HF earns national Special Olympics honor, Mokena charity lauded, and more – Chicago Tribune

Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School in Flossmoor last week became one of only two schools in the state to be named a National Unified Champion School by Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a program for preschools through universities that promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments. The Unified program at Homewood-Flossmoor includes four competitive sports — Unified Soccer, Unified esports Unified Basketball and Unified Track & Field, along with a unified physical education course. The program is led by Katie Rice, Gail Smith, Angela Taylor and David Dore.

“This is a tremendous honor, and it affirms our communities’ commitment to diversity and inclusion for all students,” said Dore. “This honor is not something that is awarded for a one-time event, but rather for an ongoing, sustained and collective commitment towards inclusion.”

HF first was named a Champion School during the 2018-19 school year. The school’s status was recently renewed as HF has maintained its commitment to inclusion and for consistently meeting the 10 standards of inclusion, set forth by Special Olympics North America.

More than 100 students and staff members from District 218 attended the International Manufacturing Technology Smartforce Student Summit 2022 at McCormick Place.

The largest manufacturing technology show in the nation offers students an opportunity to learn about careers in the field.

“This event provides students and staff with an interactive experience to explore technology and career opportunities in engineering technology and manufacturing career pathways,” said district Career and Technical Education Curriculum Director Frank Lamantia.

Mokena-based My Joyful Heart was named a 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit for the fifth consecutive year by the website GreatNonprofits, which collects community recommendations of charities and nonprofits.

My Joyful Heart is a nonprofit Christian organization serving children in need by sharing gift bags with necessities throughout the school year. The bags include items such as coats, winter wear, undergarments, socks, personal hygiene, back to school supplies, books, toys, clothing, bedding, and miscellaneous items, along with Scripture stories and quotes. The organization serves over 40 Chicagoland schools.

Officials broke ground last week on a new fitness trail at Hoover Elementary School, 1260 Superior Ave. Calumet City.

The Hoover Elementary School Fitness Trail was funded through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

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“I am excited for the groundbreaking of the trail for our students and community. It will help the community and our students to become more active and have a place to host events,” said Superintendent Dwayne Evans.

The Evergreen Park Public Library Foundation presents its first Micro Marathon for lovers of beer, books and runners of all levels from 5:30 to 9 pm Oct. 1 at the Evergreen Park Public Library, 9400 S. Troy Ave.

“This is the type of marathon you can complete in flip-flops!” librarian Jenna Harte-Wisniewski said of the race that’s only .262 miles, or about two laps around the library. That’s “because we’re readers, not runners,” she said.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the event, and include the optional 0.262 mile fun run at the start of the event, a souvenir sticker and cup, and samples of local craft beers and ciders from Open Outcry Brewing Company, Eris Brewery and Cider House, Banging Gavel Brews, Horse Thief Hollow, and Revolution Brewery. There will be food from Joey’s Red Hots food truck and live music from local band Friendly Fire.

All proceeds from the Micro Marathon benefit the Evergreen Park Public Library Foundation which supports programming and services outside of the scope of the Library’s budget. Some notable Foundation purchases include the Trike-a-Delic Rider, the newly-dedicated Nicki Seidl Reading Room, and the lobby fish tank. The Foundation is hoping to raise enough funds for more STEAM programming and materials in order to promote learning and play in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields for all ages.

Tickets and information are at evergreenparklibrary.org.

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