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Sen. Cristina Castro urges Governor Rauner to do his job

castro 050417ELGIN – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) demanded today that the governor do his job and release the funds Harper and Elgin Community Colleges desperately need.  

After months of negotiations, the General Assembly put together a responsible and bipartisan budget that included cuts, reforms and revenue. Although the budget included $225,000 for Harper and Elgin Community Colleges, the state has not released the funds.

“I fought for a budget because I did not want to have this lingering uncertainty over Harper and Elgin Community Colleges and the work center,” Castro said. “It is important that we cover the cost of operating the Education and Work Center because it has a meaningful impact on the lives of the people in our community.”

Harper College partnered with Elgin Community College and the Chicago Cook Workforce at the Hanover Park Education and Work Center to provide services to community members. The center provides a variety of career skills development and English as a Second Language, basic adult education and high school equivalency instructions.

If the state does not release the funding, then the center might not be able to remain open beyond the fall semester.

“I am tired of Governor Rauner neglecting his duties,” Castro said. “The two-year budget impasse had a shattering impact on colleges and universities in Illinois and if he doesn’t release these funds, he will leave a lasting and staggering effect on the economy in my district.”

Michael E. Hastings announces new technology resources for area children

hastings 050117TINLEY PARK- Students in the 19th Senate District will soon see new technology updates at Matteson Area Public Library and Richton Park Library District.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is excited to announce $30,950 in grants will be awarded to these two local libraries through the Secretary of State’s Project Next Generation program (PNG).

“Our children need to be ready to compete in a technological savvy world,” Hastings said. “This vital funding will go toward upgrading and enhancing educational opportunities for students across our district.”

PNG is an educational technology initiative of Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White that was established to help educate at-risk students and bridge the digital divide.

“Learning does not stop in the classroom,” Hastings said. “Our local libraries often serve as a reliable and safe environment for our students to complete their studies.”

Matteson Area Public Library will be awarded $18,450 and Richton Park Library District will receive $12,500.00.

The grant will help enhance technology training for local students by proving additional funding to pay start-up costs for after-school training programs and supplemental staff to educate and mentor children.

“We should all thank these wonderful institutions and their staff for their help educating the future leaders of our communities and great nation,” Hastings said.

Hastings urges area residents to take advantage of local libraries for a variety of services such as borrowing books and magazines, free educational workshops and accessibility to computers.

Scott Bennett announces $29,000 radio information service grant for UIUC

bennett 053116CHAMPAIGN – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been given a $29,000 Radio Information Service Grant from the Illinois Secretary of State.

Through this grant, WILL-FM, the radio station at the University, will provide information to those who are visually impaired, physically handicapped and the elderly living in Urbana and the surrounding area.

“Thanks to this grant, more residents in the Champaign-Urbana area will have the opportunity to access information they need,” State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) said. “Anyone – regardless of limited visual or physical ability – should be able to participate more fully in our society.”

Specifically, the grant will give those who are visually impaired and physically handicapped access to local daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and different types of books.

The service also provides in-depth and detailed reporting that will be broadcast on a special radio called a sideband receiver. These receivers are distributed at no cost to qualified recipients and anyone who has a visual or physical disability impairing their ability to read may be eligible to obtain a special radio.

WILL-FM’s informational service programs are broadcast daily and include hours of local programming for the audience’s enjoyment and enrichment. Volunteers will read local newspapers, news that may not generally be heard on the television news broadcast and a variety of topics including comics, grocery ads and obituaries.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity to engage more members of our community,” Bennett said. “This program will make it possible for those who are visually or physically impaired to be current and knowledgeable about the world around them.” 

Tom Cullerton announces $15,000 grant for Wood Dale Public Library District

tc consol 020817WOOD DALE- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Par) is excited to announce students in Wood Dale Public Library District will soon have additional technological resources available to enhance their studies.

The Wood Dale Public Library District was awarded a $15,000 grant through the Secretary of State’s Project Next Generation program (PNG).

“Our children live in a digital world,” Cullerton said. “This grant will support Wood Dale Library’s mission to expand and upgrade learning opportunities for our students.”

PNG is an educational technology initiative of Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White that was established to help educate at-risk students and bridge the digital divide.

Cullerton hopes this will empower students to succeed academically and train to become the future leaders of Illinois.

The grant will help enhance technology training for local students by proving additional funding to pay start-up costs for after-school training programs and supplemental staff to educate and mentor children.

The Hechinger Report states 70 percent of teachers across the nation assign homework to be completed online, but more than five million families with school-aged children don’t have internet connectively at their home.

“This new grant opportunity will expand access and assistance for children to guarantee they have a predictable and productive environment to complete their studies,” Cullerton said. “This year, the General Assembly passed bipartisan school funding to ensure Illinois’ students have the proper resources to succeed at school; now let’s make sure they have the means to learn outside of the classroom.”

The Wood Dale Library District was formed in March of 1956 by local citizens. The library is open seven days a week. For more information area residents can visit www.wooddalelibrary.org or call (630) 766-6762.

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