Possibility raised of after-school child care program

HOMER – At a regular meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Andrew Larson asked the Heritage school board to consider hosting a YMCA After School Child Care program at the elementary/junior high campus. Larson said the low-cost child care would be for Heritage students in grades K-8, and the district would incur no costs.

He said the program is from dismissal until 6 p.m., including on early-dismissal days; and would additionally cover regular school hours on student days off when teachers attend in-service institutes.

DACC board welcomes newest trustee

DANVILLE – A local attorney has joined the Danville Area Community College board.

Students to get new option to gain diploma, college credits

DANVILLE – When Westville High School guidance counselor Mike Waters heard about a new "middle college" program at Danville Area Community College, he immediately thought of several students who could benefit.

The two-year program, which will begin in August, aims to help more students earn their high school diplomas – and college credit – and improve graduation rates in Vermilion County.

"We've already submitted two or three applications," Waters said.

UI honors Washington instructor for her skills

URBANA – Carrie Riggins sits on a tiny chair at a low table in her classroom at Urbana's Washington Early Childhood School and calls her students over to her, one or two at a time, from where they are playing.

She says to one girl, "Remember the other day when we talked about how we use our eyes to ... smell?"

Centennial charged up for state basketball semifinal

CHAMPAIGN – Sandi Kieser polished her marketing skills Wednesday afternoon in the hallway at Centennial High School, and the Final Four T-shirts were selling briskly.

"You want a T-shirt?" she asked a student. "You should get one. They're very fashionable."

Fashionable, indeed.

The talk at the school Wednesday was all about the Chargers' win Tuesday night in Springfield, to reach the semifinals of the state basketball tournament. The team will play in Peoria at noon Friday.

Uni team's protein model wins regional award

URBANA – Low-density lipoproteins carry cholesterol to the arteries, causing heart disease. What if you could trick them with a protein that carries it to the liver and out of the body?

Well, you can't do that now, but a team of four teenagers have won a regional award for science that could be accomplished in the next 20 years in a program called ExploraVision.

Parkland College trustees updated on gym remodeling

CHAMPAIGN – When Parkland students return to school next fall and step into the college's gym, they'll see a much different place, with new bleachers, flooring, lights and paint colors.

"It's a brighter look. It's a more modern look," said Jim Bustard, director of the Parkland Physical Plant, of the planned gym remodeling. "It's almost a difference of night and day."

$300,000 sought to make repairs at Jamaica schools

SIDELL – Jamaica schools officials are looking to issue at least $300,000 in life-safety bonds this spring to make repairs to the school buildings and parking lot.

"It's time to make these improvements," board President Ron Metzger said. "We don't want to get to the point where things get rundown."

Westville school officials hope to renew 2 programs

WESTVILLE – School officials heard a presentation Wednesday on the status of the district's summer school and after-school academic programs, both of which are seeking renewed funding.

Alice Kirby, the executive director of Project Success, said the district had benefited greatly from the grant-supported 21st Century Community Learning Program over the past four years, and that she hoped to be able to renew the grant for another five years to continue the programs.

Public, private schools collaborate to create African art

CHAMPAIGN – Thanks to a collaborative arts project between the private Next Generation School and public Westview Elementary School, students not only discovered things about themselves but also about each other.

Roughly 26 fourth- and fifth-graders from each school visited the other school, where they created lukasas, or African memory boards, and African textile pieces that eventually were revised to become banners.