Bank of America Grant Supports Youth Development in Chicago Public Schools
Oak Brook, Illinois, March 31, 2010 – Bank of America has awarded the Lions Quest program a US$10,000 grant to support growth in public schools throughout Chicago, Illinois, USA. The division of Bank of America in Chicago awarded the grant based on the program’s positive presence in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
The Chicago Public School system currently has a high school graduation rate of just over 50 percent. More than 83 percent of CPS students are low income, and less than two-thirds of high school students met or exceeded standards for their grade level in 2008 and 2009, according to statewide testing.
“Youth in Chicago are some of the most at-risk in the US,” said Chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation, Al Brandel “But the Lions Quest program aims to provide these youth with the life skills they need to develop into healthy adults and build stronger communities.”
Lions Quest, a program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), recently entered schools in Chicago as part of a movement to develop students’ social-emotional learning. The program, for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, helps youth grow into solid citizens when they learn how to make responsible decisions, communicate effectively and avoid drugs.
Bank of America also has a long-established commitment to supporting youth. Investing in organizations that help develop leadership skills, educational achievement and civic awareness demonstrates their dedication to building a stronger tomorrow for future generations.
By reaching out to these high-risk students, LCIF and Bank of America are helping reverse some of these trends on a school-by-school basis.
Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School is the recipient of the grant money, which will provide the Lions Quest “Skills for Action” program. Tilden, a high school located on Chicago’s south side with a student population of 1,350, has a high drop-out/low graduation rate and the majority of students come from low-income families. The funds will be used to train 36 teachers and provide curriculum materials to 500 students. Lions Quest is currently present in eight high schools in CPS.
To date, more than 11 million youth have taken part in a Lions Quest classroom, and more than 500,000 educators and other adults have been trained to implement the programs in school and community settings. The program is active in nearly 60 countries around the world.
The program has drawn rave reviews from educators and high ratings from government agencies. Over the past 25 years, the program developer, school districts, universities, and independent research firms have conducted program evaluations. Results show improved achievement test scores; change in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding substance abuse and violence; lower rates of disciplinary problems; lower risk of dropping out of school; as well as decreased use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The collaboration between LCIF and Bank of America supports the positive development of youth in Chicago, bringing to the forefront the importance of programs in schools that teach students life skills and create healthy, responsible citizens for the future.
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Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with more than 1.3 million members in 205 geographic areas and countries. LCIF was ranked by a Financial Times' study as the number one non-governmental organization with which to partner. Learn more about Lions Quest online at www.lions-quest.org.
Taiwanese Girl, 13, to be Awarded Lions International Peace Poster Contest Grand Prize at the United Nations
OAK BROOK, IL USA, March 3, 2010 – Yu-Min Chen, the 13-year-old girl from Taiwan, who created this year's grand prize winning poster in the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest, will be recognized for her accomplishment at Lions Day with the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, March 26, 2010. Chen will also be presented with an award and US$2,500. Her parents and the president of the Taichung Kuang Hua Lions Club, which sponsored the contest in her area, will accompany her to the award ceremony.
Chen said she wanted her poster to "show that children hope to live in a peaceful world."
About 350,000 children ages 11, 12 and 13 in 70 countries around the world participated in this contest. Her poster was chosen for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of this year's contest theme, "The Power of Peace."
"Our club is excited and proud to reach out to our community and the world to spread peace and hope," said Ching Ming Tseng, president of the Taichung Kuang Hua Lions Club. "Yu-Min's poster symbolizes a child's hope for a peaceful existence and exemplifies the talent and intelligence of young people around the world."
Lions Clubs International President Eberhard J. Wirfs said, "The youth of today will grow to lead us into a better future. They will remember that the Lions helped them to consider the significance of international cooperation and peace."
Lions created the Peace Poster Contest to foster a spirit of peace and international understanding in young people worldwide. In addition to the grand prize winner, 23 merit award winners have been announced. This year's merit winners are from the Bahamas, China, China Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland and the United States (from Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey). The merit winners will each receive US$500 and a certificate of achievement.
After being exhibited at the 93rd annual Lions Clubs International Convention in Sydney, Australia this June, the 24 winning Peace Posters will be shown throughout the year at children's museums and various locations throughout the United States. The posters will also be featured on the Lions Clubs International Web site, www.lionsclubs.org, where you can learn more about the contest and send Peace Poster e-cards.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.3 million members in about 45,000 clubs in 205 countries and geographic areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.
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