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CONTACT: Lauryn Scott, 312-639-4305, lascott@nobleschools.org
Cub Charities Awards 2018 Diamond Project Grant to Noble Network of Charter Schools
Noble proudly joins 14 community recipients of a grant to improve public baseball and softball facilities at Hermosa Park

CHICAGO – The Noble Network of Charter Schools announced today that it has been awarded a 2018 Diamond Project grant, which is designed to help improve youth baseball and softball fields and facilities across Chicago’s neighborhoods. The grant is sponsored by Cubs Charities. Noble will use the funds made available by the grant to renovate the fields at Hermosa Park, which services Noble's Pritzker College Prep campus as well as the greater community.

In cooperation with the Chicago Park District and consistent with Noble’s commitment to health, fitness, and athletics, Noble will bring infield improvements to the baseball and softball diamonds to a park facility in need of significant capital investment. Ultimately, this project will create a place that provides youth and community members with additional options to become physically active and a place that builds a sense of pride for the Hermosa community. This Cubs Grant is the first commitment secured towards Noble’s ongoing fundraising efforts to help improve public athletic facilities for use by Noble students and the surrounding community throughout Chicago.
 
“The most important aspect of this to me is that I hope our students can use this project--and all of the time, effort, and setbacks that we had to overcome, yet still be successful--as inspiration for them to realize their dreams, no matter how difficult it may be to achieve those dreams,” said Head Baseball Coach Andrew Wetmore. “Bringing state-of-the-art facilities to Hermosa Park and the Hermosa neighborhood has been something I've always dreamed of since I started as an assistant coach with Pritzker baseball in 2014, and to see the dream beginning to be realized is something I hope our students can use to motivate them.”

Since 2014, the Diamond Project has invested more than $7.3 million to fund 60 investment capital projects, distributed equipment to 14 organizations and provided operating support to 45 youth leagues. Of the capital projects supported to date, 66% are located in under-resourced communities representing more than half of Chicago’s 50 wards.

“It’s rewarding to see the tremendous growth of the Diamond Project since its inception in 2014. From Rogers Park to Pullman, we are reaching communities across 14 Chicago neighborhoods, helping youth foster a love for diamond sports,” said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. “This year, we expanded our reach and impact even more by providing essential needs from new field surfaces to scoreboards, allowing Chicago’s kids to play ball.” 
 
Cubs Charities, with assistance from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, selected 14 local capital improvement projects in 2018 to receive Diamond Project grants to support field surfaces, indoor training amenities, general field and stadium support and field maintenance. 
 
“We are proud to partner with Cubs Charities to help implement the Diamond Project program to expand opportunities for thousands of kids to play ball across Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Meghan Harte, LISC Chicago’s Executive Director. “Congratulations to Noble Network of  Charter Schools and, thank you, for helping bring baseball and softball to all Chicago communities.”

“The Hermosa community has embraced the Pritzker campus since its opening in 2006,” said Noble Community Organizer, Luriel Ocampo. “Improvements to this park will provide Pritzker students with a viable practice space for their baseball team. As a Pritzker graduate, I remember when students were unable to practice on the current field when there was rain which would cause additional damage to the field.  We are excited that there will be an opportunity for our students to not only use this field for baseball but to be able to utilize this field with their families, neighbors and the community.”

Noble received support from the community and elected officials in addition to endorsement letters for this project from the Hermosa Neighborhood Association, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Alderman Gilbert Villegas, and Senator Omar Aquino. With the Pritzker College Prep campus in this neighborhood, it’s important that Noble continues to build relationships with the community. Pritzker is excited to be a part of a major project that will have a significant impact on everyone in the Hermosa community.


About Cubs Charities: Cubs Charities harnesses the passion of Cubs fans to improve the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. Cubs Charities' goal is to provide increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Through grants to quality nonprofit programs, development of parks and baseball fields, and other community initiatives, the Cubs and Cubs Charities help fulfill a commitment to be the best in the game, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.cubscharities.org.  


About LISC Chicago: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago is the local office of the nation’s leading community development support organization, working in Chicago neighborhoods since 1980. With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. For more information visit, www.lisc.org/chicago.
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ABOUT THE NOBLE NETWORK OF CHARTER SCHOOLS

At Noble, we are college bound. Noble’s college program exposes our students to higher education options and guides them through the collegiate application process. Through college trips, college fairs, summer college immersion programs and a required year-long college writing course, Noble demystifies the college experience and shapes students’ beliefs and confidence about higher education.

According to a report published by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, “attending a Noble high school increase(s) college enrollment by 13 percentage points, with most of the increase coming at four year, relatively selective institutions. Persistence in college also increase(s), with a 12 percentage point increase in attending four or more semesters of higher education.” Noble uses innovative tools for helping students get accepted and persist in college, as shown in by Chalkbeat Chicago. Noble has been recognized for its work serving particularly at-risk student populations - including a program specifically for students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was featured in a Chicago Sun-Times report.

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