CHICAGO, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CME Group Foundation will award more than $900,000 in new grants to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and local nonprofits to support in-school and after-school computer science programs with the goal of reducing "computer science deserts" in Chicago.

Grants are being allocated for summer and after-school programs for K-12 students in Chicago, based on the results of a first-ever study funded by the Foundation to identify neighborhoods in most need of computer science programs. Northwestern University's Office of Community and Education Partnerships conducted the research, which identified Chicago neighborhoods that did not have any computer science programming open to all neighborhood students. Of those neighborhoods that offered programming, the study also showed most only provided introductory-level opportunities. The study will be repeated later this year to gauge progress throughout the city.

"We believe all students need to have computer science education throughout their K-12 years today in order to be best positioned to fill tomorrow's job opportunities in the financial and technology sectors," explained Kassie Davis, Executive Director of CME Group Foundation. "These grants are a step toward closing the digital divide and increasing access to computers and technology throughout our entire community."

Grants include continuation of CME Group Foundation's support for the Computer Science 4 All (CS4All) program at Chicago Public Schools. The Foundation has provided over $1.2 million in support to CS4All since 2014, including funding to launch after-school clubs across the city. Other support includes funding Mission Measurement to build nonprofit capacity for effective and efficient computer science programs.

"The computer science study is an important first step in understanding the opportunities available to youth in Chicago and connecting them to those opportunities, so they can pursue pathways to college and career," said Sybil Madison, Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services, Office of the Mayor of Chicago and former Director of Center for Excellence in Computer Science Education. "CME Group Foundation is providing a model for funders on how to use data to prioritize new efforts that address gaps in ways that make pathways possible for youth."

"We are so grateful for CME Group Foundation's support over the last decade and willingness to bring these enriching learning experiences to our students," said Francie Richards, CPS Chief External Relations Officer.

Grants will be used for programs in place now and throughout the next two academic years. Through these programs, Chicago youth will gain hands-on experience with dozens of coding languages, computational thinking and engineering skills, video game and app development, robotics and other computer science activities. A complete list of beneficiaries follows:

For more information about CME Group Foundation, please visit the website:

About CME Group Foundation
CME Group Foundation works to advance the economy by supporting education from cradle to career. The Foundation partners with universities, school districts, charter networks and non-profit organizations that work to ensure at risk young children are prepared for kindergarten; provide effective K-12 education that prepares disadvantaged students for success in college and career; prepare university students for careers in financial services and risk management. The Foundation was created in 2008 and endowed with a gift of $16 million from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trust, which was established by CME in 1969 to provide financial protection to customers in the event a CME member firm became insolvent or unable to meet its obligations to its customers.

About CME Group
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