Chicago Foundation Awards $100M to Syrian Children's Program
A Chicago foundation awarded $100 million Wednesday to two New York-based organizations to help educate millions of Syrian refugee children through home visits, learning centers and local versions of the educational program "Sesame Street."
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee as joint winners of a competitive grant program aimed at solving critical problems. Their project was chosen from more than 1,900 submitted proposals.
Officials with the organizations said they will use the five-year grant to address "toxic stress" experienced by displaced children in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, in addition to educational basics. Roughly 9.4 million children will have access to the local version of "Sesame Street" in Arabic and Iraqi Kurdish through television, cellphones and direct services. The emphasis will be on language, reading, math and social skills, along with lessons on inclusion and equality.