kids on a slide
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kids on a slide
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Kids on Chicago’s south side will soon be enjoying a colorful new play area compliments of AEC Cares. (Copyright: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo)

On June 25th, the next AEC Cares project features a “blitz-build,” following several months of preparations. During the one-day event, volunteers will install a playground, play areas and renovate several interior areas at a learning and wellness center in Chicago. The center is used for daycare and early learning for infants, toddlers and preschoolers from very low-income families.

AEC Cares is working with Metropolitan Family Services on the project. During the past several months, design team members completed the preliminary tasks for the project, ranging from drafting plans to ordering materials, enlisting volunteers and installing ceiling tiles. All that planning set the ground work for the one-day “blitz-build” where the teams from Reed Construction Data, the American Institute of Architects and Hanley Wood will finish the center’s transformation. At least 150 volunteers will work on the project. To join the project or find more information visit AEC Cares.

“Metropolitan truly appreciates this opportunity to work with AEC Cares and Reed to make the most of our new learning and wellness center,” said Ric Estrada, President and CEO, Metropolitan Family Services. “This generosity will help us provide services in an attractive environment that welcomes and affirms the families we serve.”

“Exceptionally generous and talented companies and individuals are working with us this year to build a very special environment for the children,” stated Renee Pinczes, President, AEC Cares and Vice President, Reed Construction Data. “The design teams are giving countless hours to make this project a success. We cannot thank them enough.”

The center opened in February and provides early learning and care for up to 158 children ages birth to five years old. Families can access a full range of wrap-around services including support services for parents and pregnant mothers, adult and children’s mental health services, legal assistance, and job readiness programs.

The Center is located in the annex of Arthur Libby Elementary School, 5338 S. Loomis Street, and is operated by Metropolitan Family Services in partnership with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Miles Square Health Center and numerous other community leaders and contributors. The Center was the focus of a recent visit from the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education & Families, which convened in Chicago to discuss innovative ways communities are aligning services to meet the needs of children and families.

AEC Cares has a four-year record of successful projects organized by Reed Construction Data. Starting in 2011, AEC Cares and Reed rebuilt five houses in New Orleans devastated years earlier by Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, teams of architects, contractors and manufacturers added their time and talent to rebuild a house for homeless teens in Washington, D.C., and in 2013, the volunteer teams completed over $225K worth of renovations to a facility for homeless, disabled veterans and adults in Denver.

 

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