Sunday, April 13, 2014

Next Chess Meet & Greet May 3rd

The next NCRBC Chess Meet & Greet will be Saturday May 3rd 2014 at Peru City Hall from 9:30 to 111:30am

You can see some pictures from the April Meet & Greet in the NCRBC Photo Gallery

Friday, March 21, 2014

Teachers as Spring Valley Parents - Moving Things Forward

One of the questions that swirls around trying to get more and better participation from parents in their children’s education is “How?”   What methods are there?

Friday afternoon I had an opportunity to witness an event which may possibly hold an answer.

At John F. Kennedy School in Spring Valley Illinois, the school held a curriculum session and invited members of the public to attend.  Approximately 12 parents showed up, and most of them were teachers from other districts who also happen to have children in the Spring Valley elementary school system.

This group came because they are concerned their children might end up like so many others, who are not prepared when they leave for what comes next.  As outside teachers they could see the data to know that in today’s world no one can assume that the educational system on its own will insure that children have been properly prepared.

It is hard to imagine a group coming into such a meeting with any more credibility than these women. And here is some of what they had to say:

“If we had better communications from the school, we could do a better job as parents.”

“We are not here to rip our fellow teachers; we love and appreciate what you do. But you have to step it up a notch.”

“I know my child is getting good grades, but I don’t know what my child does (or does not) know.”

“If I know what you are teaching and when, then I can follow along at home and supplement even if I have to go to the web to find supporting homework or assignments.”

Teachers acting as concerned parents.  Think about that.  Nobody knows where things stand, and just what the challenges are more than this group.  And they came with a respectful tone, with questions and concerns.  So lets do a little check list.

Parents with children.                                                                Check.

Concerned enough to interact with the school.                           Check.

Concerned enough to interact with kids at home on learning.      Check.

Why would these people not be perfect to lead by example and teach other parents how to do what they do?  Can we find some money to make it worth their while? The dividends to the community would be 100 fold.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spring Valley Education to Economic Prosperity March 11th

           A coalition of major stakeholders and education advocates in Spring Valley will hold a community wide forum on Tuesday March 11th on the new importance of education in determining the economic prospects for the city and its residents. The meeting will be held at the Spring Valley City Hall in its City Hall Community Room, 215 N. Greenwood St. beginning at 6:30pm.
The sponsors of the forum are Hall Township High School, Illinois Valley Community College, City Spring Valley, Spring Valley Boosters, Spring Valley Partners for Progress, and the North Central Regional Betterment Coalition.
The featured speakers include Hall High School Superintendent Michael Struna, who will cover the impact of the most recent High School Performance Report Card, and IVCC President Dr. Jerry Corcoran who will draw the line from academic achievement to economic prosperity in a rapidly changing world.
According to Spring Valley Economic Development Director Debb Ladgenski, “the meeting is intended for any resident of Spring Valley concerned about the future of their children, and/or the future of Spring Valley as a vibrant community.”
Corcoran, who did 28 similar presentations across the college’s district in 2012-13, added, “All available data shows us how important a college education is to lifetime earnings. Individuals with even one-year certificates, let alone advanced degrees, can expect to make hundreds of thousands more over their working lives.”
“Our mission is to get that message out; this event is an excellent opportunity to do just that.
Struna added, “Where we are now and where we need to go cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. I look forward to this opportunity to engage the residents of Hall Township in the process of further building an education process that prepares our students for the best future which awaits them”

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chess Meet and Greets This Summer

The Starved Rock Chess League Announces Summer Chess Meet and Greets!

All events will be held at Peru City Hall 1901 Fourth St. Peru.

All events are on Thursday Afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00

June 6th, June 20th, July 18th, and August 1st

Sponsored by Ford Farms, PDQ, S&J Electric, and the North Central Regional Betterment Coalition

For more information contact Deanna Carlson at

Monday, October 22, 2012

Robin Lasker Excellence in Foreign Language Teaching

Congratulations to Robin Lasker.  The 2nd year Foreign Language Teacher at LaSalle Peru High School has been chosen for the Montserrat Villarruba Award of Excellence through the Illinois Council on the Teaching for Foreign  Languages.

Full details in Saturday's News Tribune.  If they provide a link I will post it here.

Anytime a local teacher is recognized, especially in an area as important as Foreign Language, its a cause for celebration.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Local Educators Ahead of the Curve

Often times I will read something in the paper and think, "Gee, why aren't we doing that?"
So Friday it was an absolute delight to open the Chicago Tribune and see the story from Bonnie Miller Rubin with the headline High School Work Pays Off.  The article details a report from the National Association of School Boards that shows how high schools can greatly influence the potential success for kids who go on to college.  Specifically they mention the importance of more quality guidance counselor time and more Advanced Placement Classes.  If you follow the coverage in the News Tribune of LaSalle-Peru Township High School then you already know Superintendent Steve Wrobleski and the LP Board have already been making a lot of moves in this direction. I'm sure there is more to do, but its nice to see a local school ahead of the curve.,0,7272117.story

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sometimes five minutes of reading can do more to advance an idea, than 100's speeches to 100's of people.

The idea, communities which are serious about valuing education will have more economic vitality than those that don't.

With that idea in mind, take a look at this editorial from the Chicago Tribune on Labor Day 2012.,0,6222554.story