Today we highlight one of the 32 Chicago Public Schools
participating in Serve-a-thon.

Whether providing greater access to technology for under-resourced kids or serving families struggling with the challenges of autism,  Gillespie Technology Magnet Cluster School is making an impact in Chicago’s West Chesterfield neighborhood.

Named after Frank L. Gillespie, who owned and operated Supreme Life Insurance, the first African American-run life insurance company; Gillespie School has a population of 500 students in grades Pre-K through 8, 93.6% of whom are low-income.

Gillespie was slated to be a turnaround school, meaning a complete change in administration and teachers. They have instead, turned themselves around on their own. The school now has the highest composite scores in the area, and the Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman has sent a personal letter to the school congratulating them.

Principal, Dr. Michelle R. Willis, a Chicago Public School alum, is working hard to build life-long learners at Gillespie. The administration has a small budget, but they are thinking creatively about how to do great things for a school that well deserves it. They recently received smart boards for many classrooms, have two new computer labs, and the school resource coordinator is currently in the process of getting a grant for students to learn to use iPads.

Gillespie students work hard and have gone on to excel in both the city-wide spelling bee and science fair. In addition to academics, the school boasts a variety of sports teams that include boys’ and girls’ softball, track, and soccer, and in addition, a pom-pom squad and a double dutch team.

Gillespie is also a school for students with special needs, particularly autism. Around 12% of their student population has autism. They are a neighborhood school for many children, but for those with special needs, parents know they can send their children to Gillespie for a positive and enriching education experience.

As part of Serve-a-thon, Chicago Cares volunteers will brighten classrooms with color and school spirit. A mural of the school logo, the Wildcats will be created to hang in the gym, boosting school spirit for the school’s teams. The school administration hopes that these changes will continue to brighten the future for so many of their outstanding students.

Be part of improving learning environments at
Gillespie and other Chicago Public Schools!
Register for Serve-a-thon today