Program at Park View Opens This September!

New Park View Elementary Program Coordinator Lizzy Doty with some of the Park View students who have been attending GECRC's Summer Program at Churchill.

The Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center has provided crucial academic support to Glen Crest middle school students in Community Consolidated School District 89 since 2020, and is now thrilled to be expanding to the elementary school level in that district. Starting this fall, Park View Elementary will be the first CCSD 89 elementary school to host a GECRC afterschool tutoring and literacy program. The GECRC program will be open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade who need additional academic support, qualify for free and reduced lunch, and often need language services.


"District 89 and Park View Elementary are excited to have GECRC expand to an afterschool program at the elementary level," said Park View Elementary Principal Kristie Tate. "This is a wonderful opportunity for many of our students to make stronger connections to the school, community and their academics. We are looking forward to a wonderful partnership."


The Park View program will also serve as "a great feeder program for our Glen Crest afterschool program," said GECRC Executive Director Leah Harding.


GECRC recently received an Immediate Intervention Grant from DuPage County that will have an immediate impact on our students with the launch of the Park View afterschool program this fall. The DuPage County Board and representatives from DuPage Foundation awarded nearly $1.3 million in grants by the DuPage Community Transformation Partnership (DCTP). These grants will fund the work of 18 social service not-for-profit organizations serving DuPage County residents in the areas of food insecurity, housing instability, mental health, and substance use disorder. We are incredibly grateful to the DuPage County Board and the DuPage Foundation!


Mary Rahn, PTC president of Park View Elementary, is a current tutor volunteer at Glen Crest and is thrilled to see the program expand to Park View.

"As a tutor volunteer at Glen Crest Middle School, I have seen the power of connection and support that the GECRC team and volunteers provide for our D89 students, and we are really looking forward to seeing the impact at the grade school level," Mary said. "The PTC looks forward to supporting the GECRC as it works to empower our Park View community."


About the Park View Program



GECRC piloted a small Park View program during the 2022-23 school year; 12 students met for a weekly “lunch bunch” that provided literacy and social-emotional support. In the fall, GECRC hopes to enroll about 40 students after school at Park View. The Park View program will run Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. A typical day will include dedicated tutoring and mentoring time with staff and volunteers, social-emotional lessons, a snack, and an outdoor/recess break.

 

CCSD 89 will provide busing, snacks, space, and a staff member to serve as program liaison. Lizzy Doty, the GECRC program coordinator at Glen Crest, will shift to Park View, while former Churchill classroom coordinator Polly Cooper will lead the Glen Crest program in the fall.

 

The Park View program is looking for volunteers to tutor and mentor students. GECRC welcomes tutors from local high schools, colleges, and community groups to work with students from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. To complete a volunteer application, go to: www.gecrc.com/volunteer 

Program Highlights from the Spring

We are so proud of our Churchill students who starred in the Churchill Elementary production of 'Willy Wonka Jr.' April 28 and 29. What a great performance! The Churchill PTA and all of their volunteers deserve such a round of applause for all of the time, effort and dedication they poured into this production, making it such a positive experience for all of the young thespians! Extra special thanks to director Kristina Lindahl! Bravo!

Local author and Lincoln/Hadley/Glenbard West alumna Tracie Marie visited the Lincoln students to read her children's book 'Mac to the Rescue- a Short Tail,' which is about her real-life rescue dog named Mac. The students loved the book and enjoyed telling Ms. Tracie about their own pets at home. They were also fascinated that she had attended Lincoln as a child, as well! Thank you, Ms. Tracie, for visiting and sharing your delightful story with the students. To learn more about her book, visit her website.

Lincoln and Churchill students were all treated to visits from the Glenbard West Girls Field Hockey Team this spring. Coach Shona Hay and some of the team members taught the students the basics of how to play field hockey, even handing out brand new mouth guards to each student. Thank you so much to Coach Hay and to the athletes - the students had an amazing time!

Superstar Teachers

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, GECRC honored two superstar teachers: Katie Reed, Hadley Junior High teacher (left), and Lauren Semorile, Glen Crest Middle School teacher (right).

"Katie Reed is a teacher who has sought out opportunities to support her students outside of the classroom for many years," says GECRC Executive Director Leah Harding. "She not only leads the GECRC Hadley program, she also created a Glenbard West GECRC group for Hadley alumni, and coaches many students on the soccer team." Thank you so much for your dedication and support, Mrs. Reed!



"Lauren Semorile is a blessing to our GECRC program at Glen Crest," says Lizzy Doty, former Glen Crest and current Park View Program Coordinator. "She goes above and beyond to serve our students. We appreciate the time she takes out of her busy schedule of teaching and coaching to partner with us. She always brings her positivity and determination into every situation, and we are better because of her!" Thank you so much for your tremendous support, Ms. Semorile!!

Congrats, Mrs. Reed!

Hadley Classroom Coordinator and Glenbard West Tutoring Group Coordinator Katie Reed, who is also a Hadley Junior High teacher, was honored by District 41 at the monthly board meeting in May. As part of the #WeAreD41 celebration, D41 Chief Communications Officer Erika Krehbiel and her team created and screened an in-depth video about GECRC and Katie's role in expanding GECRC to Hadley and Glenbard West. The video featured some of the students who have worked with Katie over the years, as well as GECRC Executive Director Leah Harding and Director of Program and Volunteers Lisa Hepner, and Hadley Junior High Principal Steve Diveley. One of the students in Katie's Glenbard West group expressed her appreciation for the time Katie invested in her growth from Hadley through Glenbard West; she will be attending Elmhurst College in the fall and was gifted with a sweatshirt from the school as a thank you for her participation in the video. Congratulations to Katie; GECRC is so fortunate to have you on our team. Your dedication and willingness to go above and beyond for your students is such a gift!

New Staff Member

GECRC is thrilled to announce that our very own Polly Cooper has accepted a new position in our organization! Most recently a classroom coordinator at Churchill Elementary, Polly is shifting to a full-time dual role as classroom coordinator at Glen Crest Middle School as well as GECRC Volunteer Coordinator.

"Polly has tackled every role she has had with GECRC with enthusiasm," says Lisa Hepner, director of program and volunteers. "We are excited to see all that she accomplishes with her new position!"

Polly joined the GECRC community as a volunteer in the summer of 2009. GECRC's mission of inclusion and outreach motivated her to continue working with GECRC in multiple capacities, including as an intern and summer instructor, as well as guided her education and career path. Congratulations on your new role, Polly!

Scholarship Winners

Alumni Scholarship Award

The Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center Alumni Scholarship was awarded to Feruza Tolibova,

Originally from Uzbekistan, Feruza says "GECRC has greatly impacted my life from middle school through high school." Feruza plans to study nursing at Elmhurst University in the fall. In her scholarship application essay, she wrote, "My parents have always pushed me to do my best and create a better life. With their encouragement, I am excited about being the first one in my family to go to college. I will use every opportunity I am given to pursue my dreams and make my family proud." Congratulations, Feruza!

Tutor Scholarship Award

The Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center Tutor Scholarship was awarded to Emma Wargin.

Emma has been a weekly tutor with GECRC since her junior year. She said that her experience tutoring was one of the primary reasons that "propelled her toward her current career path." She plans to study social work at Northern Michigan University in the fall. "Every time I helped a student (while tutoring), I saw the smiles on their faces and the pride in their eyes, and I couldn't help but feel pure joy," Emma wrote in her scholarship application essay.

Congratulations, Emma!

Volunteer Appreciation

What a wonderful day celebrating our amazing volunteers at the home of Anne and Charles Bouchard in early July! There were artists throughout the yard, as well as flower arranging, delicious treats and great conversation. We couldn’t support more than 300 students a year without the dedication of our tutors! Thank you to Anne and Charles for your generous hospitality, and thank you to our tremendous volunteers!

In-Kind Donors of the Month

Have you checked out our website lately? It's looking extra fresh and fabulous with some new photos, updated bios, our updated logo and more!

And we would like to thank Custom Direct, Inc.. for their donated web development services which made it all possible! Their team, (pictured), especially Digital Creative Director Kristen Cudden and Vice-President Nancy O'Leary have been such generous partners to GECRC; they have enabled us to share our mission and vision and grow our organization, and for that, we are so truly grateful.

"The entire Custom Direct team is proud to support the efforts of the Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center," Nancy said on behalf of the Custom Direct team. "Helping the GECRC team to tell their story, far and wide, is very important to us. Giving children the opportunity to learn, grow and connect with their peers and community is one of the most important 'jobs' we have. Thank you!"

Thank YOU, Custom Direct, Inc!!!

Summer Program Highlights

Rising 5th-8th graders had two mornings of fun and learning at the Morton Arboretum at Summer Program today. On the first day, they visited the Children's Garden, and on the second day, they explored the new Gerald T. Donnelly Grand Garden that was built to commemorate the Arboretum’s Centennial celebration, and listened to a presentation by Stephanie Adams, the Arboretum’s Plant Health Care Leader, who is a Board Certified Master Arborist with a PhD in Forest Pathology - a literal “plant doctor!” Thank you to the Morton Arboretum for your kind hospitality!

Summer Program students have been treated to weekly visits from the Glenbard West Girls Field Hockey Team. Coach Shona Hay and some of the team members have been teaching the students the basics of how to play field hockey. Thank you so much to Coach Hay and to the athletes - the students truly enjoy your visits!

Community Partners and Awareness

Thank you so much to The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn for the generously donated books that were given to the 5th graders at Churchill and Lincoln as "Promotion Gifts" as they advance to Hadley Junior High in the fall! The students were so excited to receive the books.

More gratitude is due to The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn for enabling GECRC to sell packs of notecards in their store; the proceeds of these cards which were designed by GECRC students, will go toward the GECRC scholarship fund which awards students like Feruza and Emma (see Scholarship Winners section above) each year. You can find 8-packs of these cards (four of each design) for sale at the Bookstore of Glen Ellyn starting in August!

Congratulations to GECRC Board Member Erica Nelson, who was honored at the annual Bridge Communities' "Celebrating Women Transforming Lives" luncheon in June. Erica received the "Transforming Lives" Award. In addition to serving on the GECRC board, Erica served on the Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education for 12 years, and also serves on the Partnership for Educational Progress (PEP) Board, and the One Community Board. We are so proud of you, Erica! You are such a gift to our community!

Events

Save the Date! Saturday, Sept. 9 for Rock the Block 2023! Exact time TBD, but likely late afternoon to early evening. Various blocks around Glen Ellyn will be hosting local musicians for a late summer gathering designed not only to provide an evening of fun, but also an opportunity to learn more about and support GECRC. If you are interested in hosting a block party, donating your musical talents to perform at one, or simply learning more, please complete this form.


Questions? Contact GECRC Board Member Karen Winter at GECRCRockTheBlock@gmail.com.

Another Save the Date: Thursday, Nov. 2 in the evening at Pickled! Wheaton for a series of quick Pickleball games for the non-serious Pickleballers. Newbies and experts are welcome for this social evening raising funds for our GECRC students. Stay tuned to our social media and e-mails for more details about this event as they take shape!

Thank You, GECRC Community!

Thank you to the following organizations who recently donated to support our four (soon to be five!) afterschool programs, either financially through grants or donations, or through in-kind donations. We are very appreciative of your support of GECRC!


Grants:

Glen Ellyn Rotary Club

Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare Association

Evans Foundation

DuPage Community Transformation Partnership (DCTP) 

Northwestern Medicine Community Benefit Grant Program


In-Kind Donations:

Ursula Bryant

Peter Cooper & Celia Rodee

Judy Heller

Courtney Campbell

Get Involved!

Want to Give Back?

Our volunteer tutors are so invaluable to the mission of GECRC. Volunteering is a mutually beneficial experience where volunteers engage with students, staff and their fellow volunteers in meaningful and purpose-driven ways. Some wonderful and long-lasting mentoring relationships develop between tutors and students!

If you or your high school student or perhaps even retired parents or neighbors would be interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, please complete a volunteer application to join us! If you've tutored in the past, please send an email to volunteer@gecrc.com. We are currently seeking volunteers for the 2023-24 school year across all of our sites: Churchill, Lincoln, Park View, Glen Crest Middle School and Hadley Junior High.

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Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Office: 630 479-9920

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