Chicago, September 28, 2023 – Leaders from Amazon joined Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Library Foundation to announce a $100,000 grant to fund the Teacher in the Library program. This program provides one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions from accredited educators, giving K-12 students free homework help and effective study habits that support success in school and beyond. Students can drop in at any one of 52 branches located around the city or can register for virtual lessons with a Teacher in the Library. View a full list of locations with Teacher in the Library services, as well as virtual sessions.
For more than two decades, Chicago Public Library has provided high-quality homework help to thousands of Chicago’s students, especially to lower-income children and children of color who continue to face the most significant obstacles to educational opportunity in Chicago. According to the Brookings Institution, students continue to experience prolonged learning disruptions from the past two years. Estimates suggest there is up to a 30% loss in reading skills and a 50% loss in math skills. More concerning is that the achievement divide between students in low-poverty and high-poverty areas grew by 20% in math and 15% in reading - a gap only exacerbated by COVID learning loss.
Teachers also work with parents and caregivers - giving them additional resources and strategies to help reinforce school lessons at home. Teachers even help prepare students to thrive outside of school by supporting them as they transition to adulthood, assisting with college applications and career road-mapping.
“Amazon is proud to support Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Teacher in the Library (TIL) program and to strengthen the partnership between Chicago Public Schools and our neighborhood Chicago Public Library branches through the 81 Club,” said Sarah Glavin, Head of Community Affairs for Amazon. "We know that libraries are community centers and by encouraging parents and teachers across the city to utilize TIL for homework help and continued exploration our students will open up new doors to help them succeed.”
Celebrating the grant announcement is a back-to-school fest hosted by Amazon, Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation held at the Woodson Regional Library. Students and their families were treated to a morning of fun learning activities including a conversation with Chicago native and bestselling author Natasha Tarpley and an interactive music coding session with EarSketch. Teacher in the Library participants were also present to answer questions about the program and other free learning resources. In addition, Amazon will also be giving away back-to-school supplies to ensure students will have everything they need in the classroom.
“Building a stronger, more equitable Chicago begins with giving our young people – particularly students in communities on the South and West sides that have long suffered from disinvestment – access to resources and support that supplement learning in the classroom,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Programs like Teacher in the Library give all students the opportunity to succeed in school and beyond. I thank Amazon for partnering with Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation to support Chicago’s youth.”
The Teacher in the Library program is one of the many free K-12 resources available to all Chicago Public Schools students through the recently launched 81 Club. In a historic partnership between Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Schools, students now have direct and instant access to library resources in the branches, at home, or online – including homework help, research and language support, digital magazines and the Audiobook collection. Students can also check out five physical Library items with their 81 Club card.
The 81 Club also benefits Chicago Public Schools teachers, empowering them to use the Library’s database and research tools in classrooms to support student learning and aid in instruction. This transformative collaboration opens doors of opportunities for students to succeed in school and beyond.
“Central to the Library’s mission is to support the next generation of Chicago artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders. By fostering groundbreaking collaborations like the 81 Club with Chicago Public Schools, for the first time ever, Chicago students have direct and instant access to the Library’s suite of resources online or in the branches, like Teacher in the Library,” said Commissioner Brown. “Our Chicago Public Library is more committed than ever in advancing academic development for every student in Chicago.”
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About Chicago Public Library
Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment, and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 81 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits, and programs for children, teens, and adults. For more information, please call (312) 747-4300 or visit chipublib.org. To follow CPL on social media, visit us on Twitter (@chipublib), Facebook (Chicago Public Library), or Instagram (@chicagopubliclibrary).
About Chicago Public Library Foundation
The Chicago Public Library Foundation (CPLF) is an independent nonprofit that exists to accelerate the potential of our public library by investing in resources that transform lives and communities. Together with its civic-minded partners, CPLF makes pathways to learning, creativity, and civic engagement accessible to Chicagoans of all ages through investment across three funding priority areas: Closing the Academic Opportunity Gap; Activating Creativity & Connection for All; and Bridging the Digital Divide.
Find us online: cplfoundation.org