NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie today announced its first Week of Possibilities, an employee volunteer program to support educational improvement projects in local communities where AbbVie is based. As part of the inaugural program, more than 1,300 AbbVie employees are donating time to help improve six elementary and middle schools in North Chicago, Ill., and Worcester, Mass. During the week of July 14-18, Week of Possibilities volunteers will transform library and learning centers, refresh classrooms and teachers' lounges, and transform an elementary school into a facility for at-risk young adults in North Chicago, where AbbVie is headquartered, and in Worcester, where its biologics research and development (R&D) center is located.
In partnership with The AbbVie Foundation, The Heart of America Foundation, North Chicago Community School District 187, North Chicago Community Partners, United Way of Lake County, YouthBuild Lake County and Worcester Public Schools, the program will impact more than 2,300 young people.
Through the Week of Possibilities, AbbVie Foundation is also providing iPads, laptops and nearly 27,000 new books, including curriculum materials, parent resources and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) books to schools in both communities. In addition to the more than 2,000 books for each school library, each student will receive five age-appropriate books (including STEM-focused titles) to build personal home libraries.
"At AbbVie, we are committed to helping improve the lives of patients around the world and of our neighbors in the communities where we work," said Tracie Haas, vice president, corporate responsibility, AbbVie, and president, AbbVie Foundation. "We are pleased to join our partners and employee volunteers for the first Week of Possibilities to benefit the teachers and students of North Chicago and Worcester. Together, we're proud to support schools with science and literacy resources to help inspire the next generation of scientists and business leaders."
Together, AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation have committed more than $800,000 to the Week of Possibilities projects. AbbVie also has enabled more than 1,300 employees to volunteer their time during the work week in North Chicago and Worcester.
"The Heart of America Foundation proudly partners with AbbVie Foundation to create vibrant centers of learning and provide vital resources in these school communities," said Angie Halamandaris, president and co-founder of Heart of America Foundation. "The AbbVie Week of Possibilities is a great example of volunteers making a difference, building community, and demonstrating the possibilities that lie within our children's futures," she said.
AbbVie's corporate responsibility efforts are focused on supporting patients, building capacity, leveraging expertise and transforming education. In addition to the Week of Possibilities partnership, other educational support includes: a partnership with the Illinois Math and Science Academy for web-based chemistry learning programs; internship programs for university students; the Collegiate Inventors Competition for exploration in invention, science and engineering; support of the Kohl Children's Museum's traveling science exhibit, 'Science + You' and the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh; and more.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
About The AbbVie Foundation
A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2013, The AbbVie Foundation is dedicated to having a remarkable impact on the lives of the underserved around the world through a commitment to building strong community-based, sustainable healthcare and educational systems.
About The Heart of America Foundation
The Heart of America Foundation®, a national nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC, inspires acts of service and a love of learning by providing children with the tools to read, succeed and make a difference. Committed to education and volunteerism, The Heart of America Foundation® transforms school environments into vibrant centers of learning while providing high-quality resources to children who need them the most. Since 1997, The Heart of America Foundation® has provided children with more than 3.7 million library and take-home books as well as essential technology by engaging volunteers in more than 1 million hours of service to communities nationwide. For more information, visit www.heartofamerica.org.
About North Chicago Community Partners
North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP) was created in 2008 to address the needs and challenges within North Chicago, a poverty-stricken area with a failing school district. The NCCP model of the "community school" is designed to deliver quality education to students, while engaging and enriching students' lives. NCCP acts as a service support for the entire school community by providing high quality programs. NCCP is determined to engage families so that parents are involved in their child's education. NCCP actively recruits and involves community partners and volunteers to help in their mission to transform the North Chicago School District.
About North Chicago Community Unit School District 187
North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 serves students and their families living in the North Chicago and the Great Lakes communities. The district serves more than 3,700 students, employs 260 certified staff and operates six schools which provide comprehensive instructional programming for pre-kindergarten through high school.
About United Way of Lake County
United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is preparing our children to succeed in a changing world by focusing on education and building safe and stable families. Working with nonprofit agencies and community partners, we have identified four key programs to prepare children to succeed: Success By 6 Program – prepare for kindergarten; Reading Success Program – read at grade level; Stay in School Program – graduate high school; Safe and Stable Families Program – empowering families. UWLC is overcoming reading and educational barriers by reaching children, from preschool through high school, through these key programs. The overall effect and benefits are multiplied by the strong collaboration with agencies and our community partners. www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org
About Worcester Public Schools
Worcester Public Schools is located in Worcester, New England's second largest city with more than 180,000 residents. Located 50 miles west of Boston and spanning some 38 square miles, the city is part of the Boston-Worcester Metropolitan area, a region that has been a major player in the area of STEM education, research and jobs for decades.
Worcester Public Schools has approximately 25,000 students. We believe that all students can achieve at high levels as they prepare to become productive citizens in our changing technological world. We are committed to supporting students, parents, educators, and citizens in their pursuit of learning. Worcester East Middle School serves approximately 600 middle school students and is the site of the Academy of Science, Technology and Health, one of the district's eight Innovation Schools. The Academy serves children in Grades 6 through 8 and its mission is to provide students with the foundations for advanced literacy through application and practice in the core skills of reading, writing and communicating complex ideas and concepts to a specific audience. It provides preparation in science inquiry and presents a focused track for students interested in advanced studies and careers in science, technology and health.
About YouthBuild Lake County
YouthBuild Lake County is a non-profit organization in North Chicago whose mission is to help low-income young adults complete their education, learn the necessary skills to become gainfully employed, and build a hopeful future for themselves and their families. Serving at-risk young adults ages 17-24, YouthBuild Lake County offers multiple programs: General Educational Diploma (GED) with training in Construction, Weatherization and the Bridge to College program, which offers opportunities to earn career certificates: Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A) or Automotive.