Friday, September 10, 2010

A Thank You From East Side High

It's been a busy week! I know many of you are waiting to hear the final results of last weeks Kohls Cares promotion when you helped vote for a very deserving Manhattan public school, East Side Community High. While the results are not in yet officially from Kohls I did want to post the thank you letter that East Side High sent out along with suggested action and next steps. Many of you had generously expressed interest in helping the school out through other means and connections that you have via email, the contact info for who to speak to at ESCH for that is at the end of the note.

A thank you was posted on the blog last week from myself before the contest officially ended, but thank you all so much again! RTD ended up with well over 400 prints to sign and ship out! And many many others also voted, but declined the offer. Your free prints are currently being organized by all of the RTD worker knomes back at the lab and should ship out in a couple weeks once I get back from being on the road. Also if you are in the Chicago area this weekend and would like to pick yours up at the Renegade Craft Fair (booth 210) you are more than welcome to do so and I'll check you off the list.

Dear Students, Families, Staff, Alumni and Friends of East Side:

As September 3rd and the Kohl’s Facebook Contest comes to a close and we pack up Twelfth Street Tent Town after 11 long nights and many days of fighting for our deserving kids and community, I cannot thank you enough for your incredible support. Although it looks like we will not break into the top 20, we will not know who won for a few days. Kohl’s needs to make sure that all of the top 20 schools are in compliance with the contest rules. Disturbingly, there are no urban public schools or schools serving a diverse population in the top 30. We hope that Kohl’s recognizes the unfortunate reality and inequity of the competition and reaches out to support some more deserving schools on the list.

We know and take great pride that we made it to # 32!!! (up from #99 2 weeks ago.) We received more votes and support than any other urban public school in the entire country!!! Unfortunately, the majority of the schools in front of us have advantages and resources we just don’t have. They were able to raffle off IPads in exchange for votes, tap into international online religious networks and utilize additional resources afforded to wealthier communities.

We may not win the money, but we have accomplished something just as valuable. We have once again come together as a community to show the city, the country and the world what a special place East Side is. We are a community made up of, incredible young people, exceptional families, extraordinary educators, loyal alumni and dear friends, old and new. It has been nothing but an inspiration to see all of you coming out to show your support. You have been canvassing the streets, educating community members about our school, networking online hour after hour— day after day, rallying, and selflessly fighting for our young people to have what should be rightfully theirs; equal access and resources.

Your support and work on behalf of the students of East Side has created an incredible interest in our school. Several individuals have reached out wanting to volunteer time, share resources, and provide in-kind and cash donations.

The grueling part of this is over, but no matter what happens with the contest, we will continue to fight for our students and our school. Many of you have asked what’s next? The following are a few ways you can continue to support East Side and urban public schools in this contest and beyond.

1. Contact Kohl’s and share your comments and/or concerns about the competition. Kohl's Corporation – email and call as many people as you can.
Kevin Mansell - Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer:
Donald A. Brennan – Senior Executive Vice President:
John B. Worthington – Senior Executive Vice President:
Julie Gardner – EVP and Chief Marketing Officer:
Vicki Shamion, Vice President, Public Relations: (262) 703-1464
Kohl's Board of Directors or Lead Director Steven Burd:
Brian F. Miller Senior VP - Corporate Governance (262)703-1723:
Media Relations - (262) 703-1335
Community Relations - (262) 703-7000
Wes McDonald - Chief Financial Officer (262) 703-1893

2. Continue to share information about our wonderful community and story (we have provided links to all media/articles for you to send out)

3. Volunteer your time and share your knowledge and talents inside or outside of the school –email Jodi Caplan at or call her at 917-836-8656

4. Keep checking our website for up to date news and events

5. Get on our email list by sending an email to Jodi Caplan

6. Arrange a visit to our school or just stop by when you’re in the neighborhood

7. If you have any other ideas, feedback, inquiries, etc. please reach out to Jodi Caplan

East Side Community High School appreciates you and your support.

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