When recycling enthusiast Julie Moller began collaborating with a few other River Forest moms to form Green4Good, a school-based recycling, composting and environmental stewardship effort, they enlisted the support of District 90 school administrators, recruited like-minded moms and reached out to Gary Cuneen, the executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, the face and force behind the dual community environmental sustainability program, PlanItGreen.
The responsibility of bringing children from their first years through high school and on to a career path is not one that can be "simply outsourced to teachers, principals or schools." Instead, at all points of contact from a church to a social worker to a youth sports team, a child needs to be nurtured and propelled by the wide community.
Eager to grant a range of modest awards to several local nonprofits from a cache of funds raised by their Future Philanthropist Program are six fresh-faced high school juniors, awaiting their turn to present their proposal pitch at the regular meeting of the Grants and Programs Committee at the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.
Some folks figure being a folksinger is mostly a matter of definition and deeds. Until the standards start flowing, from names like Bob Dylan; Woody Guthrie; Joan Baez; John Denver; Peter, Paul and Mary and so many other icons.
Six or seven times a year, Dr. Ben Stark, a biology professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, drops everything and goes into his "adopted" fourth-grade classroom at Beye Elementary School in Oak Park.
In art classes at Irving Elementary School in Oak Park, choice is the rule. Because, since January, in Emily Tague's art room, working away at designated art stations have been students choosing to do everything from drawing, painting and collage, to weaving and creating paper sculptures.
Milling about the cafeteria, early in the morning at Camp Manitoqua, Frankfort, are two Oak Park and River Forest High School sophomores, Stefan De La Cotera and Chris Lee, hovering by the breakfast buffet station on day two of the three-day District 200-sponsored retreat known as Operation Snowball.