Remnants and Remains: New Works by Elaine Miller at BAC 

By Kristin Boza 

Beverly/Morgan Park artist Elaine Miller is showcasing her latest works in “Remnants and Remains” at the Beverly Arts Center, Simmerling Gallery, 2407 W. 111th St. Miller’s passion for the natural world seeks to encourage others to enjoy and take care of the natural spaces around us. Her exhibit revolves around four mural-sized paintings based on the vegetation and landscape of the Dan Ryan Woods. The exhibit runs through Nov. 8 and is open Mon., 4 to 8 p.m. and Tues. through Thurs., 4 to 6 p.m., and admission is free. 

Miller became inspired by the Dan Ryan Woods during her daily walks there with her dog. She also completed a series of similarly-themed billboards in 2018 through a grant received from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events aimed at promoting the Dan Ryan Woods. The billboards, located along Western Avenue, void of any words, instead focusing on the beautiful landscape right in our own backyards 

“These billboards were like anti-advertising and meant to show people how much we are inundated with advertising,” Miller said. “I got the idea for my new exhibit from the billboard project to further this message that we should think more about reconnecting our society with the natural world and the importance of our urban forests. 

Four 8foot by 10-foot canvasses are installed in the Simmerling Gallery, along with ten smaller works that further explore the intersection of urban and natural spaces. Each of the large pieces corresponds to a different season and time of day in the forest; spring is in morning light, summer at noon, fall is late afternoon, and winter is night.  

The paintings are first composed using acrylic paint, and Miller then uses her reference photographs to complete the paintings in oil paint. Each piece took anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete.  

“The seasons and time of day demonstrate how the change of seasons coincides with the circle of life,” Miller said. “It’s a very emotional response to nature and our ecosystem and the work is meant to make people aware of climate change and how we are impacting our environment. I hope people will start to wake up and realize that this little scrap of forest preserve is really important and we need to care for it. My work is about how we’ve lost our connection to nature to our own detriment. 

Miller’s work is also displayed during this year’s Alt Walk at Oak and Bloom, 9909 S. Walden Pkwy. 

Find out more about Elaine Miller’s work at EMillerStudio.com. 

Fall Decorating Tips for a Green Halloween 

By Kristin Boza 

With the state of trick-or-treating unknown at this time, many neighbors are dreaming up ways to ensure the festive autumnal spirit is showcased throughout the community. Decorating the front lawn or porch is one way to bring some spooky spirit to your block.  

Some people may forgo the visit to the pumpkin patch this year due to social distancing, but pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, and straw bales can be found at local grocery stores and greenhouses, like City Grange, 1818 W. 99th St. City Grange will even deliver your décor right to your front porch if the order is placed online at CityGrange.com. 

Rashelle Strate, general manager of City Grange in Beverly, offers these tips to maximize autumnal potential on the front porch.  

Dried corn stalks can be bundled upright and tied with raffia or twine to flank a front door, standing at attention to welcome fall. 

Fill a bushel basket with filler, such as extra top-soil or sand, and arrange colorful gourds and pumpkins of various colors and shapes on top for a fun front-stoop or porch decoration. 

Use straw bales as tabletops on front stoops, patios, or porches for displays of potted mums in fall colors and colorful pumpkins and gourds. 

Don’t forget the inside! Create a grouping of pumpkins of different sizes and colors in a bowl or on a wooden board for a great seasonal centerpiece. Anchor it with a large pumpkin and surround it with smaller ones, or display a bowl full of mini pumpkins. 

With all of these natural objects used for decorating outdoors, beware of squirrels looking at it as their own personal Thanksgiving feast. One of the easiest — and most ‘green’ — tips is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes over the entire decorative display, or mix up some hot sauce with water in a spray bottle and spray it all over the pumpkins to ensure full coverage.  

Once fall briskly pivots to winter, what to do with all the foliage and pumpkins on the porch? There’s no reason to throw them away to only take up space in a landfill. Instead, compost all of the natural materials and earn some great fertilizer in the spring.  

Business Spotlight: A Hopping Place for Families

By Brittany Wiley

Michelle Bryant-Smith and her husband Maurice Smith opened Little Hoppers Play Café, 2670 W 111th St., in August.  It’s an interactive and creative boutique style play space for kids age seven and under and a café for families.

The idea for the Play Café was birthed out of Bryant-Smith’s frustration as a new mom and the lack of family-focused offerings on the South Side.   Most of the classes and activities that she found were located on the North Side or in the suburbs.  After spending so much time in traffic, she “set out on a mission to find infant and kid activities on the South Side.” The lack of choices was disappointing, so she set out to create something herself.

The open play space features playsets that are engineered to help with cognitive, developmental, and social advancement for infants and toddlers.  Children age two years and over get to participate in active play that allows them to use their imaginations, practice their social skills, and move their bodies.

Parents can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in the café, where they can choose from a variety of refreshments.  They can sip on coffee roasted in Chicago from a local vendor, which is female owned.  Or you can choose a smoothie, snacks or ice cream.

Bryant-Smith is focused on creating an “environment of community, fun, learning, compassion, and warmth.”

It will be more than just a play space, but also a haven for parents. Bryant-Smith struggled with infertility and got through a difficult time in her life by “joining a community of women with a wealth of information and resources.”  She wants Little Hoppers to be that community for other parents. They will provide parent-child classes, yoga, STEM, and more to reinforce this mission.

Little Hoppers is intent on keeping their patrons safe.  Cleaning and sanitizing will occur multiple times a day by staff and weekly by a professional.  Between 12 and 1 p.m., they will close to disinfect all surfaces.  They will limit the patrons and masks are required for everyone over the age of 2.  Customers can also pre-book and pay online to limit interaction.

Bryant-Smith and Smith are dedicated to our community and families.  They want to “create a convenient, inclusive, fun environment” and a safe space.  And they have worked long and hard to make their vision a reality.

Visit Little Hoppers, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Learn more online at thelittlehoppers.com and follow their journey on social media @thelittlehoppers on Instagram or on Facebook at facebook.com/thelittlehoppersplaycafe.

Beauty and Community: BAPA Hosts the Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk

It almost seems ironic that the blessings of a warm and rainy spring and the need to be productive during the isolation of a global pandemic were a winning combination for Beverly/Morgan Park’s gardens. Inspired by the exceptional beauty of our community and the need for our close-knit community to come together safely, BAPA is hosting its first Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk on Sun., Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Due to the restrictions enforced by Covid-19, BAPA’s Ridge Run/Memorial Day Parade, Home Tour and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic were cancelled. This new offering will be BAPA’s only community-wide special event for 2020.

From the time the event was announced, community residents have been coming forward to offer their gardens, volunteer to help and purchase tickets. So many gardeners invited us to come see their yards, it was very hard to choose the ten private gardens that will be featured this year! Planners have included several don’t miss points of interest in public spaces, and are already looking ahead to Garden Walk #2 next summer.

This year’s Garden Walk will begin with check-in at the Edna White Community Garden where people are welcome to walk among the beautiful plantings while enjoying music and merchandise from Home Grown vendors.

Masks will be required at all Garden Walk locations. Visitors will be expected to follow the rules of social distancing and adhere to the map in order avoid overcrowding at gardens.

Featured locations range between 89th and 117th Streets, West Beverly to East Beverly, and many points in between. Each stop is distinctive for its style, variety of plantings, and beauty. Three are award winners in the Chicago Bungalow Association’s annual garden contest, and all of them are uniquely beautiful. No matter whether you’re going home to a sunny or shady yard, a mature garden or a freshly dug flower bed, you’ll be inspired by the hard work, creative vision and delight shared by the gardeners.

Among the locations are:

  • A sunny yard where seating areas and paved pathways offer endless ways to enjoy an eclectic variety of colorful and lush shrubs, trees and plants, many of which were purchased on clearance and nursed back to life.
  • A winner of this year’s Chicago Bungalow Association Garden Contest for the front yard where there is a mix of perennials and annuals anchored by evergreens and a shady back yard where lawn was replaced with garden beds separated by curving pathways and seating areas, and an unusual water feature.
  • A serene garden of native plants and prairie style garden fixtures and ornaments, including a stunning pond.
  • Side-by-side yards (one of which earned a Chicago Bungalow Association garden contest award!) where sisters have taken down the fences and joined efforts to create a showcase of flowers, vegetables and herbs as well as beautiful spaces for entertaining and places for the kids to play.
  • A true garden hideaway which surely what they had in mind when Urbs in Horto was chosen as Chicago’s city motto! A cozy yet expansive yard that features a small stage for live music, serpentine garden spaces and a perfectly manicured putting green.
  • A welcoming multi-tiered oasis filled with fabulous plantings and appealing decorations that just three years ago was a concrete jungle. Wait until you see the “before” photos!
  • An expansive yard filled with abundant and colorful interest throughout the blooming season, including whimsical fairy gardens, a dramatic front garden, and an elegant elevated patio.
  • A lovely space situated next to the Dan Ryan Woods that features a meditation pond with sand and ceramic fish, a garden of kitchen herbs, and an array of shade-loving perennials and potted plants that create an ever-changing garden experience?
  • A sprawling double lot with garden spaces that have evolved over 20 years, incorporating quiet seating areas, flower beds bursting with color and texture, and built elements for form and beauty.
  • A lovely garden filled from early spring through fall with outstanding flowers and plants lovingly tended by a group of volunteer garden experts.

Points of Interest to be showcased on the Garden Walk include three school gardens where students and community volunteers create magical outdoor education; a peaceful baptismal garden behind a church; and selected residential front yard gardens that are simply not to be missed.

Garden Walk sponsors include OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Beverly Bank & Trust, Southtown Health Foods, The Beverly Review, Chicago Bungalow Association, and County Fair Foods. Garden Walk partners are Steuber Florist & Greeenhouses, City Grange, The Blossom Boys, Edna White Garden and Oak & Bloom.

Garden Walk tickets are $20 in advance at www.bapa.org and $25 on the day of the event.

For information on becoming a Garden Walk sponsor or volunteer, call 773-233-3100 or email bapa@bapa.org.

Village Viewpoint – September 2020

By Gary Jenkins, BAPA Safety Liaison

I have lived in the Beverly/Morgan Park community for the past sixteen plus years. My wife Sharon and I moved here from the 6500 block of Sangamon Street.  I am originally from New York City, so Englewood was my first taste of Chicago.

Most of Englewood then, as it is now, was considered a very tough neighborhood. I wasn’t intimidated by Englewood — I’m from the southeast Bronx, and people from the Bronx aren’t intimidated easily.  So, I just did what I had done most of my life: I got involved.  I attended community revitalization meetings; I talked to neighbors and seniors about how we can make our block and neighborhood better; I swept my and other neighbors’ trash from in front of homes; and spoke to the kids on the block about things they could do to improve their chances in life.

Since I was new to Chicago back then, CAPS was a new concept to me.  I was somewhat familiar with NYC community policing efforts, but I had not participated in them in any significant way. Since I was very concerned with being safe and comfortable where I was living, I began attending CAPS meetings where I listened as neighbors shared their concerns over crime and violence on their streets.

One of the things that struck me about those meetings is that there didn’t seem to be a real connection between the residents who attended and the 7th District CAPS officers who conducted the meetings.  Residents also seemed to be reluctant about being forthcoming. I believe there was a sense of hopelessness, fear, and distrust among the residents.

When we moved to Beverly/Morgan Park, Sharon and I began attending 22nd District CAPS meetings. I was struck by how the level of issues were on two different ends of the spectrum for Englewood and Beverly/Morgan Park.  I had come from a district where murder, rape, assault and robbery were the topics of CAPS meetings to a district where kids hanging out in the park after dusk and loud music complaints topped the CAPS agenda.

There were other differences, too.

I noticed there seemed to be a closer connection between the residents and the officers, and that the meetings were attended by other community stake holders like 19th Ward and BAPA representatives. I attended many meetings over the next couple of years, then I made my voice and concerns known.

More than ten years ago I was recruited to serve in a two year term as beat facilitator for Beat 2213. As beat facilitator, I got to know and work with more of the officers of the 22nd District.

Although I have no proof, I believe that one thing that makes the relationship between the residents and officers in the 22nd District different from the 7th District is that more of our officers live in the community.

As I stated earlier, I am from the Bronx, and growing up an African American male in the Bronx, I did not have a great relationship with police officers.   I rarely saw police officers who looked like me.  On more than one occasion, I have been stopped by police because of the color of my skin.

For six years before coming to Chicago, I worked as a peace officer along with and close to law enforcement individuals of all stripes, from federal, state, and local agencies. I began to appreciate and respect the individuals behind the badges who where doing the right thing, the right way.

That is what I have come to know about the personnel at the 22nd District who I have worked with over the years: they do the right thing, the right way.

As BAPA’s Safety Liaison, I view my role with the folks at the 22nd District as merely an extension of my role as an active, concerned, member of this community.

I want to recognize how hard the officers at the 22nd District have been working and the sacrifices they make by working 12 hour shifts with no days off. Special thanks go to the 22nd District police for keeping our community safe during these turbulent times.

New Neighbors: Megan Wright and Nate Otto

By Kristin Boza

Dance and art are passions of new neighbors Megan Wright and Nate Otto.

Wright grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and built a dance and art career on the foundation she learned at the Beverly Arts Center.

Otto, who grew up between Deerfield and Michigan, is a talented artist seeking to leave his mark in Beverly/Morgan Park. Along with their toddler son, Oscar, and pup, Rizby, the Otto/Wright family is excited to explore and create in our community.

The family moved to their new home from Ukrainian Village in March — right at the start of the global pandemic. Subsequent shelter-in-place orders definitely put a damper on the couple’s enjoying the restaurants and shops. However, they have spent a lot of time biking and exploring in and around the Dan Ryan Woods, and they’re looking forward to attending as many community events as possible in 2021.

“We like to go on bike rides to explore the neighborhood; it really is a beautiful place. It’s nice to have a house and a yard during these strange times,” Otto said. As an artist, Otto enjoys working from home in his basement studio, although he still plans to resume work at his Wicker Park studio in the future.

Wright grew up here and moved back to be closer to her parents; the large lots satisfied her longing for a yard, and she appreciates the neighborhood’s diversity, architecture and beautiful trees. She is currently on the faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts, Ballet Chicago and the Beverly Arts Center, and independently offers classes for adults via Remote Ballet. Wright holds a B.A. in psychology from DePaul University, and danced professionally after high school.

“The Beverly Arts Center gave me my start and I’ve loved coming full circle to teach there. It’s such a gem of a place. We held our wedding reception there in 2012, and it feels nice to give back. I feel great knowing that a lot of my students moved on to teach at the BAC; it’s been a huge part of their lives and many others’,” Wright said.

Otto has been an artist his entire life, turning it into a full-time career eight years ago and selling his pieces through galleries or directly to customers via Instagram @ottonate. A graduate of Columbia College, Otto is known for drawing and painting in his own unique style. His latest passion is creating murals, having completed approximately 40 over the last five years in offices and various outdoor spaces. He hopes to create a mural in Beverly/Morgan Park.

“Since we moved here at such a strange time, we haven’t engaged as much with the neighborhood as we would in normal times. This is the first time in my adult life living in a place where you know the neighbors. I’m used to being somewhat anonymous,” Otto said. “We are probably mysterious to our neighbors, but hopefully someday the world will return to normal and we will get to know the people on our block.”

“We’re looking forward to really being a part of a new community, but also keeping our roots and friends in our previous community,” Wright said. “Coming back here is familiar, but also brand new in a lot of ways. Beverly seems to be growing in diversity and small businesses, and we can’t wait to explore them all soon.”

 

Don’t Wait to Get Medical Care

It’s been reported in publications from the LA Times to the Washington Post: As many as one third of Americans are delaying medical care because they are afraid of being exposed to the coronavirus. The result it that people could become seriously ill or even die not from the virus, but from leaving critical medical conditions undiagnosed or untreated.

Experts at OSF Healthcare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, 2800 W. 95th St., are assuring people it’s safe to visit the hospital for emergency treatment and regular medical care.

“We want to make sure that our community feels comfortable coming to Little Company of Mary Medical Center. Our emergency department is clean. It is roomy so there is enough room to separate patients. It is safe for you to seek the care that you need. It is very important that you feel comfortable coming if you think you have a serious problem,” said Bill Walsh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.

Dr. Walsh encourages community members who are experiencing symptoms that may signal a serious health issue to seek care as soon as possible in the closest emergency department.

People in need of emergency care can be confident that the OSF Little Company of Mary Emergency Room is a clean environment that more than meets safety guidelines. Recent ER renovations include social distancing and protective barriers in waiting rooms and new treatment rooms that are now separated by glass walls and doors instead of curtains. All coronavirus protections are being used including plenty of PPE for the staff.

“As we get closer to our new normal and realizing what that looks like, the importance of self-care and preventative health care services is coming back to the front of mind for many of our patients and our community members. As we look towards ‘how do we better serve during that time,’ one of the features that we have brought back online is scheduling online at your convenience,” said Kate Eschbach, MHA, RT(R)(MR)(CT), Director, Medical Imaging & Cardiology, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.

OSF Little Company of Mary has made it easy to schedule appointments and save time on updating paperwork.

“We are very excited to bring online scheduling as an opportunity for our patients to book their mammo online for screening services,” said Eschbach, adding that “the entire process takes a total of five clicks.” According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the goal of screening mammography is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by breast self-examination or your doctor. Finding small breast cancers early by a screening mammogram greatly improves the chance for successful treatment.

Appointments for mammograms, sports physicals and back-to-school physicals can be made online to osflittlecompanyofmary.org. Click on the banner for the kind of appointment you need to be directed to scheduling, or sign up for the OSF MyChart app and create an account that can help you manage all of your appointments, communications with your physician, and follow-ups. OSF MyChart can easily be accessed on cell phones.

By scheduling online, patients can also complete any paperwork or questionnaires that need to be supplied or updated.

People who are considering elective surgeries are encouraged to move forward. OSFL Little Company of Mary has offerings this option since mid-May. All patients must be tested for COVID-19 before their surgery.

OSF monitors everyone coming into its hospitals while maintaining physical distancing in waiting areas. The focus remains on the best interest of a patient’s health overall.

 

Please Support BAPA’s Work in Our Community

CANCELLED

The pandemic forced the cancellation of BAPA’s major fundraising events – Home Tour, Ridge Run & Memorial Day Parade, and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic Bikes & Brews – eliminating funding sources vital to our operations.

ACCOMPLISHED

Restrictions inspired BAPA to invest our scarce resources into free programs to meet the changing needs of our neighborhood. Here are some of the things we accomplished:

Small Business Support

  • Promoting your business on Instagram webinar with expert Maggie O’Reilly
  • Digital marketing webinar with expert Jason Wiley
  • Business planning webinar with Ivan Ruiz from Beverly Bank & Trust
  • Special business coverage in The Villager

Community Spirit

  • Bike Beverly initiative with online maps of safe local bike routes
  • Support of Divvy bikes
  • Retooled History Mystery Bike Adventure for summer/fall family-friendly games
  • Friday Night Live livestreamed porch concert series supporting local musicians
  • We Love Smith Village vehicle parade
  • Happy Birthday to Korean War vet Rico Miller vehicle parade
  • Remembering Brian Piccolo vehicle parade

Community Outreach

  • Donated Home Tour booties to a hospital in need during COVID-19 treatment crisis
  • Slow Down safe driving campaign
  • Delivered senior meals donated by Franconello restaurant
  • Supported 19th Ward Youth Foundation free meals to area first responders and medical personnel
  • Donated to and supported Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry
  • Brought Beverly Bakery donuts to 22nd District police officers
  • Developed BAPA Cares COVID-19 Response resources at bapa.org
  • Co-hosts weekly Free Store with Turpin Cares and 19th Ward Mutual Aid
  • Hosted a job search webinar with expert Megan Connolly
  • Listed local business/restaurant updates to promote shopping and eating locally in weekly enews and The Villager

School and Teens

  • Presented CPS Community Service Awards to students in neighborhood public schools
  • Launched the BAPA Teen Service Corps volunteer group
  • Presented the BAPA Cares pandemic response webinar

Beautification

  • Socially distant spring clean and green clean-ups
  • Weeding Wednesdays at area parks and public areas
  • Pitch in for the Parks special park clean-ups

PLEASE HELP!

As a not-for-profit organization, BAPA depends on donations from residents and businesses to continue working on the issues that keep our community strong, safe, connected and thriving. Support us by making a donation or joining as a BAPA residential or business member.

Anti-Racist Policy Empowers Facebook Group 

By Kristin Boza 

Like the majority of Facebook groups, the “Moms of Beverly” group began as a way to bring together people who share a common interest — in this case, moms who live in Beverly/Morgan Park. Over the years, the group has grown from a handful of moms to approximately 5,800, and evolved from a place to coordinate play dates to a group bridging divides to promote anti-racism  

Shanya Gray, Lauren Kent-Brown, and Tina Peterson are the current admins of the group. In light of the actions and conversations taking place around racism across the countrythe admin team decided an anti-racist statement was essential to move the group’s conversations forward, stating in part: “The reality is that discussing parenting is not possible in a diverse group of women unless conversations of race and equity are had. In this group, we will not be silencing the voice of Black mothers or anyone who seeks to be heard (except if you are blatantly racist) . . . We will, through our words and actions, oppose racism in all forms and seek to actively support initiatives that seek to promote equity and unity in our community.” They asked all members to commit to anti-racism   

The “Moms of Beverly is a place where Black moms are safe and welcomed without facing overt racism or coded language, a place for white moms to get a free education in anti-racism, and a place where all moms collectively come together to build a strong community.  

“It was scary when I made the official post; I was shaking because I knew we’d started something,” Kent-Brown said. “I felt like a lot of the members weren’t aware that the group was run by two Black women, and ignorance was uncovered. I’m so proud of us for taking the stance that we did. What would we be if we’re mothers of Black boys and minority children who have this group and can say ‘look what we did and built,’ but we didn’t actually incite change in the community? Change will happen; it’s hard and scary, but worth it. 

When Gray and Kent-Brown started the group, it took some time to mold it into what they wanted it to be. The admins began coordinating in-person meetups to bring the community together in person. Various local businesses hosted the events and even agreed to give back a portion of the night’s food and drink proceeds to local public schools.  

“Many of the people at these meetups were newer to Beverly and were looking for space to build a community. It was a good mix of Black and white and different races. We, at first, were hesitant to even have any conversations about race in the group,” Gray said. “I think part of it is you often find Black women and POC in predominantly white spaces are uncomfortable having these conversations. But, we decided to go there. We thought it was really important to facilitate posts that bring awareness and education about race.” 

One of the biggest turning points for the group was in 2016 when Joshua Beal was shot to death in Mount Greenwood by two Chicago police officers, who were later cleared. “We addressed it then, and saw where people stood, but then it all went back to normal and we didn’t talk about race that much,” Kent-Brown said. “We decided to make a post about it and the entire group shifted from there.” 

“We lost quite a few members at that time; there was a huge divide in the group as far as Black and white moms,” Peterson said. “It was disheartening that as a community that we all live in together, but we don’t live together. We decided that we’re not going to make this a comfortable space for white women anymore because there are plenty of other groups for them; we needed a place for women of color to be comfortable.” 

The group faced a divide once again in 2020 during the latest discussions and protests fueled by recent occurrences of police brutality and ignoranceJust like in 2016, some members decided to leave the group, especially once the anti-racist policy was enacted. However, many women, both Black and white, began stepping up to confront racist posts.  

“We created such a culture in the group that if somebody does post something racist, many of our members will condemn or take the time to educate that person,” Gray said. “Our no-nonsense policy is so refreshing, but it’s also refreshing for people of color to see that we have a lot of white allies. Black women say that our group is the only neighborhood group they’re in because they’re comfortable here. We are a diverse group of women and moms that celebrate moms of color. We don’t want members who are against us as human beings. 

When an event, action, or movement regarding people of color is widely discussed in the media, the Moms of Beverly often see a surge in membership requests. Many times, those seeking entry into the private group are not doing so with good intentions. “We want to make sure new members coming in can add value to what we have. We want to make sure that we’re not adding more people who are racist to the group. I want to be able to change people’s hearts and I do believe that there are people who want to learn and have nobody with different viewpoints that they can benefit from,” Gray said. “But then there are those who aren’t open and don’t want to have the conversations — what’s the point of continuing to give our energy to those people when we can instead state that we are an anti-racist moms group. We don’t want racism in our group; we want people to be actively anti-racist to work towards our mission of bringing moms and our community together.” 

Thanks to the powerful words from the admins, many other moms felt compelled and empowered to take action. One mom coordinated the bulk purchase of more than 350 lawn signs that state, in part, “Black Lives Matter, and another mom began an anti-racist book club specifically geared to educating white moms parenting white childrenThe amount of “loves” and “likes” and words of encouragement given to the anti-racist post, as well as many others that were since made by group members, demonstrate that this stance was what was needed to drive the community forward. Together.  

 

Chicago Technology Loan Program

By Tina Jenkins Bell, BAPA School Liaison

According to Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer LaTanya McDade, CPS has and will continue to disburse laptops and iPads to schools to lend to students in need of technology to access remote learning instruction, lessons, and activities. In a PBS Chicago Tonight interview on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, McDade said 100 CPS schools received 1100 devices last week during spring break to distribute to students in need. Another 400 schools received a total of 60,000 laptops or tablets this week, which also marked the transition from enrichment to remote learning. McDade said, for the next two weeks, from April 20 through the end of the month, another 37,000 devices will be distributed.

Does your child need a laptop or tablet to access remote instruction? Contact your school for assistance.

Pandemic Curriculum

Not sure if your student is putting in enough instructional hours?  Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer LaTanya McDade, in a Tuesday, April 14, 2020, PBS Chicago Tonight interview, offered these guidelines.

Pre-K – 60 minutes

K-2 – 90 minutes

3-5 -120 minutes

6-8 -180 minutes

9-12 -270 minutes