Posted by rpjr on Sep 21, 2017
The First was Luis Ramirez-Alonso, our club’s September Birthday Chair, who acknowledged and helped us celebrate the friendship among club members by leading us in a Spanish version of Happy Birthday.  If you weren’t at the meeting, you can ask for a low-cal description of the beautiful cake!
Second was a remarkable success story (so far) of a multi-agency, multi-volunteer, multi-resident effort to address problems in a low income pocket near the middle of town.  Jake Chung, school Dist. 25 Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, explained the project.  Our club and Rotarians have participated in various ways including supplying two benches at a garden area, supplying a “little library” and providing refurbished bicycles for holiday gifts to the kids.  The photo is of Jake (right) presenting a plaque from the school district to club president Jim Thomson (left), acknowledging the club’s efforts.  To find out more, click “…more”.
Because Jake so aptly described the effort, your club scribe will use his written description.  For a copy of the presentation, or to discuss the effort, please feel free to contact Jake at jchung@sd25.  Remarkable about a situation which often seems intractable is --
  • Through a combined efforts and influence of the village and other organizations (e.g., various departments, the library, the schools, volunteers, service clubs), significant improvements are being made to the property, improvements which affect the wellbeing of residents and improve the area’s effect on Arlington Heights.
  • 911 calls from the area have been reduced by 42%, Apr. 2016 to Apr. 2017.
  • Discipline issues at the schools have decreased. More homework and learning is taking place. Relations with the police and other responders have improved. Situations with problematic residents have been addressed.
Rather than the area being a drain on the community, constructive community involvement has made a significant difference…and the kids and families there are benefiting from and contributing to a good school and community environment.  Costs to taxpayers have been small – perhaps $10,000 and the involvement of some school and other personnel.