Students churn out toys to raise money for books

CHAMPAIGN – The factory opened at about 8:15 Thursday morning, and the employees were soon hard at work.

Some of them sanded round wooden discs, and some cut dowel rods into pieces. Others assembled the pieces into tops.

Move helping DACC get the word out

DANVILLE – Right under your plate of spaghetti is a chance to sharpen an old skill or learn a new one.

Danville Area Community College's Corporate and Community Education department is circulating 50,000 place mats in area restaurants with its ongoing schedule of specialty classes.

Urbana district receives $1 million grant for history education

URBANA – Area teachers will learn more about history, and how to get their students excited about it, thanks to a $1 million grant to the Urbana school district from the U.S. Department of Education.

The three-year Teaching American History grant is actually $999,136, and it is part of $114.7 million awarded nationwide. It is the fourth such grant the Urbana district has received.

TIF district considered for DACC area

DANVILLE – City officials are considering a new tax-increment-financing district in the east end of town that may bring student housing for Danville Area Community College by 2009.

Though the exact area is yet to be determined, the district would cover about 10 blocks along the East Main Street corridor in front of DACC and Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System with city council approval, City Planner Chris Milliken said.

Urbana school plan includes support period

URBANA – After five years of missing adequate yearly progress – the federal government's guideline for a passing school under No Child Left Behind legislation – Urbana High School is planning to restructure.

The question is how.

Urban League ends participation in three programs

CHAMPAIGN – The Urban League of Champaign County continues to shed programs, this time dropping its participation in three educational programs serving students and families.

The agency has turned over control of the programs to the Regional Office of Education in Rantoul: the Teen Reach after-school program, the Freedom School summer literacy program, and a family outreach program formerly affiliated with the Urban League's Community Day Care.

Urbana High School restructuring plan to be presented

URBANA – After five years straight of not meeting federally mandated testing standards in some areas, Urbana High School is planning for a required restructuring.

The first presentation of the high school's restructuring plan will be on Tuesday at the Urbana school board study session, at 7:30 p.m. in the Burkholder Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U.

Students learn from anti-bullying film they made

CHAMPAIGN – An anti-bullying film made at Franklin Middle School and screened at the Virginia Theatre on Friday night has already made a difference for some of the students involved in making it.

When the students talked about what bullying was during the making of the film, "I realized I had done half these things," said McKenzie Bonnett. "It made me understand I had to check myself. It was a part of growing up I hadn't done yet."

Parents should register soon to keep kids in same school

CHAMPAIGN – Attention parents with a child in elementary school in Champaign and another entering kindergarten: If you want your children in the same school, you need to go through kindergarten registration with the district.

And Monday is your last opportunity to do so and get a priority for that school.

Seat Belt Convincer drives home a point

CHAMPAIGN – Seconds after 16-year-old Antoine Anderson buckled his seat belt and started moving, he slammed to a stop, the seat belt pulling tight across his stomach.

"If y'all ate some cereal, don't get in," the Central High School sophomore advised his classmates.