April 30th marked Comcast Cares Day, and as 14 other of our City Year sites partnered with their local partners, we made sure that Comcast's impact was felt in Chicago, at Woodson Elementary in Bronzeville.
Volunteers engaged in 16 projects throughout Woodsoon - designed not only to motivate, engage, and inspire students of all grades, but to also show them that there is a large group of people in their community whom care about their success.
Before deploying to their projects, volunteers assembled for a morning ceremony, where they heard from representatives from Comcast and Woodson Principal Tamara Littlejohn.
Principal Littlejohn was an amazing host to us all, and she had this to share with us; "We have been anticipating this day - this day is like Christmas for us. We've been counting down, and we're so excited to see everybody here.” She went on to give some background on the school and community, stating, “Woodson is a gem. We are sitting here in the historic community of Bronzeville, and I always share with my students that, Bronzeville is to Chicago as Harlem is to New York – it’s such a rich history…I am a product of Chicago Public Schools, I am a Bronzeville resident, and this is just an awesome day to celebrate my school, my students, in Bronzeville, making it happen.”
From there it was off to service! Volunteers quickly broke out into their projects and began working on a series of different projects across the school.
A big part of Principal Littlejohn's wishlist was an Extreme
Home Library Makeover, which included motivational murals, educational pictures, and a way to help her organize the books (Woodson has been without a librarian on staff for the better part of the school year).
Before breaking for lunch, we were joined by a few notable figures within the community and Comcast, including: Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President Neil Smit and Chief Financial Officer Mike Cavanagh, Treasurer of Chicago's 3rd Ward Kurt Summers, Cook County Commissioner (2nd District) Robert Steele, and 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell.
We heard from each of these speakers, sharing the impact that Comcast and community volunteers were having across the country, and Alderman Dowell read a Mayoral Proclamation that officially marked April 30th 2016 as Comcast Cares Day in Chicago!
Comcast Corporation CFO Mike Cavanagh shares the national impact of Comcast Cares Day
To close this mid-day rally, Comcast Senior Vice President for Comcast Chicago Greater Region John Crowley surprised Principal Littlejohn and the students at Woodson with a check for $25,000! The donation was made to the Children's First Fund, and will be distributed through them to Woodson, and the Bronzeville community!
As we returned to service, there was a buzz among volunteers to check out a certain project. There were a number of painting projects on the many staircases at Woodson, and in one of those staircases - which are primarily used by the younger grades - volunteers were painting the alphabet, but with characters from the works of Dr. Suess as the letters.
Here are some of our other favorite pictures from Comcast Cares Day! Be sure to check out our Flickr album to view more!