Bears and PNC Foundation Tackle Technology Needs for Chicago Public Schools

  • Volunteers from the Chicago Bears and PNC Bank help Scott Swanson, PNC regional president for Illinois hand out donated laptops to elementary students at Fuller Elementary in Chicago.  December 11, 2020

    Volunteers from the Chicago Bears and PNC Bank help Scott Swanson, PNC regional president for Illinois hand out donated laptops to elementary students at Fuller Elementary in Chicago. December 11, 2020 Courtesy of Chicago Bears

Updated 12/15/2020 8:33 AM

The Chicago Bears and the PNC Foundation today announced grants to support the purchase of new laptops and hot spot connectivity devices for students at one of the nation's largest school districts. This technology will help support remote learning for students at 11 Chicago Pubic Schools (CPS) on the South and West sides during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation, the distribution of technology to the various schools will begin immediately.

"During this unprecedented time, flexibility and access to the right technology is vital to the learning process,"said Chicago Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips. "We're proud to partner with PNC to help supply CPS students at 11 schools with the laptops and internet connectivity necessary for online learning. Together, we will continue working toward our shared goals of assisting families in need and providing equal education opportunities for all."


Funding from the Bears will help provide 10-month connectivity plans for more than 750 students. PNC's support will help equip more than 600 students with new laptops. Students will receive a laptop, hotspot or both depending on individual needs. Combined, the devices will help provide students with access to a more reliable virtual experience for web-based learning and online student resources.

"With children learning from home, the pandemic has created an unexpected technology gap for many families in our city," said Scott Swanson, PNC regional president for Illinois. "Because we know how important it is for all children to have access to a quality educational experience, we teamed up with the Bears to enhance the ability for CPS students to effectively engage online with their teachers, classrooms and homework."

For many years, the Bears and PNC have supported CPS with funding for various educational programs from preschool to high school and staff professional development. Currently, both are engaged in volunteering as virtual readers to CPS preschool and kindergarten classrooms through the Bears Homeroom Huddle and PNC Grow Up Great initiatives.

"Access to technology is critically important for hundreds of thousands of Chicago Public School students during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond," said CPS Chief Education Officer, LaTanya D. McDade. "I want to thank the Chicago Bears and PNC for their continued partnership and their generous contribution, which will provide supplemental technology resources to students and schools."

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The devices will be distributed to students at the following elementary and high schools: DuBois Elementary School, Kellman Elementary School, Alex Haley Academy Elementary School, Langford Community Academy, Julian High School, Phillips Academy, Stagg School of Excellence, Bradwell School of Excellence, Fuller School of Excellence, Chalmers School of Excellence and O'Keefe School of Excellence.

As the official bank of the Chicago Bears, PNC Bank has been a valued partner of this and other joint community initiatives since 2015. Earlier this year, PNC also supported the 12th annual Bears Care Back to School Fair and provided resources to benefit both Zion students and the Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet (CCDOJ).

For more information on how to join the Bears and PNC in supporting CPS students and families, please visit or find CFF on social @ChiFirstFund.

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