School board approves Garden Hills youth initiative

CHAMPAIGN – A project to provide educational, vocational and recreational opportunities to children in the Garden Hills neighborhood, beginning this summer, conflicts with a plan to put air conditioning in Garden Hills Elementary School.

The Champaign school board enthusiastically supported the joint initiative of the school district, city of Champaign and the park district to provide youth programs in the Garden Hills area.

State cites Georgetown junior high

GEORGETOWN – School officials learned Monday that Mary Miller Junior High School had been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education for its academic performance.

Mary Miller Junior High Principal Lisa Gocken said she recently learned that the school had received an Academic Improvement Award from the state board of education because of the students' performance on the standardized tests in 2007.

City, Unit 4, park district join forces for youth program

CHAMPAIGN – The city, school board and park district are planning an ambitious program, starting this summer, to provide both educational and recreational opportunities for youths in the Garden Hills neighborhood in northwest Champaign.

The one-year $218,000 pilot program represents an unprecedented attempt by the governmental agencies to address the needs of some 600 youths in Garden Hills, where city officials saw increasing incidents of large unruly gatherings of youths, fighting and violent crime last summer before intervention efforts began to have an effect.

Students use podcasts for class projects, self-expression

CHAMPAIGN – Want to know what's important to eighth-graders? Listen to their podcasts.

For Dunia Nadhimi, it's wearing her head scarf, part of her identity as a Muslim. It's not easy being the only girl wearing a scarf in her school. She didn't like the way the other kids looked at her at first, but now most are accepting.

DACC trustees to talk about possible tuition increase

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College students may be paying higher tuition starting this summer.

On Tuesday, DACC trustees will discuss raising in-district tuition by $6 per-credit-hour. A technology and activities fee would stay at $10 per-credit hour.

Uni High taking diversity seriously

URBANA – In some ways, University Laboratory High School looks like any other public school: messy lockers, overstuffed backpacks, teenagers roaming the halls.

But, unlike most public schools, Uni is selective. Its population isn't confined to students from one town, but to students from around the area who've excelled at tests and grades and essays.

Operation Hope activities set for Garden Hills

CHAMPAIGN – A joint program of the city, the school district and the park district will give students living in the Garden Hills neighborhood recreational and educational activities, beginning this summer.

The one-year pilot program, which the school district is calling "Operation Hope," aims to promote positive behavior and expose students to career possibilities. It will include homework help and tutoring; recreational activities; and, for high school students, career exploration, job opportunities and community service.

Hoopeston fifth, sixth grades to get basketball program

The Hoopeston school board unanimously approved the fifth and sixth grade boys and girls basketball programs for the 2008-09 school year at Thursday's meeting.

"The program will teach the basic skills and fundamentals of the game in a competitive situation," Coach Kevin Root said, "and get them physically active and prepare them for seventh and eighth grade basketball."

Alerts to be given of possible threats

RANTOUL – When a man robbed a Rantoul credit union in January, school officials continued to send the children outside for recess or other outdoor activities, unaware that the robber was at large.

"There was a potentially armed individual in the area, and we had students on the playground," said Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Bill Trankina.

Students, seniors build projects, friendships during visits

URBANA – Debra Heffernan liked the idea of having her third-grade class at Wiley Elementary School hang out with the older residents of the Champaign County Nursing Home. But what would they do?

The teacher got them together to put on little theater shows. But some of the residents couldn't hear the children's words.