In 2008, the Gorter Family Foundation made a long-term commitment to the children and families of North Chicago and demonstrated their belief in the venture philanthropy model by providing seed capital for a new operating foundation, North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP).
NCCP was formed in direct response to the lack of outside supports for academic challenges facing the children of North Chicago. With a phone call from NCCP’s founders, Jennifer Grumhaus and Mary Gorter Krey, to each of the school principals and a reply from one who recognized the potential of this partnership, NCCP’s relationship with North Chicago Community Unit School District #187 (CUSD 187) was cultivated and the foundation for what is now a robust system of supports for the district, the schools, the children and their families was set.
The 2008-2009 school year kicked off with one full-time and 1.5 unpaid employees from NCCP and a great collaborative partnership with principal CasSandra Brooks and her team at Forrestal Elementary. Programming in the beginning consisted of After School Enrichment and Staff Appreciation Lunches and came to exist in a partial capacity at both A.J. Katzenmaier School and Neal Math and Science Academy that year, as well.
Since then, NCCP has forged a deep and thoughtful district-wide partnership with CUSD 187 and its role has expanded far beyond program design and implementation. NCCP is a facilitator, a coordinator, a matchmaker and a highly regarded strategic partner to the district and, as one teacher noted in a 2013 year-end assessment, “… a complement, a necessary complement to the educational community.” It is the privilege of NCCP and all of our staff to work along CUSD 187 and lead the charge in this dynamic work of strengthening North Chicago through our schools.