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CHAMPAIGN – With help from a generous but publicity-shy benefactor, the Champaign Public Library Foundation has raised $2.5 million toward its $3 million goal for the new library building.
The donor – whom library Director Marsha Grove declined to identify even as a man, woman or family – provided a $1 million matching challenge grant that has been more than met.
CHAMPAIGN – Three foreign language teachers at Centennial High School will be practicing their Spanish and getting a look at how teachers run their classes in Grenada, Spain, during the next 10 days.
Stacy McAndrew and Amy Westfield, who teach Spanish, and Linda Smith Tabb, who teaches French at Centennial and also teaches at Parkland College, leave Sunday. The Study Abroad trip is part of a University of Illinois online master's program, Global Studies in Education, in which they are all enrolled.
RANTOUL – Three years ago, Larry Maynard faced a challenge – curbing out-of-control behavior in the halls and classrooms at Rantoul Township High School.
Maynard, then in his first year as the school's only dean, was in despair, giving prayerful consideration to how to solve that dilemma. "I asked, 'How can I help these kids?'" he said.
EAST ST. LOUIS – Christine Jackson already was thinking she would like to attend the University of Illinois.
"I've always wanted to go there ever since, like, the basketball team, and it's pretty close to home," the 16-year-old Belleville East High School student said recently.
MONTICELLO – Think about an apple.
Not the fruit, though – the word.
It's pretty difficult. Why would there be two "p's"? Or an "e" for that matter?
HOOPESTON – The summer migrant education program at Hoopeston schools is housed at David Greer School this summer, back where it started 40 years ago.
Maria Martinez hopes that's not a bad omen. Martinez, who's worked with the federally funded program every year since it began, said participants' numbers have dropped dramatically, but students' needs have changed and grown.
URBANA – Brian Wansink had it pretty good.
He liked his job as a professor of marketing, nutritional science and agricultural economics at the University of Illinois. He liked his colleagues. He liked Champaign-Urbana. He even played saxophone in a local band.
CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign police officer will patrol the hallways of Centennial High School for the next three weeks.
The Champaign school district decided to add a school resource officer for its second high school summer school session, which started Wednesday, in the wake of several fights at the school last week. Assistant Superintendent Ecomet Burley said district officials hope the presence of the officer will deter students from causing any trouble during the remaining weeks of summer school.
URBANA – Come July 17, four Urbana High School students will be saying "Auf Wiedersehen, America" and "Hallo, Germany!"
The students, all juniors, won yearlong scholarships to study in German high schools courtesy of the U.S. and German governments. They are among 250 students nationwide to earn the experience, in which nearly all expenses are paid.
A steady job with benefits is one way out of poverty, but poetry, philosophy and art can also help.
That's the thinking behind the Odyssey Project, a free humanities program for low-income area residents.