WBEZ | school http://www.wbez.org/tags/school Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Refugee youth services threatened http://www.wbez.org/news/refugee-youth-services-threatened-110656 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Refugee kids (1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>As families prepare for a new school year, some of the most vulnerable kids and parents may have to go it alone. Refugee assistance programs in Illinois are set to lose a federal grant that helps K-12 students transition to life in the U.S., and that supports critical resources for teachers and refugee parents.</p><p>&ldquo;This program will pretty much shut down as of August 14 of 2014,&rdquo; said Melineh Kano, Executive Director of RefugeeONE, a refugee resettlement agency in Chicago. The organizations youth program provides after-school tutoring and social gatherings for roughly 250 refugee children every weekday during the school year, as well as weekend, in-home tutoring for refugee children who often come to the U.S. with little to no English skill, and often below grade level.</p><p>Additionally, the program&rsquo;s case workers are critical to enrolling children in schools when families first arrive, as many refugee parents are unable to fill out the paperwork themselves, and rarely understand what type of documentation they are required to bring to register their children.</p><p>&ldquo;Many of the parents that we are serving haven&rsquo;t really had the opportunity to deal with any formal school systems,&rdquo; explained Kano. &ldquo;So they depend on us to help them and orient them.&rdquo;</p><p>But this year, Kano and those who work with other refugee assistance programs in Illinois, are fretting over whether they&rsquo;ll have money to continue supporting kids and their families through the school year. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement largely funds refugee services, and has recently warned assistance organizations that money is getting tight &mdash; because it also is responsible for the care and shelter of unaccompanied children who are caught illegally migrating to the U.S. The number of children detained since June of 2013 has surged, prompting the ORR to divert money that was earmarked for refugees to deal with the situation.</p><p>Since <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/feds-set-divert-refugee-funds-deal-unaccompanied-minors-110594">WBEZ last reported on this</a>, ORR has announced that it will restore funding to some core services. However, discretionary grants that pay for K-12 support, senior services and preventative health programs remain in jeopardy. In Illinois, youth services received $711,729 last fiscal year.</p><p>Kano said ORR money makes up about 80 percent of the budget for RefugeeONE&rsquo;s youth program. If that money is not renewed, she said she&rsquo;ll be left with less than one full-time employee to handle K-12 services. She said that means newly-arrived refugee families wouldn&rsquo;t receive the basic education that her organization promotes.</p><p>&ldquo;Something as simple as you have to dress your kids properly for school and you have to feed them breakfast before they go to school,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;because otherwise the teacher is going to notice that your child is not well taken care of, and they might call the Department of Child and Family Services for neglect.&rdquo;</p><p>Kano said extreme examples like that are rare, but they could happen more often without the support and intervention of RefugeeONE&rsquo;s case workers. More common are everyday household issues that refugee parents run into, often because they don&rsquo;t know how to support their kids in a new environment.<br /><br />&ldquo;I had a problem with my son,&rdquo; said Amal Khalid, a refugee who arrived from Sudan with her three children last year. &ldquo;My son (didn&rsquo;t) listen to me, and he (didn&rsquo;t) do his homework, and everything. Just he want to sit and watch TV and playing.&rdquo;</p><p>Khalid said a staff member at RefugeeONE helped by making a schedule for her 8-year old son.</p><p>&ldquo;She said you give him this routine for everything,&rdquo; she explained. &ldquo;When he (wakes) up, (goes) to school and he (comes) back, eat, and like one hour for writing, reading. I can&rsquo;t do that by myself.&rdquo;</p><p>Khalid said her son&rsquo;s back on track now.</p><p>RefugeeONE&rsquo;s youth program also provides a critical, one-stop shop for many teachers who need help reaching students&rsquo; families.</p><p>&ldquo;If something arises throughout the year, that&rsquo;s my first contact, again mostly because of the language barrier,&rdquo; said Benjamin Meier, a math teacher at Roosevelt High school. The school has kids from more than 40 language backgrounds, including Arabic, Nepali, Amharic, Tigrinya, Karen, Zomi, Swahili, Dzongkha, and more.</p><p>Meier said RefugeeONE not only helps him communicate with parents, but also teaches parents how to get involved in their children&rsquo;s education.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of the parents traditionally just defer to whatever the school says,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;We prefer more of a give-and-take.&rdquo;</p><p>Meier said RefugeeONE&rsquo;s youth program has been effective because it brings in families&rsquo; case workers to craft holistic approaches to children&rsquo;s success.</p><p>Kano said RefugeeONE will dip into its general funds to keep services going through September. But if federal funds aren&rsquo;t released by then, the organization is planning to discontinue its youth support in October.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/refugee-youth-services-threatened-110656 CPS tries composting pilot program http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/compost.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Still not sure why you should compost your food waste? Just ask a second grader at Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview.</p><p>&ldquo;Because the other food that you throw away that you think you can&rsquo;t compost, has to go to a landfill and that&rsquo;s not good,&rdquo; says 2nd grader Chloe. &ldquo;It makes all these gases that are really bad.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;After we compost this, we take it to this big composting station (and) it will go into this special microwave and then it will turn into this rich soil so we can put it in some places in the environment,&rdquo; adds her classmate Harrison.</p><p>These second graders are pretty much right--except about the microwave part. They learned this as part of an 8-week pilot program that&rsquo;s got Blaine students collecting their lunch scraps every Friday this spring and sending them off to a commercial composter.</p><p>Partners in the program include the Chicago Community Trust, Loyola University, Seven Generations Ahead and Blaine parents. The final partner is CPS&rsquo;s office of sustainability.</p><p>This was surprising, since less than a month ago -- in response to a Freedom of Information Act request -- the district told WBEZ that it neither &ldquo;performs waste audits, nor knows of any schools that do.&rdquo;</p><p>But today, the district acknowledges that there have actually been many such assessments in the district.</p><p>Blaine did theirs before starting the pilot and, according to parent Adam Brent, found huge potential for diverting trash from the landfill. .</p><p>&ldquo;We came up with about an 88 percent diversion of total waste stream that would not go to the landfill &nbsp;if we separated out the food waste and the liquids,&rdquo; Brent explained.</p><p>These numbers match up closely with those from audits across the city that show that roughly half of all milk is discarded while 25 to 30 percent of all food on the tray. One recent Harvard study indicates that 60 to 75 percent of all vegetables served in schools also end up in the trash.</p><p>CPS says it&rsquo;s aware of the problem and encouraging schools to come up with creative solutions. Among these are dozens of on-site composting programs that have sprouted up all over the past decade.</p><p>Jen Nelson has been working on the issue for five years as Seven Generations&rsquo; Zero Waste Program Manager. She calls on-site composting program a good first step, but notes it can only really tackle fruits and vegetables.</p><p>&ldquo;But when you can look at opportunities for commercial composting you can all of the sudden get to the meat and dairy and bones and much larger volume of that food waste,&rdquo; Nelson said.</p><p>For instance, the day we visited Blaine, compost bins were full of half-eaten pizza that would&rsquo;ve otherwise ended up in the landfill. &nbsp;</p><p>Still, the 45 pounds of scraps that Blaine collects each week represent a drop in the bucket. The project&rsquo;s primary goal is to figure out how to expand commercial school composting in Illinois, a state where it&rsquo;s still much cheaper to send scraps to the landfill.</p><p>But if Nelson has her way, that won&rsquo;t be the case for long. She serves on the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition aimed at making composting as attractive in Illinois as it is in states like California. And she says that getting groups like CPS on board, could be key.</p><p>&ldquo;I spoke to a gentleman who owns a compost facility out of state and his comment to me was &lsquo;wow, if Chicago Public Schools were doing commercial composting I would site a facility near Chicago as quickly as I could because it would be worth it. I could make money from that&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p><p>If and when all of the pieces fall into place, Nelson estimates that the district could divert more than 13,000 tons of its CPS cafeteria waste from the landfill each year. &nbsp;</p><p>But the physical matter of waste reduction is just part of the story. This spring, Nelson trained dozens of teachers in a new &ldquo;zero waste&rdquo; curriculum (in alignment with Common Core) that will roll out to CPS classrooms in the fall.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been having a lot of fun training teachers and giving them really cool hands-on activities like making a model landfill and model compost in a two liter bottle,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The students can build it and observe the differences between the two systems and see why things can biodegrade in one and not in the other. It&rsquo;s an exciting opportunity to help teachers really bring it into the classroom.&rdquo;</p><p>Finally, Nelson says an even broader goal is to plant the seeds for a new healthy crop of what she calls &ldquo;zero waste ambassadors.&rdquo;</p><p>And from the words of the precocious second graders at Blaine, it sounds like this crop is well on its way to taking root.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">&nbsp;<em>@monicaeng</em></a>&nbsp;<em>or write to her at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 Protests continue in Venezuela http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-02-24/protests-continue-venezuela-109757 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/(AP PhotoRodrigo Abd)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Opposition forces took to the streets again today in Venezuela.Reuters reports that at least 12 people have died in violence related to the ongoing protests. We&#39;ll take a look at what&#39;s behind the recent unrest.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-protests-continue-in-venezuela/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-protests-continue-in-venezuela.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-protests-continue-in-venezuela" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Protests continue in Venezuela" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-02-24/protests-continue-venezuela-109757 Morning Shift: Are healthy school lunches making it past the lunch line? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-13/morning-shift-are-healthy-school-lunches-making-it <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Lunch - Flickr - healthy lunch ideas.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look a the dark corners of underground adoption. What is making people pursue this option? And Congress has mandated that school lunches should get healthier, but there have been some complaints. What&#39;s really happening on the lunch line?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-64/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-64.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-64" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Are healthy school lunches making it past the lunch line? " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-13/morning-shift-are-healthy-school-lunches-making-it Morning Shift: Avoid getting checked out at the checkout line http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-27/morning-shift-avoid-getting-checked-out-checkout-line <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Basket - Flickr- bcostin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ producer Monica Eng shares the details of a study exploring what items people buy to disguise another embarrassing item in their shopping basket. Also, Chicago public schools are getting ready to teach comprehensive sex education courses. What&#39;s in the curriculum?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-52" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Avoid getting checked out at the checkout line" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-27/morning-shift-avoid-getting-checked-out-checkout-line Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Parent-child - Flickr-stephanski.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday marks the first day of school for CPS students, some of whom will be at new schools for the first time. We check in from various schools around the city. And, we discuss strategies for dealing with the anxiety of the first day of school.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 Morning Shift: Gov. Quinn organizes transit task force to take on scandals at agencies http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-22/morning-shift-gov-quinn-organizes-transit-task-force <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Red Line - Flickr- Buddahbless.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With an eye on improving service and eliminating corruption, Gov. Quinn has organized a transit task force. We discuss what&#39;s ahead for the panel. Also, the history and future of The Purple Hotel.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Gov. Quinn organizes transit task force to take on scandals at agencies" on Storify</a>]</div></noscript></div></p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-22/morning-shift-gov-quinn-organizes-transit-task-force Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Doctor-Flickr- caroline_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Host Tony Sarabia is back, and we talk about the recent CPS layoffs and how they may effect the education system? And with National Health Care on the horizon, we are taking a look at preventive care and its effect on our overwhelmed emergency care services.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 Morning Shift: School's out for summer, may be time to make some cash http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-20/morning-shift-schools-out-summer-may-be-time-make <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Crown Fountain 2-Flickr-QUOI Media.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week Chicago area schools are heading out for the summer. Parents and students explain what&#39;s on their agenda. What are you planning to do with more free time during the day? And as the Hawks wrap Game 4, what sports superstitions to you follow?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-schools-out-for-summer-may-be-time-t.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-schools-out-for-summer-may-be-time-t" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Schools out for summer, may be time to make some $" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 08:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-20/morning-shift-schools-out-summer-may-be-time-make Gunholders around Chicago parks, schools could face higher fines http://www.wbez.org/story/gunholders-around-chicago-parks-schools-could-face-higher-fines-94790 <p><p>People caught with guns near Chicago schools and parks might need to pay extra money.</p><p>The City Council is expected to vote this week on a measure that would increase fines against violators. Alderman Ariel Reboyras, one of the ordinance's sponsors, said people caught with firearms could face a $3,000 fine in addition to other penalties.</p><p>"It's basically to protect the children and deter gangs and drugs and weapons offenses on or near school or park property," Reboyras said.</p><p>The Chicago City Council is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday.</p></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/gunholders-around-chicago-parks-schools-could-face-higher-fines-94790