Teen REACH keeps kids off the streets (VIDEO)

reach-screenshotDuring their visit to the Statehouse, some of the staff and students involved with the Teen REACH program had a chance to explain what the program offers and what it means to them. They also offered insight as to the positive impact that the program has had on their broader community as a whole.  The program is administered through the Illinois Department of Human Services and offers a multitude of services to youth ages 6-17 years old.

The acronym REACH identifies the five tenants of what the program teaches: Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring and Hope.

Read more: Teen REACH keeps kids off the streets (VIDEO)


Manar presents school funding reform to House committee

Manar-sb1-houseState Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) testified before an Illinois House committee Tuesday, outlining details of his need-based school funding reform package, Senate Bill 1.

“It’s important to start this conversation early so representatives can educate themselves and their constituents about the need for better school funding. We had some marathon meetings in the Senate last year, but this was the first formal conversation we’ve had in the House,” Manar said.

Read more: Manar presents school funding reform to House committee


Rise and shine with Illinois School Breakfast Week

school-brkfstEvery morning, students gather around their school’s cafeteria to eat breakfast. Among every five children in school, at least one will not eat breakfast. Hunger makes school harder for the 23 percent of Illinois children who are food insecure.

February 23-27 marks Illinois School Breakfast Week, a time to acknowledge the lingering hunger gap in the state.

Read more: Rise and shine with Illinois School Breakfast Week


Child care funding crisis affects parents, day care operators (VIDEO)

Frankie Delaney, right, of Springfield joined her family at the Capitol last week for a rally to restore funding to the state Child Care Assistance Program.Thousands of working families all across Illinois rely on the state's Child Care Assistance Program, which subsidizes child care for working parents, so they can work to support their families or go to school to make a better life for themselves and their children. But funding for CCAP has run out, leaving these families with a unpleasant choice: giving up safe care for their children or quitting their jobs or school.

A rally at the Capitol on Thursday by the Illinois Action for Children was aimed at the governor and the General Assembly to restore this funding so that parents would not have to make such a choice. Hundreds of supporters — many of whom brought their kids — filled the rotunda to rally support for restoring funding for CCAP as well as to ensure continued funding for the next fiscal year.

Read more: Child care funding crisis affects parents, day care operators (VIDEO)


Disappointed Senate Black Caucus reacts to budget address (UPDATED, VIDEO)

budgreax-blackcaucusThis afternoon in response to the governor’s budget address, Senate Black Caucus members expressed concerns about FY’16 budget priorities.

“Not funding education at a 100 percent rate again this year is simply unacceptable. Ninety-nine percent funding would not be enough, so the proposed 95 percent is certainly not adequate.”

“Yes, government leaders in positions of power hold many responsibilities, one of which is ensuring a thriving private sector, attractive to business and industry – but not to be forgotten are the awesome responsibilities of protecting and serving the people.” – State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood 4th)

Read more: Disappointed Senate Black Caucus reacts to budget address (UPDATED, VIDEO)


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