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Showing posts from September, 2018

Universal Preschool Rolling Out in Chicago

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by Cornelia Grumman, Director, Education Program Over the last 15 years, Chicago has made gradual steps toward making sure all children in the city receive half quality early childhood experiences. Half-day kindergarten gradually was expanded to full-day kindergarten. Then half-day PreK programs were incorporated into schools, and many of those were expanded to full-day, responding to the needs of working parents. This summer, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would make full-day preschool in the city universal to all 4-year-olds, regardless of family income. The phase-in would be gradual, so that by 2021, any family who opts to have their child attend PreK could access it, free of charge. This could spell savings of thousands of dollars for many working families who have found early education to be essential for children, but increasingly burdensome on family income. City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement earlier this summer at a gathering at Truman College, on

Addressing Intentional Violence and its Root Causes

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by Kate Dohner, Senior Writer, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Development Image courtesy of University of Chicago Medicine - Adult Trauma Center Violence in Chicago has become a national headline: “More Than 100 People Were Shot in Chicago Over the Fourth of July Weekend” (Time), “3-year-old boy among 7 wounded in Englewood shooting” (Chicago Sun Times). The University of Chicago Medicine seeks to change this story. With one-third of the City’s homicides and violent crimes occurring within five miles of its campus, UChicago Medicine has the opportunity to not only deliver much-needed care to survivors of intentional violence but to become a proving ground for evidence-based interventions that reduce the number of patients who experience repeat violence. Since opening in May 2018, UChicago Medicine’s Adult Level 1 Trauma Center has had more than 700 patient encounters, an average of 10 patients per day. Of those, 40 percent were directly related to commun

Remembering the Great War

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This summer, the United States is observing the centennial of World War I. Late to the war in 1917, the fledging American Expeditionary Forces needed a year before any were combat ready. The first American battle was fought by the US First Division at Cantigny, 75 miles north of Paris, from May 28-31, 1918. As it unfolded, the Germans attacked along the Marne River and nearly reached Paris. However, the US 3d Division entered the fray at Chateau-Thierry. Immediately to the north, the US 2d Division with its brigade of Marines did likewise at Belleau Wood. With the Germans halted, the Allies went over to the counter-attack, not stopping until the Germans agreed to an Armistice on November 11, 1918. At Soisson and St. Mihiel, American doughboys made the critical difference. From September 26, 1918, to the Armistice, the United States fought its largest battle ever, between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest in Lorraine. If all the 320,000 US casualties of the Great War were assigned

Readjusting to Civilian Life

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by Emanuel Johnson, Program Officer, Veterans Program Some would believe the toughest transition a veteran experiences is entering the military. Would you believe that returning home is much harder than leaving? Every year over 250,000 men and women return to civilian life not only seeking a new sense of purpose but a job, a way to connect to their community, and positive opportunities to reconcile the actions of their service with the person they want to become. Only seven percent of America’s current population has served leaving many of our veterans returning home to communities that don’t understand their service or what opportunities exist after. Within that seven percent exist minority groups that face far more significant barriers to returning home. According the VA, women veterans are two to four times as likely as their non-veteran counterparts to experience homelessness, two times as likely to be using SNAP benefits than male veterans (13.0 vs. 6.3%) and have a yearl

Census 2020: The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher for Illinois

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by Shawn P. Healy, PhD, Director, Democracy Program Every 10 years, Americans are asked to fill out and return their Census questionnaires. It's an important decennial event, given that population counts guide billions in federal spending, determine congressional apportionment, and play a key role in shaping future policies. Yet vast segments of the population often fail to respond. Greater racial and ethnic diversity, more nontraditional living arrangements, elevated poverty rates and a litany of other factors are also putting more people at risk of not being counted in 2020. These challenges, alongside other national administrative concerns, have major implications for residents and communities in Illinois. The Census Bureau’s goal is to “count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” but this is easier said than done. According to the Funders Census Initiative 2020 , during the 1940 Census, 453,000 more men registered for the military draft than were reflected in t