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October , 2017
Thursday

From: Organized Communities Against Deportations Immigrant rights group calls for the City of Chicago to suspend ...
Chicago, IL - State Representative David Miller, Democratic nominee for State Comptroller, announced a proposal to “open ...
  Congressman calls Preckwinkle the only candidate who can restore faith in Cook County government Congressman Jesse ...
  Chicago, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon expressed support for the Illinois DREAM Act today ...
Celebrated annual awards recognize excellence in community development and architectural achievements in Chicago’s neighborhoods.   Chicago, IL ...
CHICAGO, IL - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) called on Congress to schedule hearings ...
Englewood, Lawndale Know Your Rights Campaign Vows to Deliver 100 "What to do When Stopped ...
Holiday Peace Concert a highlight of the season Global Voices Series finale a community gathering to cap ...
Written by Ensemble Member Tracy Letts and Directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro March ...
CHICAGO, IL –  Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s signing ...

Archive for March 7th, 2014

President Obama provides brief update on ongoing crisis in Ukraine, one-hour talk with President Putin

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama:  “…Before Jay takes some of your questions, I wanted to provide a brief update on our efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“Since the Russian intervention, we’ve been mobilizing the international community to condemn this violation of international law and to support the people and government of Ukraine.

“This morning (March 6, 2014) I signed an executive order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people.

“According to my guidance, the State Department has also put in place restrictions on the travel of certain individuals and officials.  These decisions continue our efforts to impose a cost on Russia and those responsible for the situation in Crimea.  And they also give us the flexibility to adjust our response going forward based on Russia’s actions.

“We took these steps in close coordination with our European allies.  I’ve spoken to several of our closest friends around the world, and I’m pleased that our international unity is on display at this important moment.  Already, we’ve moved together to announced substantial assistance for the government in Kyiv, and today in Brussels, our allies took similar steps to impose costs on Russia.  I am confident that we are moving forward together, united in our determination to oppose actions that violate international law and to support the government and people of Ukraine.

“And that includes standing up for the principle of state sovereignty.  The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law.  Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine.  In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.

“While we take these steps, I want to be clear that there is also a way to resolve this crisis that respects the interests of the Russian Federation, as well as the Ukrainian people.  Let international monitors into all of Ukraine, including Crimea, to ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are being respected, including ethnic Russians.  Begin consultations between the government of Russia and Ukraine, with the participation of the international community.  Russia would maintain its basing rights in Crimea, provided that it abides by its agreements and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  And the world should support the people of Ukraine as they move to elections in May.

“That’s the path of de-escalation, and Secretary Kerry is engaged in discussions with all of the relevant parties, including Russia and Ukraine to pursue that path.  But if this violation of international law continues, the resolve of the United States, and our allies and the international community will remain firm.  Meanwhile, we’ve taken steps to reaffirm our commitment to the security and democracy of our allies in Eastern Europe and to support the people of Ukraine.

“One last point — there’s been a lot of talk in Congress about these issues.  Today, once again, I’m calling on Congress to follow up on these words with action, specifically to support the IMF’s capacity to lend resources to Ukraine and to provide American assistance for the Ukrainian government so that they can weather this storm and stabilize their economy, make needed reforms, deliver for their people, all of which will provide a smoother pathway for the elections that have already been scheduled in May.

“Today the world can see that the United States is united with our allies and partners in upholding international law and pursuing a just outcome that advances global security and the future that the Ukrainian people deserve.  That’s what we’re going to continue to do in the days to come until we have seen a resolution to this crisis.

“Thanks very much.  And Jay and Ben and others will be happy to take your questions.”

Readout of President Obama’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Obama spoke for an hour this afternoon with President Putin of Russia. President Obama emphasized that Russia’s actions are in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has led us to take several steps in response, in coordination with our European partners. President Obama indicated that there is a way to resolve the situation diplomatically, which addresses the interests of Russia, the people of Ukraine, and the international community. As a part of that resolution, the governments of Ukraine and Russia would hold direct talks, facilitated by the international community; international monitors could ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians; Russian forces would return to their bases; and the international community would work together to support the Ukrainian people as they prepare for elections in May. President Obama indicated that Secretary Kerry would continue discussions with Foreign Minister Lavrov, the government of  Ukraine, and other international partners in the days to come to advance those objectives.

Early Voting underway in Illinois for March 18, 2014 Primary Election

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Early voting is already underway in Illinois for the March 18, 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced.

Early Voting will take place March 3 – March 15. Click here to view a map of the Early Voting locations.

Nearly 500 candidates are on the ballot for 369 races in Cook County, which include primaries for U.S. Senator and Illinois Governor, countywide offices, judges and township committeemen. There are also a handful of local referenda on the ballot.

Voters do not register by party in Illinois, but voters must choose a party when casting a ballot in a primary election.

There are 42 suburban Cook County early voting locations, plus the Clerk’s downtown office. All sites are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many locations are also open on Saturday, and a handful are open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early voting ends March 15.

State law requires early voters to display valid identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. Valid forms of ID include: a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph.

A complete candidate list, referenda questions and write-in candidates are available on the clerk’s website. A map of Early Voting locations can be found on the Elections Page of the website.

Voting by mail is another convenient way to vote before Election Day. Apply online or via a mobile device for a mail ballot and vote from home. The last day to request a mail ballot is March 13. After voting, you must mail your ballot. To be counted, mail ballots must be postmarked by March 17.

Chicago voters must vote at a Chicago early voting site.

Suburban Cook County participation in early voting has grown steadily in primary elections from 4.5 percent when it was introduced in March 2006 to 11.2 percent in March 2012.

  • March 2012 Primary – 36,972 of 329,537 (11.2% of turnout)
  • February 2010 Primary  – 34,829 of 367,688 (9.5% of turnout)
  • February 2008 Primary – 51,116 of 585,449 (8.7% of turnout)
  • March 2006 Primary – 15,609 of 345,970 (4.5% of turnout)

Historic voter turnout results in primary elections can be found on the Clerk’s website.  Details on mail voting, plus sample ballots, directions to Early Voting locations and candidate information can be found at www.cookcountyclerk.com.

Third Annual YouthLive! Gala benefiting Bay Area Foster Youth

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Saturday, April 12, 2014 | The Fairmont San Jose

Featuring Daymond John, Founder and CEO of FUBU


Expert reports site grim statistics for US foster youth. On any given day, there are approximately 400,000 children in out-of-home care in the U.S.1; the average age of the children in foster care is over nine years old1; in California, 65% of youth leaving care do so without a place to live2; over 70% of all California State Penitentiary inmates have spent time in the foster care system3. For more than 20 years, Unity Care has been a community leader in addressing the housing and social service needs of these children and youth.

SAN JOSE, CA: Unity Care, a non-profit agency serving foster youth and families in the San Francisco Bay Area, is thrilled to announce its third annual YouthLive! Gala at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Special guest, Daymond John, co-star of ABC’s hit reality television show “Shark Tank,” will join André Chapman, founder and CEO of Unity Care, to celebrate its life changing programs. “I’m honored to be a part of Unity Care’s third annual YouthLive! Gala fundraiser,” commented John about his participation in the benefit gala. “There are few causes as important as assisting children.

Funds raised at YouthLive! support Unity Care’s ongoing efforts to provide foster care youth with its Five Pillars of  Success – housing, employment, education, well-being and unconditional care. All too often, while inside the foster care system, foster

youth are left to fend for themselves without appropriate life skills or an adult support system. Chapman said, “It is a tragedy that over half of the foster youth that emancipate from the foster care system become homeless across our nation. Unity Care has aggressively addressed this problem by developing innovative affordable housing solutions.” He continued, “Over the past year, we’ve successfully opened two homes and secured ten studio apartments in the heart of Silicon Valley. Our transitional housing gives foster youth a safe place to live where they can focus on education, employment and life skills. We’ve provided them with a solid foundation for a better future.”

At 5:00 p.m. the gala evening will commence with a VIP reception (by invitation) that will include photo opportunities with Mr. John, followed by a 6:00 p.m. no-host bar open reception, silent art auction and treasure chest key sales. At 7:00 p.m. attendees will enjoy a delectable dinner while Unity Care’s foster youth and local young people showcase their respective talents and take to the stage and fashion runway. John, founder, president and CEO of the highly successful FUBU line of apparel, will deliver keynote remarks about his modest upbringing and his journey to becoming a retail brand mogul. He will also discuss the value in supporting children and families who are without healthy, safe and stable living situations. At 8:00 p.m. a Unity Care program alumni will share their story, followed by a ‘Fund the Mission’ live auction.

YouthLive! 2013 was a magnificently-supported, sold out event, and YouthLive! 2014 is headed in the same direction. Individual tickets are $150 and table sponsorships are $2,500 (seating for 10). Unity Care requests that purchases be made by March 28th. Tickets may be purchased online at www.youth-live.com/purchase.php.

Additionally, Unity Care is grateful for the very generous contributions of the following sponsors: Sleep Train Mattress Center, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Lexus of Stevens Creek, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Suhr Risk Services of California, and Marcia & Chris Riedel.

ABOUT UNITY CARE

Unity Care is a strengths-based, family-focused, and culturally proficient youth and family development agency. Since 1993, our mission has been to “provide quality youth and family programs for the purpose of creating healthier communities through lifelong partnerships.” Unity Care, now in its 21st year of advocating for foster youth, offers innovative community-based, mental health, education, employment and housing programs. For more information, please visit www.unitycare.org or call (408) 510-3480.

Photo Caption: Daymond John

Co-star, ABC’s “Shark Tank”
Founder/CEO, FUBU

Madigan issues advice for tax season

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Attorney General Alerts Illinois Consumers to Risk of Costly Refund Anticipation Products


CHICAGO, IL ─ In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinois consumers to the costly risk of tax refund anticipation products as they work to file their tax returns by April 15.

Tax preparers offer refund anticipation loans, checks and temporary debit cards as an option for consumers to receive an instant cash deposit based on their anticipated tax refund instead of waiting for their official IRS refund. But in reality these options are in essence short-term, high-cost loans that only saddle consumers with high interest rates and fees that are deducted from their tax refund. Particularly egregious is the fact that consumers who obtain refund anticipation checks and debit cards do not actually receive their returns faster because the business must still wait for the IRS to deposit the refund into the temporary account.

“With tax season underway, consumers should be cautious of any offer that promises a faster tax refund because these offers will ultimately cost you a large chunk of your refund,” Madigan said.

In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Madigan’s office will be participating in a Consumer Protection Fair hosted by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois. The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday on the ground floor of the James R. Thompson Center. Representatives from the Attorney General’s office will be on hand to answer questions for attendees.

In addition to tax refund anticipation products, Madigan said consumers should be aware of complaints received by her office regarding tax-related identity theft. Madigan’s lawsuit against the tax preparer Mo’ Money in 2012 and other complaints into her office show that for some consumers, even simply consulting with a company offering tax refund anticipation products leads to problems. Consumers have reported instances of companies filing a tax return in their name without their authorization based on information the consumer provided in an initial consultation.

Madigan offered tips for consumers to avoid becoming the victim of tax-related identity theft: Do not open or reply to any emails claiming to be from the IRS that contain a request for personal information. Ask for a call back number and employee badge number from anyone claiming to be an IRS agent so that you may independently confirm the phone number and agent.

Report any suspicious IRS paper mail correspondence to the IRS, if the sender is identified as not legitimate, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1 (800) 366-4484. Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1 (800) 908-4490 or visit the IRS website to report tax-related identity theft.

Madigan’s office continues to monitor complaints regarding businesses that offer tax-refund anticipation loans and checks in light of an Illinois law initiated by her office that cracks down on the excessively high fees associated with these options.

To report a complaint involving a refund anticipation product, contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud hotlines:

1-800-386-5438 (Chicago)

1-800-243-0618 (Springfield)

1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)

Consumers seeking help to prepare and file their taxes free of charge can visit the Center for Economic Progress website.

Change your Clock, Change your Batteries, Sunday, March 9th

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds residents to change their smoke alarm batteries as clocks are set forward this Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As a biannual initiative to keep Illinois families safe, The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds the public to change their smoke alarm batteries as clocks are set forward one hour this Sunday, March 9th, 2014. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice a year in an effort to prevent injuries and deaths in case of a fire emergency.

“Safety starts at home. One basic step is to change your smoke alarm batteries on Saturday before going to bed,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “Illinois law requires every household to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of every bedroom, and at least one on each floor of the home.”

On Sunday, March 9th, residents will set their clocks one hour forward from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. CST. This is the time for parents and adults to replace smoke alarm batteries the night before, teach children how to identify the sound of a smoke alarm and practice a home escape plan.

Last year in Illinois, more than 2,050 structure fires were reported. In more than 350 of those structure fires, smoke alarms alerted occupants.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments have responded to an estimated annual average of 366,600 home structure fires from 2007-2011. On average, seven people died each day in U.S. home fires. Sixty percent of all fire deaths reported during that period resulted from homes with no smoke alarms present or where smoke alarms were installed but did not operate.

The following information provides additional tips for smoke alarm installation and maintenance:

*According to the Illinois Smoke Detector Act, smoke alarms should be installed within 15 feet of all sleeping areas, with at least one on each floor including the basement.

*For residents that have hard-wired smoke alarms, there must be a battery backup in case of a power outage.

*For hearing impaired family members, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights with sound and/or a bed vibrating alarm.

* Read the manufacturer’s directions before installing your smoke detectors. Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least six inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed 4 to 6 inches away from the ceiling.

* Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.

* Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could interfere with the alarm’s ability to sound.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, contact your local fire department or visit: www.sfm.illinois.gov

NAACP returns to United Nations for U.S. ICCPR Review, Post Press Call Release

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Association’s Delegation will include two citizens affected by felony disenfranchisement laws


WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the NAACP announced its return to the United Nations for the U.S. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) review. Delegate members from the NAACP, NAACP Board of Directors, Kemba Smith Foundation, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and PICO, were also joined by Niaz Kasravi of the NAACP Criminal Justice Department.

Speakers on the call discussed their roles on the delegation, the ICCPR review process, their work around removing restrictions from the voting rights of formerly incarcerated persons, combating voter suppression, repealing stand your ground laws and much more.

The Association’s delegation will be at the United Nations in Geneva for the U.S. ICCPR review from March 9-15.
The following delegate members will have press availability while on the ground in Geneva. Contact Jessica Neal at 202-210-4827 or jneal@naacpnet.org. Please note the time-zone (CET) difference for interview arrangements.

Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Sr. Vice President for Policy & Advocacy and Director of the Washington Bureau; Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Senior Advisor to the President & CEO and Senior Director for Voting Rights; David Goatley, Member of the NAACP National Board of Directors; Clayola Brown, Member of the NAACP National Board of Directors; Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition President; Dennis Gaddy, Criminal Justice Chair for the North Carolina NAACP and Executive Director of the Community Success Initiative; Jessica Chiappone, Vice President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition; and, Kemba Smith-Pradia, Founder of the Kemba Smith Foundation and Author of “Poster Child”

Listen to the Full Press Call Here: https://dcb1.im.csgsystems.com/webdata/webb3v/wavefile/1003726404.mp3

Read the shadow reports here:
Democracy Imprisoned: A review of the prevalence and impact of felony disenfranchisement laws in the United States | http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_ICCPR%20Felony%20Disenfranchisement%20Shadow%20Report.pdf

United States’ Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Written Statement on Stand Your Ground Laws | http://dreamdefenders.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/SYG_Shadow_Report_ICCPR.pdf

Over 100,000 African American parents are now homeschooling their children

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African American Images, Inc., A Communications Company

By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu


We hear so much about the plight of Black children and their low test scores. We have not heard that African American children who are homeschooled are scoring at the 82% in reading and 77% in math. This is 30-40% above their counterparts being taught in school. There is a 30% racial gap in schools, but there is no racial gap in reading if taught in the home and only a 5% gap in math.

What explains the success of African American students being taught by their parents? I believe that it’s love and high expectations. I am reminded of Booker T. Washington High School. They were honored several years ago for producing the greatest turnaround as a Recovery school.

The principal had the opportunity to pick and choose her staff and emphatically stated, “If you want to teach in this school you must love the students”. Researchers love promoting that the racial gap is based on income, marital status, and the educational background of the parents. Seldom, if ever, do they research the impact of love and high expectations.

Since the landmark decision, Brown vs. Topeka in 1954, there has been a 66% decline in African American teachers. Many African American students are in classrooms where they are not loved, liked, or respected. Their culture is not honored and bonding is not considered. They are given low expectations – which helps to explain how students can be promoted from one grade to another without mastery of the content.

There are so many benefits to homeschooling beyond academics. Most schools spend

more than 33% of the day disciplining students. And bullying has become a significant issue.

One of every 6 Black males is suspended and large numbers are given Ritalin and placed in

Special Education. These problems seldom, if ever, exist in the Homeschool environment.

Another major benefit is the summer months. Research shows that there is a 3 year gap between White and Black students. Some students do not read or are involved in any academic endeavor during the summer. Those students lose 36 months or 3 years if you multiply 3 months times 12 years (grades first -12) Homeschool parents do not allow academics to be forsaken for 3 months.

Finally, in the homeschool environment, parents are allowed to teach their children

values. Large numbers of parents are teaching their children faith based morals and principals. And many are teaching their children with the Africentric curriculum SETCLAE. These children are being taught truths like, Columbus did not discover America; Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves; Hippocrates was not the father of medicine and that African history did not begin on a plantation, but on a pyramid.

Until public schools give more love, higher expectations, better classroom management, greater time on task throughout the entire year, values and the SETCLAE curriculum, we can expect to continue to see an increase in African American parents homeschooling their children.


P.O. Box 1799, Chicago Heights, IL 60412 * Phone: (708) 672-4909 * Fax: (708) 672-0466
Email: customer@africanamericanimages.com * Website: www.africanamericanimages.com

African-American psychologist releases new book emphasizing self-education, self-responsibility and self-care in achieving optimum health and longevity

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“Shifting Your Paradigm for Optimum Health and Longevity: A Model of Health and Healing for African Americans”, encapsulates the need for a paradigm shift in the lives of African-Americans as it pertains to their health and well-being


Oakland, CA (BlackNews.com) — Trained as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. U-Shaka Craig releases his highly-anticipated first book detailing the need for a radical change in the way African Americans view food and its startling implications on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Shifting Your Paradigm is a tour de force in providing readers with information they will need to fundamentally change the way they view food and its impact on the multi-faceted aspects of our lives. As African Americans, our experiences, beliefs and values have been shaped and molded from our historical past. It was a past that included: exploitation, enslavement, emancipation, discrimination, the struggle for civil rights, and other social issues. As a people, it was a past that kept us engaged in a continuous struggle for total liberation. However, as it relates to the reality of our health, we find ourselves leading the national health index of heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, kidney and liver disorders, and autoimmune diseases. The foods that we love are the same foods that contribute to our ill health.

“This book is a telling account of the scope of our problem with diet and health. Using much evidence from health research and the African culture, Dr. Craig makes a profound case for knowing precisely what it is that we put in our bodies. I suggest this book as an extraordinary read about the relationship of culture to health.” — Molefi Kete Asante, Ph.D., Professor, African American Studies, Temple University

Dr. Craig has witnessed over the last 40 years a steady deterioration of the African American community on many levels, especially in terms of our health; he is on a mission to share with the wider community those things he has learned and actually put into practice about empowering ourselves and reversing many of our health conditions that we are currently suffering from. He is available for radio interviews, television appearances, guest presentations and book-signings.


About The Book:
Shifting Your Paradigm for Optimum Health and Longevity: A Model of Health and Healing for African Americans
By U-Shaka Craig, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-0-991136902
Gye Nyame Publishing House
Price: $29.95 USA
Pages: 316 pages, Hardcover, 6.3 X 9

Purchase the book online at www.ushakainc.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/shiftingyourparadigm
Twitter: www.twitter.com/OPTIMUMPARADIGM

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Illinois Green School Award Recipients Announced

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Two schools and a district receive state recognition for their conservation efforts


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the state’s three winners of the Illinois Green School Award program. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education. The three recipients are Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake, Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School in Oak Lawn, and Evanston Skokie School District 65 in Evanston.

“As we prepare our students to be successful in the global economy, it is also important to teach them how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy global environment,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The work of these students and educators is an excellent example of how to weave all three components into teaching and learning for future success.”

Students and staff at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School enjoy filtered drinking water fountains, which protect users from ingesting potential contaminants. Thanks to two refillable water stations, the school has seen a reduction in the amount of plastic bottles discarded and ultimately being taken to landfills. Their paper- recycling program along with a 1:1 netbook program has significantly reduced the school’s paper consumption. They are currently working on the implementation of alternate sources of energy to further reduce environmental impact.

Students in Evanston Skokie School District 65 enjoy at least 120 minutes of physical education per week, including both formal PE classes and free-play recess time. At least 50 percent of the district’s PE classes are conducted outdoors whenever temperatures are above 40 degrees. Solar panels in three of the schools not only conserve energy but are also used for educational purposes. Students can go online and compare the energy generated by the solar panels at various times of the day.

Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake is an early childhood and kindergarten facility that is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the health and wellness of their staff and young students. They have partnered with a local hospital to implement the Coordinate

Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program to help support health and wellness in the school and in the community. Administrators and staff believe that exposing young children to environmental topics lays the foundation for future instruction and learning.

The applications for these two schools and the district have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School awards program.

“It’s not just about being green, it’s about creating a learning environment that connects student health and the environment to academic achievement,” said Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy and Communication, Healthy Schools Campaign.  “These winning schools demonstrate that connection and are helping educate the next generation of Illinois’s leaders.”

Illinois is among 38 states and the District of Columbia participating in this year’s program. Applications for the program, which is in its third year, were submitted to ISBE in mid-November.  Nominations reflect the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools’ three pillars: reduced environmental impact, improved health and wellness, and environmental literacy. The department will announce winners in April.

Each state may submit up to four nominees from public or private schools serving any configuration of K-12 grades to the U.S. Department of Education. If a state nominates more than one public school, at least one must be a school with at least 40 percent of students eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals.

Following the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of winners in April, there will be an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. in late May.

For more information about the Illinois Green Ribbon School program, including a list of previous and current state winners, visit http://www.isbe.net/green_ribbon/.

Give your children a competive edge, enroll them in theatre classes at Chicago Children’s Theatre

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Register now for spring session starting March 24
And it’s not too early to be thinking about Summer Camp!

(clockwise, from top left) Chicago Children’s Theatre’s kids’ classes Glee Club, Dream Factory and Tiny Sparks. Click any photo or here for hi-res. Photo credit: Margaret Strickland

CHICAGO, IL Enrollment is now open for children ages 3 to 13 for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Spring 2014 session of after school and weekend theatre arts training classes, held at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Youth classes at Chicago Children’s Theatre help kids build confidence, boost creativity and ultimately gain a competitive edge by teaching them important life skills like how to think fast on their feet, solve problems, and be better team players.

Plus, they’re a ton of fun.

Additionally, for parents already looking for camp opportunities for their kids this summer, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s always popular Summer Camp, July 14-25, is just the ticket. Over the course of two weeks, campers will be guided along the process of creating their very own, entirely original theatrical production.

Likewise, CCT’s Red Kite Project will offer its annual three-week summer camp experience exclusively for children on the autism spectrum, June 23-July 11 at Cleveland Elementary School, 3121 W. Byron St., Chicago.

CCT’s spring session runs March 24, 2014-May 24 with the following class line-up. To register for spring session classes and for information about summer camps, visit

chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call CCT’s education hotline, (773) 227-0180 x 15.

For families with limited incomes, ask about CCT’s new sliding scale scholarship program, which is being introduced this spring in concert with the theater’s continued expansion of its youth education offerings.

Glee Club

Song and Dance for ages 9-13

March 24-May 19 – Mondays 4:30-6 p.m.

$200/session

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Glee Club ensemble will learn and rehearse a repertoire of popular songs all set to movement. Under the direction of CCT’s musical director and choreographer, students will build their singing and moving chops and have the chance to show them off in a culminating final performance. For singers who move, for dancers who sing, for performers of all kinds, Glee Club offers kids a chance to develop confidence, charisma, and lasting friendships.

Dream Factory

Acting and Story Creation for ages 6-10

March 26-May 21 – Wednesdays, 4:30-6 p.m.

$200

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2013 summer campers had so much fun making amazing new plays, CCT decided to keep at it all year round! In Dream Factory, kids are the creative force. Guided by a CCT staff director, students will dream up characters, settings, and stories and then collaborate to create and rehearse a world premiere short play. The final production will be performed for family and friends on the final day of class. This is the place for any kid who likes storytelling, performing, pretending, silly voices, or making magic out of cardboard. Dream Factory is where wild imagination comes to life.

Tiny Sparks

Story playtime for 3-5 year olds

March 29-May 24 – Saturdays, 11-11:50 a.m.

$180

Welcome to the special class where the tiniest heroes have big adventures. Each session, CCT instructors will lead students through story time as well as playful theatre and movement games. Tiny Sparks gives your littlest performers a chance to play, pretend and set their imaginations wild.

Classes are taught by Nicholas Davio, a Chicago-based musician and frequent music director of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s mainstage productions, Katy Collins, a professional actor and arts educator, and David Amaral, CCT’s head of education.

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

In addition to its education program, Chicago Children’s Theatre focuses on the production of first-rate professional children’s theatre in Chicago. Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us.

Launched in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre strives to provide affordable and accessible theatre for families and area school children. To enhance the impact of any given production’s themes, Chicago Children’s Theatre offers educational materials and programs for families and educators.

Chicago Children’s Theatre is sponsored in part by ComEd, Goldman Sachs Gives, JPMorgan Chase, Target and United Airlines.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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