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In and Around Park Forest Week of December 3, 2012

  • Written by Rosemary Piser
  • Category: Latest Local News
Wildwood School demolition
Resident Barbara Gallagher caught this picture of the demolition of Wildwood School last week. "I remember learning the metric system there in fourth grade," she commented on her Facebook account. (Used with permission)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—December 3, 2012.The Village of Park Forest’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting event will be held on Friday, December 7 beginning at 5 p.m. in the Village Green in DownTown Park Forest.  There will be lots of fun and games for those of all ages.  Don’t miss our special guest that will light the holiday tree at 6:30 p.m.  Additional information about the event can be found in the ‘Holiday Activities & Events’ Section. 

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to RJPiserLPH@aol.com with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, December 3

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 3 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. Village Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers) as well as on the Village web site at www.villageofparkforest.com.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com/MtgArchive and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions/Advisory Groups will meet the week of December 3:

  • Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Thursday, December 6 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, December 6 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

Holiday Activities & Events

Village of Park Forest

Shop Locally This Holiday Season

When you are doing your holiday shopping this season, please remember that there are lots of unique gifts that can be found right here in Park Forest. Before you head ‘out of town’ to do your shopping, first check out the local businesses listed in the 2012/2013 Park Forest Business Resource Guide. You can review the Guide online at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com/Business%20Resource%20Guide.

Park Forest’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Event – Friday, December 7

The Village of Park Forest’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting event will be held on Friday, December 7 beginning at 5 p.m. in the Village Green in DownTown Park Forest (Main and Cunningham - Show map ). This popular Park Forest Holiday event will help make the season even more special for you, your family, and friends. Bring the kids to Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street, beginning at 5 p.m. for great arts and crafts fun, and take home their newly created special mementos of this holiday season.  Early arrival is recommended due to space limitation.  At 6:30 p.m. the holiday tree lighting takes place with a special out of town guest leading the countdown. Don't miss it!   

Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL

Salt Creek Ballet Presents ‘The Nutcracker’ – Saturday, December 8

On Saturday, December 8 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Salt Creek Ballet will perform ‘The Nutcracker.’ This magical tale of young Clara and her holiday journey is a wonderful production for the entire family. Talented dancers and Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score – along with waltzing flowers, giant mice, and the Sugar Plum Fairy – delight all ages as a holiday tradition returns. Tickets range in price from $15 to $50. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit www.centertickets.net or call the box office at 708-235-2222.

Colin Powel Middle School (CPMS), 20600 Matteson Avenue, Matteson, IL

CPMS Drama Department Performs ‘JAMZ ’ Christmas Carol’ – Thursday, December 6

On Thursday, December 6, students in the Drama Department of CPMS will perform ‘JAMZ’ Christmas Carol.’ This is the second Dinner Theatre Fundraiser presented by the Drama Department which consists of 25 students in sixth through eighth grades. Furniture, props, clothing/costumes for the performance were provided by the Sertoma Centre’s Good As New Thrift Store, 4331 West Lincoln Highway, Matteson. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. at the CPMS Cafetorium. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please call 708-720-9702.

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘Home for the Holidays’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Tuesday, December 11 at 11 a.m., Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael will offer a unique blend of whimsy, nostalgia and unquestionable talent that translates into pure entertainment. Their imaginative musical twists on jazz, standards, contemporary pop, Broadway show tunes and film gems have won them audience and critical acclaim across the country and around the globe. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.freedomhall.org, by phone at 708-747-0580 or in-person at the Box Office.

Peter Mayer ‘Stars and Promises’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. ‘Stars and Promises’ will embark on its twelfth year of celebrating Christmas in story and song. It’s theme for 2012 is ‘The Light of Christmas.’ ‘Stars and Promises’ has become a yearly tradition for many, returning to hear songs such as “Sing Joy,” “junkman’s Christmas,” and “Christmas Overture,” along with other favorites. Peter is joined by a group of superb musicians that include R. Scott Bryan, Mar Torlina, Mark Holland, Chris Walters, and Maggie Estes, plus state of the art production. Truly a night of inspiring music that will lift your spirit for the Holiday Season. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased online at www.freedomhall.org, by phone at 708-747-0580 or in-person at the Box Office.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

2012 BMO Harris Bank Holiday Concerts – Tickets Now on Sale

The 2012 BMO Harris Bank Holiday Concerts will be held on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16. The concerts will be held at 3 p.m. each day. Bring family and friends to the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra's annual holiday event for all ages! The orchestra, choruses, and soloists celebrate the season: classic holiday tunes, sing-alongs, and magical surprises will brighten your spirit. Don't miss this special Southland holiday tradition, a joy for all ages - Hubert the Lion will greet you before the concert. The concerts will be held at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Avenue, Frankfort. Tickets are priced at $35, $45 and $55 on Saturday. All seats are priced at $35 for the Sunday performance. Tickets are selling quickly. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-481-7774 or visit: http://www.ipomusic.org/

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL

Free Holiday Concert – Saturday, December 1

Just in time to share the spirit of the season, the GSU Choral Performance Class is presenting a free Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 1 at 3 p.m. in Sherman Recital Hall. The concert has old favorites, new standards, and sing-alongs; including songs of Hanukkah, music from South America, and jazz versions of traditional carols with accompanist Joyce Beer. The program will include favorites like ‘The Little Drummer Boy, and Peace on Earth’ as well as fun songs like ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ and ‘The Grinch.’ The event is free and open to the public. NOTE: The time for this event has been changed from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Step Back into a 1950s Christmas at the Park Forest House Museum

‘Step Back into a 1950s Christmas,’ exhibit will be on display at the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. Period decorations are on display in every room. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st century holidays to revisit the holidays of your past in this gem of a museum, just down the street. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays in December from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or by appointment. The special admission/donation for December is $3 for adults; 12 and under are free. The museum tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Brick. Several other Park Forest related gift ideas are available at the museum and in the online store at www.parkforesthistory.org. Convenient street parking is available in front of the museum. For additional information, call 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Library Holiday Celebration – Saturday, December 8

On Saturday, December 8 from noon to 5 p.m., the Park Forest Library will hold its annual Holiday Celebration. Cookies, special character appearances, carolers, gift making, “A Christmas Story” showings, holiday stories, and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa holiday demonstrations will be just some of the fun events planned for the afternoon. For additional information, call 708-748-3731.

Hanukkah Holiday Demonstration – Saturday, December 8

On Saturday, December 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., come to the Park Forest Library to learn all about Hanukkah! For additional information, call 708-748-3731.

Kwanzaa Holiday Demonstration – Saturday, December 8

The Park Forest Library will host a Kwanzaa Holiday demonstration on Saturday, December 8 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3731.

Park Forest Rotary Club

31st Annual Poinsettia Sale – Order Deadline Friday, December 7

The Park Forest Rotary Club is embarking on its 31st Annual Poinsettia Sale.  This fundraiser began as a unique effort to meet personal and professional holiday season decorating needs.  At the time of its inception, no other club was selling poinsettias and delivered them at no additional cost.  Three decades later, the Park Forest Rotary Club continues to offer beautiful, affordable plants personally delivered by dedicated Rotarians. All proceeds from the sale fund the Park Forest Rotary Club’s local service projects that benefit the youth and elderly and to Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Red and white poinsettias are available for $10 each.  Orders must be placed no later than Friday, December 7.  If you do not wish to have your plant(s) delivered, you can pick them up at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, December 13 or Friday December 14. Order forms are available on the Park Forest Rotary Club’s website at: http://www.rotaryofparkforest.org/ For additional information or questions, please call Tom Mick at 708-748-1129.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

Annual Holiday Art Sale – Through December 22

Looking for that ‘unique’ gift? Salon Artists Gallery Annual Holiday Art Sale is featuring painting, jewelry, woodwork, photography, hand-blown glass and multi-media works by numerous artists. Take 20% off all purchases of more than $30. The Gallery is conveniently located in DownTown Park Forest. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108 or 708-703-7806.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Volunteer Services’ Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar & Shopping Extravaganza – Friday, December 7

Sertoma Centre, Inc. invites you to attend its Volunteer Services’ Winter Wonderlands Holiday Bazaar & Shopping Extravaganza on Friday, December 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4343 W. 123rd Street in Alsip. There will be tables of holiday gifts and handcrafted items. Rudolph’s Reindeer Boutique will feature gift items which have been selected from Sertoma Centre’s Good as New Thrift Store, including brand new houseware items. Shoppers will enjoy the main area of the Bazaar which includes a large number of holiday craft booths, many hand-made by individuals with disabilities. After a busy time shopping, stop by the North Pole Café to enjoy lunch, including: walking tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks. Stop by Mrs. Clause’s Bake Shop for a sweet treat along with coffee and hot chocolate. Our elves will gift wrap any item that you purchase at the Bazaar free of charge. Funds raised from this event will support individuals with disabilities. For additional information about the event, or Sertoma Centre, call 708-730-6211.

Warm Coats Create Warm Hearts

With the cold weather upon us, Sertoma Centre wants to make sure that the more than 725 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness that it serves will have adequate winter outerwear. In addition, Sertoma will be supplying food baskets for some of their consumers and their families who need extra assistance at this time of year. Holiday donations will be used to cover these costs.  If you would like to help, please contact Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications at 708-730-6205 or send your check today to Sertoma Centre, Inc. Foundation, Attention: Coat/Food Drive, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip IL 60803.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘An Artful Presence’ Annual Holiday Show – Through January 13

Tall Grass Arts Associations Annual Holiday Show ‘An Artful Presence’ features affordable art perfect for holiday gift giving. The Holiday Show will continue through January 13, 2013. For additional information or gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

TCAS Christmas Cards on Sale

Once again the TCAS will be offering original Christmas cards in a variety of designs. Samples of the cars will be on display and a few will be for sale at the TCAS programs on November 7 and December 6 at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard.  Cards may be ordered at the programs or by calling Aura Duke at 708-748-6407. All cards are in bright Christmas colors and sell for $7 for a set of 12. Envelopes are included. Card sales help support TCAS grants and other environmental projects.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Prairie Chapel’ Limited Edition Print – Sales Benefit Thorn Creek Nature Center

Inspired by the Thorn Creek Nature Center, ‘Prairie Chapel,’ is an original graphite drawing by Marikay Peter Witlock. Through a generous donation by the artists, the ‘Prairie Chapel’ print is available, with a donation to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods of $75 or more. 100% of donated dollars will benefit Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. The ‘Prairie Chapel’ print is a limited edition of 300 signed and numbered prints, with image size of 13” x 17” and finished size of 18” x 21.” For additional information, call 708-747-6320. To view a framed ‘Prairie Chapel’ print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Union Street Gallery (USC), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Twelfth Month’ Annual Exhibit & Art Sale – Through December 22

Union Street Gallery will open the doors to ‘Twelfth Month,’ its annual exhibit and sale of fine, decorative, and functional art that will run through December 22. Over 30 talented local and regional artists have been invited to exhibit a wide variety of art and fine crafts. Art exhibiting includes paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, glass art, and found object art. An array of smaller works of art and crafts will be for sale as well, such as hand-made cards, jewelry, pottery, scarves, blown glass, ornaments and more. Many of the pieces on exhibit are affordable and are perfect for unique gifts. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org/

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Library:

  • Monday, December 3 at 10:30 a.m. – Imagine! Create! Participate! This program is designed for children ages 3-5 and will include not only a story, but the use of their imaginations. It’s designed to help children develop their creativity while interacting and connecting to other children in the community.
  • Monday, December 3 at 2 p.m. – Basic Internet. Learn to the basics of using Gmail Email. If you do not already have an email, learn to set one up in this class. Registration required.
  • Monday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m. – Jazz on Monday Night: Icons Among Us. Jazz is undergoing changes of monumental magnitude and importance. Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense is a documentary film series that captures the metamorphosis of jazz by showcasing the words, music, and spirit of the artists that are paving the way for an unprecedented musical revolution. Through interviews and live performance footage, we explore the thoughts and lives of the musicians spearheading today s jazz front lines. The 4-part series examines the jazz music scene today by focusing the spotlight on many current jazz icons including Terence Blanchard, Ravi Coltrane, Robert Glasper, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Donald Harrison Jr., Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding, and Medeski Martin and Wood.
  • Tuesday, December 4 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Power. For children ages 3 to 5 years. During this 30-minute session, preschoolers will share stories, songs, music and age-appropriate books.
  • Tuesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. -- Pajama Time. For children ages 5-10. Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games.
  • Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. – Learn to Use Your Kindle. Bring in your device to learn the basics of using it and accessing the library's digital titles. Registration required.
  • Tuesday, December 4 at 7:15 p.m. – Microsoft PowerPoint Practice. The first ten people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration for the practice sessions.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 10:30 a.m. – Art Club (Ages 2 -3). Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 11:30 a.m. – Art Club (Ages 3 – 5). Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 2 p.m. – Best of the Web. Find out about some of the best web sites around like Pinterest and others. Registration required.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 4 p.m. – Art Club (Grades Pre-K – 3). Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 4 p.m. – E-mail Practice. The first ten people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration for the practice sessions. No registration required.
  • Wednesday, December 5 at 5 p.m. – Art Club (Grades 4 – 8). Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends.
  • Thursday, December 6 at 10:30 a.m. – Mother Goose Time. For babies ages 6 to 23 months accompanied by a parent or caregiver. During this 30-minute session, babies and their parents will share nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, music and age-appropriate books.
  • Thursday, December 6 at 11 a.m. – Tales for Twos. For toddlers ages 2 to 3 years accompanied by a parent or caregiver. During this 30-minute session, babies and their parents will share stories, songs, music and age-appropriate books.
  • Thursday, December 6 at 1 p.m. -- Masters of Photography: Ansel Adams. Join us as we view and discuss that work of the great photographers of the past and present. You are encouraged to bring a photograph or two of your own work to share with the other photo enthusiasts. Ansel Adams: Adams was a visionary figure in nature photography and wilderness preservation. He is seen as an environmental folk hero and a symbol of the American West, especially of Yosemite National Park. Adams' dedication to wilderness preservation, his commitment to the Sierra Club, and of course, and his signature black-and-white photographs inspire an appreciation for natural beauty and a strong conservation ethic.
  • Friday, November 30 at 1 p.m. – Senior Travelogue. Featuring Thailand.
  • Friday, November 30 at 3 p.m. – Game Day. Meet up with your friends at the Park Forest Public Library for some gaming fun. The library will provide some games — YOU bring a friend. If you have a favorite game, bring it along to teach and share. Join us after school as we take a little time to have some fun! Grades K-8.

For additional information or to register for programs, please call 708-748-3731.

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, December 6

The Potpourri of Lectures Series continues in the Ringering Room on December 6 at 10:30 a.m. with a lecture on “Southland College Prep Charter High School” by Ron Bean, Board President, School District 162. Light refreshments will be served.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

Annabelle Gould’s print of the Park Forest Plaza is available for sale at the Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. The vibrant print is from an original watercolor, showing kids and their moms in the Park Forest Plaza, in front of the old Holiday Theatre and Golden Hanger Shop. The print can be purchased at the House Museum during normal hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays or through the Society’s online store on their website at www.parkforesthistory.org. Prints are $15 each. Online purchases also required an additional $6 fee for postage and handling. For additional information on other items for sale by the Society, visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

Drama Group Studio Theatre, 330 W. 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

’12 Angry Men’ – Through December 9

The Drama Group’s production of ’12 Angry Men’ that be performed through December 9. On a hot summer day jurors are asked to deliberate on a case involving a young man accused of killing his father. An initial vote is taken, and there are 11 votes for guilty and one vote for not guilty. One man stands alone against the others’ preconceptions, bias and prejudice. ’12 Angry Men’ has been described as “a classic drama; a riveting study of courage, bias and the American legal system.” Tickets are $19 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students with identification. Group discount rates are also available. For additional information, ticket prices, or to purchase tickets, call 708-755-3444 or visit www.dramagroup.org.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted Street, Chicago Heights

‘Natural Connections’ Exhibit at Christopher Art Gallery – Through December 13

PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery is hosting ‘Natural Connections,’ featuring artists Donna June Katz, Connie Wolfe, Jane Fulton Alt, and Vivian Visser. The exhibit runs through Thursday, December 13. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information about the exhibit or gallery hours, call 708-709-3636 or visit www.prairiestate.edu/artgallery/naturalconnections.

Monkey Mind Art Studio, 3 W. Nebraska Street, Frankfort

Union Street Gallery Collaborative Arts Guild Exhibit – Through December 8

Union Street Gallery Collaborative Arts Guild is composed of over 20 artists of all levels living in the south suburbs of Chicago. The Guild’s purpose is to serve the arts and exhibiting needs of local artists and to foster artistic and professional development and growth. Join us for this beautiful and exciting exhibit of work by the Guild Members through December 8. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or gallery hours, call 815-464-8818 or visit www.monkeymindartstudio.com.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

IN WAR Series – Through Memorial Day 2013

In light of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the rising need for mental health care for returning veterans, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) is proud to hold its third annual IN WAR series in its new location at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. The third annual INWAR series examines intergenerational trauma: the passing of mass traumas from one generation to the next. Trauma takes a profound psychological and physical toll on survivors that has ramifications for decades. For additional information about the exhibit or museum hours, visit: www.nvam.org.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

2nd Annual Union Street Gallery Members Exhibit – Through December 22

The 2nd Annual Union Street Gallery Members Exhibit runs through December 22. This much anticipated annual exhibit features select works by Union Street Gallery’s Artist Members. Art exhibiting includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and mixed media. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org/

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area, Park Forest, IL

Meeting on Campaign Finance Reform – Wednesday, December 12

On Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m., the League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will host an educational meeting on the topic of Campaign Finance Reform at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Paula Lawson, Campaign Finance Reform Issue Specialist for the League of Women Voters of Illinois will provide an update on the status of Campaign Finance Reform at the state and federal levels, with a focus on the impact of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited political contributions from corporations. The meeting is open to the public and anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend to learn more about this important issue. For additional information about the program or membership in the League, please call Mary Lubertozzi at 708-747-1359.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Alternative Teacher Certification Information Session – Tuesday, December 4

On Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at GSU’s Engbretson Hall, you can learn how to earn elementary or secondary (biology, chemistry, or mathematics) teacher certification and secure a teaching position through GSU’s Alternative Certification Program. This program offers a way to earn a teaching certificate and embark on a new, rewarding career in education. The Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) leads to a Masters of Art in Teaching (MAT) in Urban Teacher Education in elementary or secondary (biology, chemistry, or mathematics). TWP provides an opportunity to co-teach for a year with a certified teacher, a $30,000 stipend, and a 25% reduction in tuition. TWP is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This program is open to college graduates with a bachelor’s degree. The application deadline for the program beginning Spring 2013, is December 15, 2012. For additional information, call 708-534-4399 or visit www.govst.edu/altcert.

The Literacy Zone Reading Tutoring Available at GSU

GSU’s Graduate Program in Reading is sponsoring The Literacy Zone, a reading tutorial program for students in grades six through twelve, on Tuesday, from January 29 through April 23 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The Literacy Zone is a 12-week, one-to-one program that pairs students experiencing reading problems with teachers who have the skills to help them. Students meet on the GSU campus with certified, experienced teachers enrolled in the Master of Arts Reading Program at GSU. Enrollment is limited and based on the number of tutors available. Students will be accepted in the order in which the completed application and registration fee are received. There is a $70 registration fee, which may be adjustable. Snacks are provided at each session. Transportation is not provided. For additional information, call Dr. Cathy Toll at 708-534-4122 or e-mail ctoll@govst.edu.

New Classes Take Center Stage at GSU

GSU is offering two new and exciting classes that take students out of the books and onto the stage. “Performing Culture and Identity: and “Chicagoland Theatre” are open to both undergraduate and graduate students as well as degree and non-degree seeking students. Classes begin in January. Students in “Chicagoland Theatre” will experience the great theatre produced throughout the Chicago region—attending productions at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts and at theatres in downtown Chicago. Productions will feature a variety of performance styles and themes. This course literally raises the curtain on theatre production and performance. The class meets on Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. In “Performing Culture and Identity,” students will investigate diverse perspectives of culture and identify through the theories and practices of performance. Participants must be willing to tap into their creativity, curiosity, and willingness to perform. The class meets on Mondays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Registration for classes continues through January 26. The Spring 2013 semester begins January 22. For additional information, call Dr. Patrick Santoro at 708-235-2842 or e-mail psantoro@govst.edu.

Veterans Writing Groups at GSU

GSU is inviting veterans to join a new Veterans Writing Group, where they will discover the craft of narrative writing in a small, supportive group environment. Groups will meet for six-week workshops beginning in January to learn new skills and share camaraderie with other vets. There is no charge for participation in the Veterans Writing Group. To register, contact Robin Thompson at 708-534-4581 or e-mail rthompson@govst.edu.

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail lzeigler@prairiestate.edu.

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At http://www.topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Green Events

Village of Park Forest

Park Forest Environment Commission to Celebrate Arbor Day – Saturday, December 8

Commissioners from Park Forest’s Environment Commission will be celebrating Arbor Day on Saturday, December 8 at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Information will be available on care and maintenance of trees and other environmental information. The event begins at 10 a.m.

Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club, Matteson, IL

‘Cool Cities’ Program – Monday, December 10

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, December 10 at 7:15 p.m. at the Olympia Fields Village Hall, 20701 Governor’s Highway. The old Village Hall is on the corner of Governor’s Highway and 207th Street – enter from 207th Street. The ‘Cool Cities’ program is an update on community efforts to manage climate change. We will look at what’s happening with the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement and the nine cities in our group’s area that have been working on becoming more energy efficient. Sierra Club meetings are free and open to the public. People who enjoy outdoor activities, or who want to protect the environment, or who wish to preserve the world in which we live, are encouraged to attend. For additional information, e-mail Patrick Coffey at pjc1000@comcast.net.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest, IL

‘Some Observations by a Curious Naturalist’ – Wednesday, December 5

TCAS’ December program will be held on December 5 at 7 p.m. at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, when John and Cindy McKee present ‘Some Observations by a Curious Naturalist.’ John will use Cindy’s photographs to present a sampling of the fascinating birds, bugs, and other assorted critters they have encountered in 20 years of field observations and to discuss some of the more interesting aspects of their natural histories. Both are Master Naturalists through the University of Illinois Extension program and enjoy sharing their experiences with interested audiences. The program is free and open to the public.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site located inside the Rich Township's Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

This & That

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock St., Park Forest

Free Java Tuesdays

All are invited to Faith United Protestant Church for FREE Java Tuesdays. Visitors are asked to go to the Indianwood Boulevard side entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for free curbside service or to come and sit a bit. The event will continue each Tuesday as a form of outreach to the community throughout the summer and fall. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

Park Forest American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry – Friday, December 7

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, December 7 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest Hall of Fame Nominations Being Accepted Through December 15

The Park Forest Historical Society will be accepting nominations for the Park Forest Hall of Fame until December 15, 2012. The official form, which must accompany the nomination, is available at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the lobby of Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, the Archive Office, 227 Monee Road on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, or on the Society’s website, www.parkforesthistory.org. Nominations may be mailed to the Historical Society or turned in at the Library in person. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, persons nominated must have made substantial, beneficial and consistent contributions to the life and well-being of Park Forest over a considerable span of time.

Nominees may now live elsewhere, or be deceased. Individuals or couples may be nominated. The person making the nomination does not have to live in Park Forest, and does not have to be a member of the society. Inductees will be chosen from among the eligible nominees by the Park Forest Historical Society, and announced early in 2013. The induction ceremony will be held at Freedom Hall on April 14, 2013. For additional information, call Michael Gans at 708-305-3308.

Smart Tracks Family Center, Inc., 316 Forest Boulevard, Park Forest

1st Annual Fundraiser Winter Ball – R.S.V.P. by Monday, December 3

Smart Tracks Family Center, Inc. will hold its 1st Annual Fundraiser Winter Ball on Friday, December 7 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the VFW Post 311 Desvignes Hall, 22341 Governors Highway, Richton Park. An evening of fun, fashions, music, dancing, dinner and raffles is planned. Tickets are $30 each in advance and $35 at the door. There will be a cash bar. Dress attire is semi-formal. All proceeds will benefit Technology Assistance Program to provide educational technology training to the south suburban communities. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call Denise Richardson at 708-283-0900.

Garden Club of Park Forest

"A Gardener's Cookbook"

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Good As New Thrift Store – Seeking Donations

The Sertoma Centre’s Good As New Thrift Store, 4331 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, is seeking donations of gently used furniture and other household items in good condition. Proceeds from the sale of items at the Thrift Store go directly to supporting the 14 programs offered by Sertoma Centre. The store also serves as a training program for consumers at Sertoma to allow them to gain experience and transition into permanent retail jobs. The Thrift Store will pick up furniture donations within the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago free of charge. To make an arrangement to make a tax deductible donation of furniture to Good As News, call 708-481-5627. For additional information, to schedule a tour, volunteer or to make a donation, please call Amy Chmura at 708-730-6206 or e-mail achmura@sertomacentre.org.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

The Rotary Club of Park Forest urges you to purchase a Golden Opportunities 2012 book to help support its youth activities. Books are only $25 and are now available for purchase at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager's Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein's NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: Park Forest 2012 Autumn Recreation Programs & More Brochure, Park Forest ‘Discover’ magazine, Rich Township Report, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.

Park Forest Clubs and Organizations

Please Note: eNews Park Forest, Inc. is an independent media company and is not affiliated with the Village of Park Forest in any way.

Historical Society
Park Forest Historical Society

Health Department

Nurses Plus

Freedom Hall

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theater

Tall Grass

Tall Grass Arts Association

Kiwanis

Kiwanis of Park Forest

Nurses Club

Park Forest Nurses Club

Baseball

Park Forest Baseball