Ready for Learning

Help Remove Barriers to a Quality Education

Eighty-eight percent of teachers report poverty as one of the biggest obstacles to student success. With new barriers to quality education due to COVID-19, it is more critical than ever to provide the essentials kids need to thrive at school or in remote learning settings.

The Initiative 

Cradles to Crayons believes in working together to make high-quality learning accessible to all children. Our Ready for Learning initiative presented by Discover will set students up for success by providing learning essentials to 60,000 children—free of charge. These supplies will be distributed through our 54 social services agency partners including the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), Access Community Health Network, Christopher House, and Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), and serve kids with the greatest need for our services.

The Need

Families spend an average of $850 a year on back-to-school supplies—a 21% increase from last year. These essentials are both inaccessible and unaffordable for families already working hard to pay rent or put food on the table. With the support of our corporate sponsors, we can provide age-appropriate learning supplies including backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, art supplies, and rulers to the kids experiencing resource insecurity.

Cradles to Crayons’ Ready for Learning initiative provides Chicagoland children living in low-income or homeless situations with the essentials they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. 

Ways to Serve

Want to volunteer? Ready for Learning events are off-site with our corporate partner, Discover. Volunteers will be setting up tables, unboxing school supplies, loading backpacks into trucks, and breaking down cardboard boxes. If you would like to volunteer, please email Michele at mkuhn@cradlestocrayons.org. All volunteers must be 18 or older.

Are you a corporate partner? An individual philanthropist? Join our community of giving today and provide Chicagoland students with the learning resources they need.


To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kevin Mork at kmork@cradlestocrayons.org