YOUmedia is made possible by generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pearson Foundation through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
In 2006, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation launched a five-year, $50 million Digital Media and Learning Initiative to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. The MacArthur Foundation is providing support to researchers, educators, game developers, and others to explore how, and to what extent, educational and other social institutions must change to meet the needs of this and future generations. The initiative is both marshaling what is already known about the field and seeding innovation for continued growth. Both YOUmedia and Digital Youth Network are recipients of generous MacArthur Foundation support.
The Pearson Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Pearson, the international media company. Pearson Foundation’s aim is to promote literacy, learning, and teaching by collaborating with leading businesses, not-for-profits, and education experts to share good practice, foster innovation, and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing millions of young people and adults across the globe. In addition to supporting the YOUmedia site, the Pearson Foundation is actively involved in providing programming. In fall 2009, Pearson Foundation sponsored — together with the MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Public Library — a Digital City Planners competition for Chicago high schoolers. Working with a Mobile Learning Institute digital arts team and the staff of YOUmedia, the students explored the original city plan for Chicago and began to imagine what changes they would make in their communities as Chicago enters the 21st century. The best team projects represented YOUmedia at a special United Nations celebration in Washington.
Chicago Public Library Foundation:
Chicago Public Library Foundation was created in 1986 by visionary civic leaders out of the conviction that private resources are essential to keeping Chicago’s outstanding public library truly world class. Established in the spirit of public/private partnership with the city, the foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization. Since its founding, the Chicago Public Library Foundation has made grants totaling more than $34 million to support Chicago’s public libraries. Working with the City of Chicago, the foundation strives to enrich the Chicago Public Library by funding book acquisitions, special collections, and community-based programs.
City of Chicago:
Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago City Council provide leadership and advocacy in support of the Chicago Public Library and YOUmedia. Since first opening its doors to the public in 1873, the Chicago Public Library has maintained its status of one of the City of Chicago’s most democratic of institutions — providing all Chicagoans with a free and open place to gather, learn, connect, read and be transformed. Since 1989, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library have opened 52 new or renovated neighborhood libraries. The libraries serve as a core space — beyond home and work — where people come to improve their lives, nourish their intellect, or simply to be entertained. Through its rich and current book collections, state of the art technology, and cultural and public partnerships, the Chicago Public Library is a thriving, engaged leader in the City of Chicago's diverse neighborhoods.