Education and Family | WGLT

Education and Family

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College President Rob Widmer announced Friday he plans to retire next summer.

West Bloomington Revitalization Project

Every day starts with a good night's sleep, according to Ryan Heeren. He and Robert Bosquez are with the West Bloomington Revitalization Project's Tool Library and helping to organize the Bed Blitz, a volunteer effort to build and provide beds to kids sleeping on the floor, on furniture, or with family members. 

Ryan Denham / WGLT

A new center at Illinois State University will try to more purposefully pair students with community organizations that can benefit from their growing knowledge and skills.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

A cost-cutting move in Unit 5 schools may be paying off in another way for students.

Cindy Le / WGLT

Illinois State University enrolled fewer new freshmen and transfer students this fall, ending three straight years of record-breaking growth, officials said Wednesday.

Eastview Christian Church

Pastor Mike Baker stands on a large stage at Eastview Christian Church that serves as a pulpit. He is dressed casually in a summer suit, open collar shirt, and loafers with no socks. Behind him, lit up in stage lights, are the letters: S E X.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

The business manager for Unit 5 said Wednesday he has never faced more uncertainty concerning school funding during his time with the district.

David Bailey / NASA

Monday’s long-awaited solar eclipse is giving Bloomington-Normal teachers an opportunity to get their students excited about science.

Staff / WGLT

The recent budget crisis in Illinois created real problems for college students across the state, some of whom opted to find less uncertainty in colleges in other states.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel said Wednesday he is cautiously optimistic the school's bus contractor will do better than the start of school last year.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Will Unit 5’s bus system be ready to go on the first day of school Aug. 16?

Elyse Shoenig

It’s the 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass at Epiphany Catholic Church in Normal. This used to be the parish’s “Life Teen Mass,” but it isn’t any longer. White-haired and middle-aged people fill the pews—even some couples with children. But there are few teens or young adults. That concerns Father Eric Powell, Epiphany’s pastor.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees approved a new three-year contract for President Larry Dietz on Saturday, including a 7 percent raise over his last full contract and the possibility of annual bonuses.

Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees will vote Saturday on a new three-year contract for President Larry Dietz that includes a 7 percent raise and the possibility of annual bonuses.

Esther Max / Flicker via Creative Commons

A pair of grants will allow Illinois State University's Mennonite College of Nursing to address the diversity of the nursing workforce and help nurses find a place where they are most needed.

Steve Rainwater / Flickr

John Freml grew up in a Catholic family and attended parochial schools. He is an active member at his parish in Springfield and says he loves the Catholic Mass.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

The Southern Baptist Convention, one of the largest denominations in the country, voted recently to denounce white supremacy and the alt-right movement, but not without controversy.

Muppetmindset / wordpress.com

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on Sesame Street? Paul Rudolph doesn't have to guess. He works there.

Rudolph, who grew up in Normal, is the vocal music director of the show. As such, he wears many hats—composing, arranging and recording many of those catchy tunes that stick in the minds of children and not a few adults. He recently won his second Emmy for music editing on the show.

African American Advisory Council / Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

In McLean County, some 222 children in foster care are currently waiting for the chance to find a permanent home. 

Of those children, 88 are African American. They make up about 40 percent of the children in foster care, but last year accounted for only about 26 percent of the permanent adoptions.

Baby Fold

The Baby Fold's Residential Treatment Center for children and teens who suffer emotional difficulties due to abuse and neglect will close at the end of the month -- another casualty of the Illinois budget impasse.

The Pritts Family

A once in a lifetime trip for most people has rolled to a stop for the Pritts family.

In June 2016, Jeff, the former manager of the Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and Marci,who worked for a non-profit foundation, headed east on a 13,000 mile, 10-month trip that took them, their kids, a Great Dane, a second dog, and a cat  through 30 states with 70 stops.  

Julien Harnels / Flickr

Like many Americans, Gretchen Snow  was horrified at the photos of a drowned Syrian refugee child who washed up on the shores of Greece. Then there were the images of African families fleeing violence in their villages, walking on dirt roads, children in tow and their  belongings on their backs.

Snow decided she had to act. She was not alone.

Devon Buchanan / Creative Commons

Anonymous websites like Anon-IB that post nude photographs of women are difficult to control because the law has not kept up with the technology that makes these sites possible.

Pete Sousa / Official White House Photo

A growing number of school-age children have experienced some form of trauma or emotional difficulty. That often translates into behavioral problems both within the family and at school.

Increasingly, however, schools are attempting to prevent and address those problems through a variety of services, according to Brenda Huber, director of the Psychological Services Center at Illinois State University, and Mark Jontry, regional schools superintendent for McLean, Livingston, Logan and DeWitt counties.

Justin A. Wilcox / Creative Commons

When a person is experiencing an emotionally difficult period, often the first stop in seeking help is with a pastor or another trusted spiritual adviser.

That's why churches and faith groups across denominations are increasingly focusing on the mental well-being of their congregation members, says Patricia Turner, outreach director for Center for Hope International Ministries, an independent, non-denominational Christian church in Bloomington.

"I'm glad that this is one of the stops people can make," Turner said on GLT's Sound Ideas.

Kingsley Jr. High Dress Code Conversation Grows

May 11, 2017
WGLT

Concerned parents want the Unit Five School Board to lighten up on the dress code and focus on what they view as more important issues. 

Kingsley Junior High's Principal recently told parents to curb female clothing, but did not mention male attire in the message.

A group told the school board being an adolescent is already a difficult time and that degrading actions by classmates can make the teenage years even worse.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Students at Bloomington High School are helping children with special needs enjoy their time at the early childhood preschool unit in Sarah Raymond School.

The District 87 School Board is praising two freshman for remodeling small battery powered vehicles, so kids with disabilities can drive at a walking pace. Student Reed Shoemaker said the process was a challenge, but rewarding.

Gail Franklin / Western Avenue Community Center

Many social service workers burn out long before the quarter century mark. Not so Socorro Alvarez, the Hispanic Outreach director for the past 25 years at Bloomington's Western Avenue Community Center.

Judith Valente / GLT News

You don't normally expect to hear the words cancer and gift in the same sentence. But that is how Marcia O'Donnell, a Community Cancer Center patient, describes her life since her diagnosis of advanced breast cancer.

O'Donnell is a former mental health professional and mother of two small children.

She credits her positive outlook, in part, to being able to share her questions, fears and sometimes overwhelming emotions with Cancer Center chaplain Cheryl-Peterson Karlan.

Initially, though O'Donnell didn't even want to meet with the chaplain. 

Judith Valente / GLT News

Cheryl Peterson-Karlan, the chaplain at the Community Cancer Center in Normal, says her job is about listening to people, meeting them where they are, and if possible, helping them find hope.

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