By Dorothy Tucker

(CBS) — The push is on to get Chicago’s students ready to hit the books next week. This year’s first day is after the Labor Day holiday, unlike last year’s, which came before.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes us to Pilsen, where the push involves the entire community and a little help from nearby college students.

An army of students from Wheaton College set out Monday to spread the back-to-school message in Pilsen. They placed door hangers and yard signs, in both English and Spanish. And while many know when school starts – Sept. 2 – too many in this predominantly Mexican-American community forget, according to Pilsen Pastor Robert Belfort.

“A lot of parents in this community are unaware. They go to Mexico for the summer,” he says. “They come back. They don’t speak English, and they’re not familiar with when school starts so we need to get this push out with CPS.”

A push — sometimes a shove, if needed. For students who might ignore the notices, Chicago Public Schools officials step in.

The back-to-school push actually started last weekend. At a neighborhood fair, community leaders delivered more than 1,000 back packs and school supplies.

Monday, they were getting the church ready for the after-school safe haven program, where students can do homework.



Dorothy Tucker