In 2008, the Gorter Family Foundation made a long-term commitment to the children and families of North Chicago and demonstrated their faith in the venture philanthropy model by providing seed capital for a new foundation, North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP).
NCCP was created in direct response to the lack of support for the academic challenges facing the children of North Chicago, an under resourced community adjacent to some of the state’s wealthiest communities.
Through the implementation of the “community school” model, NCCP has had the privilege of working with North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 (CUSD 187) and the broader community to attempt to lessen the impact of the enormous funding gap between schools in Illinois.
The community school is not a new idea. In fact, it is the type of school found in many affluent school districts – a school that offers before and after school enrichment and learning opportunities for all students, engages parents in the education of their children, provides opportunities for family learning, fun and support and works collaboratively inside and outside the school community.
For nine years, NCCP has strategically developed and expanded its community school model and now provides a variety of programs and services that complement classroom instruction and enhance student learning in all of North Chicago’s traditional public schools. Over 1,ooo students participate in NCCP’s programs each week and hundreds of guests attend every family event.
NCCP’s relationships within the community, consistent presence, expansive network and reputation for providing high quality programming have made it a valuable strategic partner within the district.