Bored Kids? President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Program Keeps North Chicago Teens Reading This Summer

12-YEAR-OLD mALCOM jOHNSON SAYS HE'S EXCITED ABOUT MY bROTHER'S kEEPER pROGRAM.

12-YEAR-OLD mALCOM jOHNSON SAYS HE'S EXCITED ABOUT MY bROTHER'S kEEPER pROGRAM.

It’s Monday morning.

With a high of 80 degrees expected, summer is finally here. 12-year-old Malcom Johnson, tired of spending winter days indoors, pulls out his bike and gathers with friends near 14th and Lewis streets. Chatting and soaking up the sun, they aren’t doing anything wrong but they aren’t doing anything productive either.

With nothing else to do, more boys on bikes join the mainly African-American and Latino crowd. However, their noise will quickly become too much for Lois Garcia, an elderly North Chicago resident who has lived in the corner house for almost three decades.

It’s a common scenario that plays out in every town, every summer: kids complain they're bored and in a never-ending cycle, adults complain about bored kids. 

For the first time in North Chicago, President Obama's My Brother’s Keeper initiative will launch programs to benefit boys like Johnson and his friends. Targeting boys of color, the Annie E. Casey Foundation will sponsor three reading sites across the city.

According to a White House report, "data shows that boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the journey from their youngest years to college and career. For instance large disparities remain in reading proficiency, with 86 percent of black boys and 82 percent of Hispanic boys reading below proficiency levels by the fourth grade..." 

The My Brother's Keeper reading program is designed by Harvard University professor, Gary Knight. The curriculum focuses on children who test up to one year behind their grade level.

"This is perhaps one of the most important programs we've organized in the City of North Chicago," says Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr. "Our future depends on our ability to educate the boys in this city. This program will have a significant impact without asking for more money from taxpayers." 

My Brother's Keeper reading sites will be located at the following locations:

North Chicago Community Health Center   2215 14th Street

Yeager Elementary School   1811 Morrow Avenue

Lake County Boys and Girls Club  33 Boys and Girls Way

For more information, residents may contact Kim Dawson-Brooks at 847-596-8600.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenosha Streetcar Ready for Valentine's Day

         

 

 

 

 

 

  the  valentine's day streetcar will run this weekend from 10:05 a.m. - 5:35 p.m.  FARE: $1.OO aDULTS / .50 CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER.  

 

the  valentine's day streetcar will run this weekend from 10:05 a.m. - 5:35 p.m.  FARE: $1.OO aDULTS / .50 CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER.
 

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“We love these cars. We love the people. We love what it does for Kenosha.

Everybody who gets on these cars gets the biggest smile on their face. My family gets joy by seeing other people enjoy this.”

       - Bradley Preston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bradley Preston has the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Hop on his streetcar in downtown Kenosha and Preston will transport you to a world that feels like a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  

Inside Preston’s red, 1951 Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar, cheerful hearts hang from the ceiling.Metal support poles are lovingly converted to mouth-watering peppermint sticks. Giant hearts on the front and back of the streetcar deliver a message of love as the streetcar loops around the track.

These Valentine's Day decorations are a welcome surprise to Kenosha streetcar fans who typically expect the decked out cars only at Christmas or Halloween. Preston’s wife, Lori suggested the new Valentine’s Day theme and even combed local stores looking for material. A niece, in-laws and others hung many of the ornaments that make this car special.

As you talk with Preston, a Kenosha Area Transit streetcar mechanic, it’s easy to see his passion for the city’s streetcars. However, you’ll also discover his love for Kenosha’s historic downtown. In fact, Preston says the streetcar plays an important role when it comes to building a healthy downtown.

It has become an iconic symbol of Kenosha,” Preston says. “So many of the emblems for Kenosha include a streetcar. It’s just one of the things that make Kenosha what it is today. We know that people come here from all over the world and we can show them all the places that the streetcar goes by.”

If Valentine’s Day is the day you show love, Preston’s streetcar provides the perfect backdrop. The festive ride is perfect for parents looking to create a memorable Valentine’s Day experience for young children. And if you want to show that you put some time and thought into this Valentine’s Day date night, Kenosha’s streetcar is just what you need to say, I love you.

 

 

Winter Activities

Looking for something to do as the cold weather continues for another four months? 

I've been in the Midwest most my life but around this time of year, I'm sick of the cold. Even the kids start to complain. Recently, I've heard a lot of parents asking - what's to do?

I'm still new to Kenosha but already the Kenosha YMCA ranks high on my list. It's our refuge even when the temperature dips well below zero. For $98 per student, the Y offers 45-minute swim lessons that are hard to beat. When summer does get here, the girls will be ready for the Wisconsin lakes we plan to explore.