The University of Chicago News Office
March 4, 2004 Press Contact: William Harms
(773) 702-8356

Bank One donates $1 million to help the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration prepare social workers to work in community schools

Community schools boost education by supporting children, families

The University of Chicago announced on Thursday, March 4 that it has received a $1 million donation from Bank One to prepare future social workers for leadership roles in community schools.

The grant to the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) will fund creation of the The Bank One Program for Leadership in Community Schools, which will provide fellowships, field education and career services to prepare students to lead community schools. The program will begin this fall and is expected to benefit community schools across the country.

During the past decade, community schools have emerged as an important new vehicle to improve student performance and strengthen local communities. Community schools are strongly tied to their neighborhoods and link academic programs with social services to help meet the needs of the students, parents and other community residents.

“Community schools bring together the academic and social supports needed to ensure that all students succeed by offering programs before, during and after the school day for students and their families,” said Sarah Duncan, coordinator of the community schools leadership program at SSA and a prominent Chicago leader in community and schools issues. “The programs support the school’s academic program and expand the services offered within the community. Most community schools in Chicago offer academic enrichment activities for students, including cultural and social activities, as well as health and other services that address the psychosocial barriers to learning. ”

“This program will develop an important new professional role for social work in the schools,” added Edward Lawlor, Dean of SSA. “Community school directors and coordinators work hand-in-hand with school principals to build innovative programs to engage students in effective social services that support social development and educational achievement. These leadership roles are complex and demanding, requiring expertise in education, clinical practice and assessment, program development, family support, management, policy and community development. This initiative builds nicely on the strengths of our School and our students. ”

The Bank One Program for Leadership in Community Schools will continue through 2012.

“Bank One is delighted to support the University of Chicago in its education of social workers for community schools,” said Warren Chapman, president of the Bank One Foundation. “Community schools have become an integral and exciting part of the neighborhoods they serve and the social workers help make that happen. ” Jamie Dimon, CEO of Bank One, is a trustee of the University of Chicago.

The gift from Bank One marks an important contribution to The CHICAGO Initiative, the University’s $2 billion, five-year capital campaign.

“This is an exciting and innovative addition to the set of cooperative programs through which the University of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools work together to improve education. We are grateful to Bank One for its bold leadership and support for this initiative,” said University President Don Michael Randel. The School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago is a professional school offering master’s and doctoral degrees in social work. Founded in 1908, SSA is one of a handful of institutions that helped create and define the profession of social work and the field of social welfare. It remains a leader today; SSA is routinely ranked among the top schools of social work in the nation.
Last modified at 11:46 AM CST on Thursday, March 04, 2004.

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