Two students tapped as Youth Leaders of the Year will attend the three-day “Town Meeting on Tomorrow” by the National Council on Youth Leadership in October.
Gabe Jarman, of Granite City High School, and Ellie Junker, of Mascoutah High School, were named at the Youth Salutes awards program on Aug. 4 at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville in front of more than 125 students, all nominated by their school. Youth Salutes had 221 students nominated from 18 schools for the honor.
In addition to having their expenses paid to the Town Meeting in St. Louis, Gabe and Ellie will also receive a $250 scholarship from the Greater Belleville Area Youth Salute Council.
The council is also sending Romeo Spells, of Belleville West, and Audrey Kosydor, of Highland High School, to the “Town Meeting On Tomorrow” with scholarships. The alternates are Joey Rittenhouse, of Highland High School, and Carlie Keller, of Collinsville High School.
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Also, Shree Patel, of O’Fallon Township High School, and Ashley Nash, of Belleville West, will join a national Leadership Experience in Washington, D.C. with the Global Leadership Connection in October.
Learn more about the council at www.ncyl.org.
The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois has received financial support for its robotics program from the Monsanto Fund.
GSSI STEM Robotics Leadership in St. Clair, Madison, Macoupin and Jersey counties will use the $25,000 to build critical thinking and technical skills.
“Engaging girls in STEM in fun, creative ways helps keep their interest in these valuable career fields, as well as develop their confidence, teamwork and problem solving abilities,” said Mary Buchanan, GSSI robotics manager.
The grant will help fund the GSSI’s robotics season, which includes a global robotics program for children aged 9 to 14 to build and program robots using LEGO parts.
Graduates of O’Fallon Township High School and East St. Louis High School have joined the 2015 corp of Teach For America. TFA is a national nonprofit dedicated to expanding educational opportunities in low-income areas.
Katy Beebe, a 2011 graduate of O'Fallon Township High School and a 2015 graduate of the University of Illinois, will teach in Chicago.
Ashley Williams, a 2004 graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School and a 2006 graduate of DeVry University, will teach in Hawaii.
“I understand the reality of educational inequity and poverty first-hand,” Williams said. “My journey to Teach For America came at a time in my life where I felt unfulfilled after working in finances for several years. ... In Hawaii, there is a word that means responsibility and privilege: kuleana. It is our kuleana to fight educational inequity and poverty.”
Teach For America was founded in 1990, and recruits commit to teaching for two years. In 2014-15, 10,600 corps members taught in 50 urban and rural regions across the country. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
There is a new school-entrance immunization requirement for the 2015-16 school year.
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health are reminding parents that the meningococcal conjugate vaccination (MCV4) requirement becomes effective for students entering grades six and 12. Sixth-graders must show proof of one dose of MCV4; 12th-graders must show proof of having received two doses. Twelfth-graders who received the first dose after 16 years of age need only one dose.
In addition, any child entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time shall show proof of having received two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. IDPH’s Immunization Quick Reference Guide provides additional details about the 2015-16 requirements.
“Immunizations are in place to protect students and their families,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “It’s important that our students stay healthy so they can remain in the classroom, continuing to learn and grow throughout the year.”
August marks National Immunization Awareness Month, which aims to educate people of all ages about the importance of protecting their health by being immunized against infectious diseases.
Kindergarten students and any student enrolling in Illinois for the first time must have an eye examination before Oct. 15. All students enrolled in kindergarten, second grade and sixth grade are required to have a dental examination.