Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that The Learning Center is the recipient of Community Bank’s Champion Grant. The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals.

The Learning Center is a neighborhood organization that offers free education to women and men in the Chicago communities of North Lawndale and Little Village. Students at The Learning Center acquire skills in reading, writing, math, English as a Second Language, and other subjects which help them obtain their GED. The Learning Center has its roots at St. Luke’s Church, River Forest, IL, and was started by parishioners and Dominican Sisters with the desire to provide justice for the poor. The Learning Center is located at 2153 S. Millard Ave., Chicago.

A grant in the amount of $2,000 was presented to Sr. Monice Kavanaugh O.P., Executive Director of The Learning Center, and Bob Nickels, Board President for The Learning Center, on Wednesday, October 17. Mary Beth McIntosh, VP and River Forest Branch Manager for Community Bank, and Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank, presented the grant. The Learning Center will use the Champion Grant to support their Employment Express program, which provides job training and assistance for those in need of career skills. Participants in the Employment Express program will be taught interviewing skills, online job searching and application techniques, resume and cover letter writing methods, and career decision making assessment.

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities. Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year. The Champion Grant application is available on the Community Bank website at

Community Bank has been a frequent facilitator of financial literacy events, and during its sixteen year history, Community Bank has donated over $2 million to various local civic and charitable organizations. Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest was organized in 1996 as a locally owned bank focused on creating financial solutions for individuals, professionals, owners of closely-held businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities. Community Bank, which had assets of $320 million as of December 31, 2011, has two locations: 1001 Lake Street, Oak Park and 7777 Lake Street, River Forest.

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