|US Rep Harold Ford and Melody Hobson|
Through former Mayor Daley’s New School Initiative Program, Ariel was awarded a corporate sponsorship of a Chicago public school in 1996. Hence, the birth of Ariel Community Academy – a public school located on the south side of Chicago. Currently, Ariel Community Academy (ACA) offers classes from kindergarten through eighth grade serving 518 students and their families. Ninety-eight percent of the student body is African-American and over 85 percent of the students receive subsidized lunches. ACA chose to target the North Kenwood neighborhood precisely because it was one of the most under served communities in Chicago. Today, the neighborhood is more vibrant, and ACA is a center for community and family life. ACA's impact extends well beyond the building itself, creating higher academic standards and achievements through a unique corporate-family-school partnership. In short, the vision remains to create a model community school — where the doors are always open; where teachers, parents and members of the community work in partnership to provide world-class educational opportunities and where financial literacy is not just taught but practiced.
Financial literacy is the second most important thing besides learning how to read. When these two are worked properly together, you will have given a child a foundation to keep a roof over their head. When that child grows to be an adult, they will have enough of a base of knowledge that one day, they will be able to manage a pension fund for health care that will be fair to the membership.