New Backpacks for HILA Students

Mar 13, 2015 | Hope in the News

Students at The Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago have received a generous donation to prepare them for success in the classroom.

FirstMerit Bank—in partnership with CBS EcoMedia’s EducationAd program and Kids in Need Foundation’s School Ready Supplies Program—have given HILA students about 425 backpacks filled with school supplies. Located on Chicago’s near west side, HILA also received extra supplies for teachers and students.

“The supplies we received from FirstMerit Bank will ensure that students are focused on their academic content, and not worrying about having the necessary supplies,” said HILA Principal Mike Jakubowski.  “HILA students now have notebooks, pencils, and scissors that will last the year, and ensure that they learn to their fullest potential each day.”

The backpacks were delivered to each of the 16 classrooms at HILA.  A special assembly to recognize the donating partners was held on Friday, Feb. 13. HILA’s diverse learners also received supplies for tactile sensory stimulation, communication and academic skill development.

The backpack giveaway is the start of an exciting partnership between FirstMerit Bank and HILA. The bank will provide financial literacy classes for students in kindergarten through second grades. Students’ parents and families are also welcome to attend. The bank will also host a breakfast for HILA staff members during Teacher’s Appreciation Week in May and provide an open forum for a range of banking topics, including buying a first home, saving for a child’s future, and valuing general financial literacy.

“FirstMerit Bank is equipping our students with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond as they grow into financially-responsible adults,” said Hope President and CEO Clint Paul.

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