancing very seriously, as the health and safety of our students, families, staff, and community are our top priority. As we transition to remote learning during the closure, we must ensure we are providing equitable academic experiences and as such we’re exploring both analog and digital solutions. We’ve been working hard on the logistics to ensure we support our community to the fullest extent possible and want to share some important updates:
 
 Student access to computers to continue learning
  • We recently purchased 1,250 Chromebooks for our students who we know do not have access to a computer at home. Out of an abundance of caution, these devices will be shipped directly to students and start to land at students’ homes next week. We will continue to purchase Chromebooks as they become available and send them to our students in the coming weeks.
  • Our decision to send these directly to our students instead of having families pick them up at our campuses is based in our belief that it is safest for our students, families, and staff to stay home. This allows us to maximize our social distancing efforts while at the same time satisfy our students’ needs for technology. 
  • The devices are being sent with “no strings attached,” so students can keep the tablets and hopefully use them for years to come at Noble and into post-secondary life.
  • Please reach out to your campus, either directly or through the report card pick-up process, if your child does not have access to a computer at home.
Noble has delivered more than 16,000 meals to families in Chicago in the past two weeks
Information about food distribution is available  here . All Chicago students regardless of whether they are enrolled at Noble are welcome to pick up meals.
 
We have released adjusted 2019-2020 Promotion Policies
In light of the uncertainty surrounding grades and promotion, we’ve released the updated promotion policies here in  English Spanish , and  Simplified Chinese . If there are specific questions please reach out to advisors.
 
More resources at  https://nobleschools.org/coronavirus/  
We’ve collected a large number of resources for our Noble community including enrichment opportunities for students, socioemotional health resources for our entire community, physical fitness resources, links to grant opportunities for anyone experiencing financial hardship and more. 
 
A reminder that Noble schools will be on Spring Break the week of April 6 as previously scheduled so staff and students may take the necessary time to rest and recharge. Students may access previously posted remote learning opportunities during this week, but please note communication from staff may be delayed until after Spring Break. We are pleased to be able to compensate our hourly employees during this time, and staff who work on a year-round schedule are encouraged to use personal time off (PTO) as you were planning during this week.   
 
There is certainly more to come and more for us to figure out together. I continue to be grateful for the ingenuity, creativity, and resilience of our community during this challenging time.
Applications for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund now open.

The City of Chicago recognizes that COVID-19 has put a difficult burden on our business and non-profit community. As a response to this challenge, the City of Chicago has established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (the Resiliency Fund), which will provide small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.
The Resiliency Fund is structured to complement the new federal Paycheck Protection Program that the Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch shortly. The City and its partners will seek to provide all Resiliency Fund loan applicants with the best offer available, including from the SBA’s new program. All loan applications will be administered through lending partners, including Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana and the Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF). The Fund continues to build partnerships with additional lenders to help provide loans to small businesses and non-profits all over Chicago.
The health and safety of all our residents remains the highest priority of CHA and along with city 
departments and sister agencies, CHA is following the lead of the Chicago Department of Public 
Health (CDPH) when it comes to providing information, especially about the COVID-19 
pandemic.
As part of the City’s comprehensive response to COVID-19, CHA stands with Mayor Lightfoot in 
continuing to offer life-saving information, support and resources to our residents in these 
unsettling times.
While CHA offices are closed to the public, we continue to operate and provide all essential 
services to CHA families and seniors. I wanted to take a moment to update you on some 
of our key efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:
• Resident Communication: CHA and its property management firms and social service 
partners are communicating often with residents and providing them with lifesaving 
information they need to protect themselves from COVID-19, using direct 
communications and signage reminding residents to take precautions against the virus. 
These details are translated into 12 languages representing the diverse populations we 
serve.
• Senior Support: People over 60 are among the most susceptible to COVID-19 and we 
have increased engagement with our seniors with frequent communication and increased 
assessments of the home-based services we provide, such as meal service.
• Building Safety and Cleanliness: CHA’s property management firms are performing 
twice-daily cleanings and disinfecting of common areas and commonly touched surfaces 
to prevent the spread of harmful germs. In addition, we have contractors on standby if
more extensive cleaning is necessary.

Closed Common Areas: Across all CHA properties, all community rooms, fitness 
centers, and other group gathering spaces are now closed. In addition, all events and 
group meetings have been suspended.
• Continuity of Services: While CHA and HCV offices are closed to the general public, 
most staff are teleworking and all essential services are being provided to residents, 
voucher households and applicants via email and phone.
• Reinforcing Protective Measures: CHA is posting translated signage in all of its 
buildings, reminding residents of the dangers of COVID-19 and the vital importance of 
social distancing. 
Our partnership is essential to CHA’s work and mission and I remain grateful for your continued 
support – we are in this together. We encourage everyone to stay up to date on the latest news and guidance on COVID-19 by visiting www.Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
The Salvation Army Freedom Center
825 N. Christiana

Monday - Wednesday - Friday
1pm - 3pm

Tuesday - Thursday
9am - 12pm

Breakthrough Fresh Market
3334 W. Carroll

Tuesdays
2pm - 4pm

Thursdays
10am - 12pm

Saturdays
10am - 12pm

Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago
1111 N. Wells
Wednesdays
6pm - 8pm
Grab & Go Warm Meals

Northwest Settlement
1400 W. Augusta
Monday - Thursday
9pm - 12pm

Dear 27th Ward Residents,

We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community very seriously. Like you, we're closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will practice social distancing. We have temporarily closed our offices to protect our staff and the public.

27th Ward Staff are working from home checking emails  (wburnett@cityofchicago.org) and responding to your questions and requests.

For more information about COVD-19 and what you can do to keep healthy and safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control at  cdc.gov  or  City of Chicago.gov

Sincerely,
Walter Burnett, Jr.
Alderman, 27th Ward