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Jennifer Hudson, Ozzie Guillen and more to urge CPS kids to go to school

South Side native Jennifer Hudsperforms House Blues special concert for mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel. | Dom Najolia~Chicago Sun-Times

South Side native Jennifer Hudson performs at the House of Blues at a special concert for mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel. | Dom Najolia~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: November 16, 2011 1:26AM

She has won an Academy Award, snagged a Grammy and sung at the Super Bowl.

And starting this week, Chicago-born sensation Jennifer Hudson will be featured in robocalls to 285,000 Chicago Public School students, reminding them that school starts Sep. 6.

Hudson knows what she’s talking about. She’s a 1999 Dunbar High School graduate and was raised in Englewood.

She has had more than her share of adversity. In October 2008, her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew were murdered in the city.

Hudson is among a series of celebrities who agreed to do public service announcements or robocalls to remind kids about the start of CPS classes on the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Others include hip-hop artist Common; A.J. Pierzynski and Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox; Kerry Wood of the Cubs; Israel Idonije of the Bears; Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks, and Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire.

CPS officials announced the all-star lineup while also reporting that attendance for the Aug. 8 first day of classes in 247 year-round schools hit 88.1 percent this year, up from 86.8 percent last year.

They said it was the highest attendance for year-round schools since CPS began recording attendance figures using a new tracking system several years ago.

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