kCura and Chicago Public Schools Announces Funston Elementary as Newest 'Wired to Learn' Grant Recipient

Public school in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood has been selected to receive a milestone-contingent grant of $250,000, awarded annually by kCura to level the technology playing field for under-resourced students. CHICAGO – June 13, 2016 – kCura, a Chicago-based legal technology company, and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced the 2016 recipient of the Wired to Learn grant. The grant is a key element of kCura Gives, kCura’s community outreach program that works to ensure youth in the community have access to the technology, equipment, and training they need to be successful in today’s work environment. Created in 2013 and awarded annually, the Wired to Learn grant is a three-year, milestone-contingent grant of up to $250,000 that provides resources to help teachers integrate technology into their everyday curriculum. To be eligible for the competitive grant, schools must have more than 80 percent of their student population eligible for free or reduced lunch, and have less than a 1:1 device-to-student ratio. This year’s recipient, Funston Elementary, stood out among 57 applicants due to their community commitment and long-term plan for the technology resources that Wired to Learn can provide. During the application process, parents and teachers alike were highly engaged in envisioning a curriculum that supports both the students and broader Humboldt Park community. The school first plans to improve the personalized learning experiences available to their students, investing in personal devices like iPads and Chromebooks, and building a teacher cohort to grow their skills in integrating technology into the classroom. Since the implementation of the kCura Gives program, kCura has provided more than $1.5 million dollars through Wired to Learn and other giving initiatives to improve students’ learning experiences and prepare them for college and careers. The 2014 Wired to Learn recipient schools, Pickard and Ruggles Elementary, both moved up to the District’s highest school rating level—Level 1+—within one year of receiving the grant. “Our schools have done tremendous things with the Wired to Learn grant, which has improved access to the cutting edge technology that is vital to a well-rounded 21st century education,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We appreciate kCura’s continued support of CPS schools, and we are committed to leveraging these resources to make sure our students are prepared for a successful future.” kCura’s Wired to Learn grant was designed as an open-source framework for other companies to get involved with bringing technology to schools that need it. Other companies who are interested in implementing the process on their own terms in Chicago are invited to reach out to kCura. Through the grant, organizations can fund the purchase of new technology, donate existing technology or software, or help participate in technology mentoring activities for students and teachers. The plug-and-play design of the Wired to Learn program is meant to enable companies to give back in whatever way works best for them with the resources they have. “We believe in the power of technology, and we want the next generation to have the tools they need for whatever careers they desire in whatever community they choose,” said Dorie Blesoff, chief people officer at kCura. “What’s most exciting about Wired to Learn is that we can leverage it to build something bigger than we can do alone. We want to help every interested organization give back and ultimately have a defining impact on the community.” Those interested in learning more about kCura Gives and how to start a Wired to Learn grant program at their organization can contact kcuragives@kcura.com.