Thanks to all who attended Erikson’s Annual Gala!

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our 2013 Gala to honor the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and David Hiller and hear acclaimed recording artists Pink Martini perform.

Watch the Gala video

Thanks for coming out to play with Erikson!

Image: Baby and ball

Erikson’s 2012 benefit, the play ball, raised more than $630,000 for Erikson and its work with young children and their families.

Kate Neisser, chair of the Erikson Board of Trustees, presented the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award to Joseph A. Gregoire, regional president, Illinois banking, PNC Bank. The benefit, which was held May 11, 2012, was chaired by Ed and Courtney Loeb.
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Family affair marks Erikson’s 45th

In April 2011, 300 friends and family members gathered to celebrate Erikson’s 45th anniversary at Prism Ball 2011 at the Four Seasons, Chicago, raising nearly $575,000 in unrestricted support for the Institute.

As befit the anniversary occasion, the gala’s honorary cochairs represented Erikson’s founders. They included Matthew Piers, son of Maria Piers; Barbara Bowman; Lorraine Wallach; and Joan Harris, widow of Irving B. Harris. Harriet Meyer, director of strategic initiatives at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, received the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award.

CME Group Foundation gives $1 million to Early Math Project

In October 2010, CME Group Foundation announced its $1 million gift to the Early Mathematics Education Project to meet the Department of Education’s requirements for its Investing in Innovation (i3) grants.

The Math Project’s principal investigator, Professor Jie-Qi Chen, expressed her gratitude. “If not for the $1 million match grant of the CME Group Foundation, we wouldn’t have gotten the i3 award,” says Chen, referring to an important condition of the i3 process: To qualify for an i3 award, a project not only had to be innovative and backed by solid theory and performance, it also had to have a match from the private sector of 20 percent of its grant request. In the case of the Math Project, that 20 percent was $1 million.

Foundation chairman Jack Sandner describes the decision to make the grant that fulfilled the challenge. “Math is inextricably connected to advancements in science and technology and is a tremendous learning exercise, even if you aren’t going to be a mathematician or a scientist,” he says. “And yet, we in the United States are not dedicating enough resources to math education and are not helping kids be comfortable with math. We wanted to support an institution that can provide progress in early childhood math education, and we found through our analysis that Erikson stood very tall in the field.”

The i3 award and matching grant will expand the reach of the project even beyond Chicago. A portion of the funds will be used to create a print and multimedia manual for education trainers who work with teachers in Chicago and around the country to provide quality early math education.