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Some parents to get $25 gift cards when picking up report cards

Updated: December 1, 2012 4:45PM

Is the lure of a $25 gift card enough to persuade a parent who’s not involved in their child’s education to get involved?

Seventy Chicago Public Schools that have struggled to engage parents are about to find out.

At Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s request, Walgreen Co. has agreed to provide $25 gift cards to parents who pick up their students’ report cards and participate in parent-teacher conferences during report card pickup days.

“This is a way, in my view, of incentivizing responsible parenting,” Emanuel told a news conference at Field Elementary School, 7019 N. Ashland.

“If you don’t come to parent-teacher conference, if you don’t come to pick up a report card, our kids are smart. Then, they know there’s a gap between a parent and a teacher, a gap between the parent and the principal. We need to close those gaps and have a united front investing in our kids’ education.”

Emanuel said he got the gift card idea during one of his morning workouts.

“That’s what happens when I start swimming. I start coming up with ideas,” the mayor said.

The mayor then approached Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson, who jumped at the opportunity to “give back” to the city where the company has operated for 112 years and now has 150 stores.

“We have employees who have children who go to Chicago Public Schools all over the city. We want to see them do well as well,” Wasson said.

“Hopefully some day, we’ll be able to see a young student come up and become a pharmacist and we can hire some of the local students.”

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