CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood is in serious need of early childhood education resources.
Kids in the area just don’t have enough access.
Making it harder for children to grow up and achieve things like graduating high school or getting a job.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar explains there’s a push to address the problem in this original report.
A defunct Brighton Park dollar store is set to go under new construction.
It will hopefully be the foundation.
The building blocks of a new generation.
At least that’s Maricela Garcia’s plan.
“This is the highest need area in the state. Not just Chicago for early education programs,” said Maricela Garcia, the CEO of Gads Hill Center.
The proposed early childhood hood education center would be located at Archer and 42nd.
Gads Hill Center, run by Garcia, already operates four similar locations.
The new flagship center would serve about 120 children in desperate need.
“It is very very critical for families that make not a lot of money to be able to have options so their children do better,” said Garcia.
Recent studies show just over 736 children in Brighton Park have access to early childhood education.
Leaving more than 3,000 kids shut out and further behind.
“They learn a lot they do a lot of projects they do a lot of science, art,” says parent Maria Rizo.
So far Gads Hill Center has raised about six million dollars for the new location.
That money was raised through state and federal grants as well as private donations.
But there is still a need of an additional one million dollars to make it all a reality.