CHICAGO, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --The partners and employees of the Chicago office of KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, intend to lift the spirits and minds of the students of Phoebe Hearst Elementary. On September 9, KPMG will send the school's students on a field trip and, while they're away, the firm will send in more than 300 volunteers to significantly enhance the learning environment for the more than 360 children who attend Phoebe Hearst every day.
The KPMG employees, undertaking a volunteer project titled "Service in Remembrance" to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, will create 17 in-classroom libraries, overhaul the school's unused school library, organize the reading room, create a student garden so the students can learn about growing healthy foods, and give three books to each of the students to take home to read, among other initiatives. Phoebe Hearst Elementary, a year-round (Track "E") Chicago Public School, is located at 4640 S. Lamon Avenue in Chicago.
"Understanding the Mayor's emphasis on education, we wanted to accomplish something extraordinary and impactful," said KPMG Chicago Managing Partner Phil Rohrbaugh. "We are pleased to collectively focus our attention on Phoebe Hearst to significantly enhance the learning environment for the children and teachers there."
In addition, other projects on-site will include opportunities to increase the school's connectivity with parents. These include the provision of Financial Literacy Workshops to all interested Phoebe Hearst parents and the creation of the school's first student garden, which will be connected to the school's curriculum and maintained by the parent volunteer group.
In order to enable the execution of this work, and other projects, including multiple interior beautification efforts, KPMG will also sponsor all Hearst scholars on a field trip Friday, September 9, augmenting their curriculum and providing them a unique opportunity to expand their educational experience beyond the classroom walls.
"Our children will be mesmerized when they walk through the doors Monday morning," said Phoebe Hearst Principal Jeffrey Porter, "and the great benefit is the lasting impact on them in terms of knowing that someone cares about them and their future. We honestly cannot find the words to express our appreciation."
According to Rohrbaugh, KPMG has teamed with One Good Deed Chicago and Hull House to execute this volunteer effort. "We are committed to giving back to our communities," said Rohrbaugh. "It is very important for us to collaborate with key stakeholders to ensure that our time and commitment matches critical needs in the community, and we are thankful for guidance from the Mayor's office in supporting us to make this happen."
"Corporate support of our One Good Deed Chicago program is critical to our success," said Jenne Myers, Chief Service Officer, Mayor's Office. "KPMG is the proof point to the kind of corporate leadership and commitment we envisioned when we created the program. We salute KPMG for its efforts."
A crucial component to achieving one of the city's three key education milestones -- reading proficiently by third grade -- also dovetails with KPMG's ongoing Family for Literacy program, which is part of the firm's a core focus of KPMG's corporate responsibility agenda. KPMG, through its collaboration with First Book, has given nearly 15,000 books to children in Chicago to make an impact on the literacy crisis.
The KPMG partners and employees volunteering at Phoebe Hearst have been provided with additional hours of volunteer time off for this project, in addition to the 12 hours of volunteer time KPMG grants each person annually.
In commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11, KPMG's 85 offices across the country identified more than 200 local non-profits to support for the "Service in Remembrance" initiative.
About KPMG LLP
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.us.kpmg.com), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's member firms have 138,000 professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 150 countries.
ABOUT PHOEBE HEARST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:
Hearst School is a year-round (Track "E") Chicago Public School. It is a learning community dedicated to providing a high-quality curriculum and learning opportunities to all students. The school climate and building community are key components of its curriculum, and academic content is integrated in an effort to create responsible students who will be productive global citizens. Teachers at Hearst are continually participating in professional development to keep up with the demands of Balanced Literacy, Everyday Math, Writing Workshop, Social Studies, and Foss Science. All academic programs meet students' individual needs, while also meeting the Common Core Standards. Hearst School educates more than 300 low and very low-income scholars each year.
SOURCE KPMG LLP