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Cunningham announces mentoring grant for Chicago Ridge Public Library

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 12:22 PM

cunningham 033020CHICAGO – The Chicago Ridge Public Library is the recipient of a $9,000 mentoring grant from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Bill Cunningham announced.

The grant was awarded through the Fiscal Year 2021 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Chicago Ridge is one of 28 public libraries in the state to receive the grant.

“This program will help the young people of Chicago Ridge develop the skills they need for the future,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It’s especially important to provide more opportunities to disadvantaged youth.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $550,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said White.  “I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

Belt, Crowe urge Metro East residents to complete 2020 Census

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 12:14 PM

census 081120Lawmakers concerned by low response rates in St. Clair County

EAST ST. LOUIS – With time running out to count households and St. Clair county recording low response rates, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) encourage Metro East residents to complete the 2020 Census. 

“We have to fill out the census before it's too late,” Belt said. “This simple action determines so much about the resources provided to our community. This is the first step in solving injustices, in public health, racial equity and even law enforcement. The Census Bureau needs the most accurate data in order to help us help ourselves.”

“To ensure our region is counted efficiently and allotted the necessary federal aid, every household is responsible for completing the census,” Crowe said. “If your household has responded, you can help by talking to your family members, friends and neighbors about how simple it is. It takes minutes to complete and makes a difference in our communities for years to come.”

Seven municipalities in St. Clair County and one in Madison County have a rate of 49.9% or lower on the statewide response rate list. The cities and villages included by name and rate listed are:

  • Washington Park – 31.4%
  • Brooklyn – 39.1%
  • Venice (Madison County) – 41.9%
  • Alorton – 43.1%
  • East St. Louis – 44.2%
  • Centreville – 49.4%
  • Fairmont City – 49.7%
  • Cahokia – 49.9%

Residents can complete the census for their household at www.my2020census.gov.

Construction on I-72 begins Aug. 12, Bennett cautions motorists

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 12:03 PM

I72 champaign 081120CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging motorists to use caution as construction begins on Interstate 72 between White Heath (Exit 169) and Interstate 57 at Champaign (Exits 182A-B). 

“It’s critical that we keep moving forward with road projects to help improve our community’s transportation infrastructure,” Bennett said. “These investments are essential to keeping people safe and giving the economy a much-needed boost.”

The $8.3 million Rebuild Illinois project involves 11 miles of pavement patching and resurfacing and will require lane closures starting Aug. 12, with one lane open in each direction at all times. Weather permitting, work on this project is expected to be complete by the end of November. 

Bennett is warning motorists to expect delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. He is also encouraging motorists to avoid the work area when feasible and consider using alternate routes. Drivers are urged to drive cautiously in and near work zones, and to always buckle up and put phones down. 

“It is important for everyone to do their part to be mindful of workers and improve work zone safety,” Bennett said. “Driving too fast may shave a minute off your travel time, but it could cost a worker their life. Please stay alert in construction zones.” 

To view area construction details, visit IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com.

Koehler announces mentoring grant for Peoria Public Library

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 11:28 AM

peoria library 081120PEORIA – The Peoria Public Library and is the recipient of a $12,500 mentoring grant from the Illinois secretary of state’s office, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Tuesday.

The grant was awarded through the Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

The Peoria Public Library is one of 28 public libraries in the state to receive the grant.

“I’m thrilled to see that Secretary White is demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of public libraries in our state,” Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “Well funded libraries are an invaluable resource for our communities. This grant will help provide students in Peoria with the tools they need to be successful in the future.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded $559,358.00 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve low-income and underserved populations.

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