Ready for Learning

School is going to look different in the fall. 

It might mean returning to a physical classroom among peers, scheduled virtual lessons, or somewhere in between. No matter what it looks like, student development can happen anywhere, and kids will always need supplies to feel empowered and ready to learn.  

Access to these essential learning supplies requires financial supports. Since the economic collapse, 55% of low-wage workers with young children reported someone in the household had been laid off since March 16, 2020. As more and more families struggle to afford essentials like food and rent, spending an average of $320 a year on school supplies is unrealistic, and unaffordable. 

The Initiative 

No matter what new challenges we face, we believe in working together to make learning accessible to all children. Our Ready for Learning initiative will promote equitable education systems and empower children to feel safe, valued, and ready to learn during uncertain times. 

As part of Cradles to Crayons’ on-going COVID-19 emergency relief efforts, our Ready for Learning initiative this summer will ensure that 50,000 kids have everything they need to feel ready to learn this fall by distributing critical learning supplies through our network of social service partners.   

The Need

Cradles to Crayons serves more than 100,000 Chicagoland children, living in low-income or homeless situations, each year with high-quality, everyday essential items. This year, 50 service partners, including the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), Access Community Health Network, Christopher House, and Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), requested learning supplies to distribute to the kids they serve. Click here for our full list of our service partners.

More than one-fifth of students are not participating in school right now—21% of students are “absentee” due to disruptions to routine and school services, increasing anxiety and depression in some youth.

When it comes to education in the age of COVID-19, research suggests prioritizing child-centered services, with a focus on equity of access. Through the support of our corporate sponsors, we can provide age-appropriate learning supplies including backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, art supplies, and rulers. (UN Policy Brief)

Take this opportunity to double your donation – the Up Foundation is generously matching up to $20,000 for Ready for Learning.


To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Chelsea Morris at cmorris@cradlestocrayons.org