Family and Children | WGLT

Family and Children

Erin Ripley-Gataric
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Even if the conversations are uncomfortable, a community sex educator said it's important for parents to start young when talking about themes of sex and body anatomy with their children.

Claire speaks to the board
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board heard public comment Wednesday from a woman whose daughter was in Jonathan Hovey’s first grade class at Glenn Elementary this past school year.

Childrens Home and Aid sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

Children’s Home & Aid announced Wednesday it will begin phasing out foster care and intact family services in the Central Illinois region, calling the services not sustainable.

Mary Cullen / WGLT-Normal

The Central Illinois hub of Children’s Home & Aid has a new regional site director.

Staff / WGLT

A recent study co-authored by an Illinois State University professor finds that college-aged adults who were helicopter parented are less likely to get involved in politics than their non-helicopter parented counterparts.

Vigil Held In Support of Children's Insurance Program

Jan 9, 2018
Judith Valente / WGLT

Children across the country suffering from life-threatening and chronic illnesses risk losing their health insurance unless Congress acts soon.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Children's Home and Aid hopes to make this a Merry Christmas for local families with the annual Adopt-a-Family program.

West Bloomington Revitalization Project

Every day starts with a good night's sleep, according to Ryan Heeren. He and Robert Bosquez are with the West Bloomington Revitalization Project's Tool Library and helping to organize the Bed Blitz, a volunteer effort to build and provide beds to kids sleeping on the floor, on furniture, or with family members. 

Muppetmindset / wordpress.com

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on Sesame Street? Paul Rudolph doesn't have to guess. He works there.

Rudolph, who grew up in Normal, is the vocal music director of the show. As such, he wears many hats—composing, arranging and recording many of those catchy tunes that stick in the minds of children and not a few adults. He recently won his second Emmy for music editing on the show.

Seeking Adoption For Children in Foster Care

Jun 15, 2017
African American Advisory Council / Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

In McLean County, some 222 children in foster care are currently waiting for the chance to find a permanent home. 

Of those children, 88 are African American. They make up about 40 percent of the children in foster care, but last year accounted for only about 26 percent of the permanent adoptions.

The Pritts Family

A once in a lifetime trip for most people has rolled to a stop for the Pritts family.

In June 2016, Jeff, the former manager of the Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and Marci,who worked for a non-profit foundation, headed east on a 13,000 mile, 10-month trip that took them, their kids, a Great Dane, a second dog, and a cat  through 30 states with 70 stops.  

March for Science.com

Increasing public doubt of scientific findings is prompting a March for Science in Bloomington-Normal.

ISU biologist Scott Sakaluk says he and other researchers feel alarm as laypeople treat science as opinion-based and political.

Prairerth Farm

A farmer and an extension agent agree there are a number of issues hurting small organic farmers in Illinois and one of them is that a growing number of people don't know how to cook. 

Matt Molinari / Flickr

Livingston County Prosecutors and law enforcement leaders want the state to boost early childhood block grant funding funding by $50 million. Sheriff Tony Childress said that will allow the state to capture more federal funds for preschool.

Childress was with the States's Attorney and another Sheriff reading books to three and four year olds at a Pontiac grade school.

University High School

University High School and the family of a basketball player there are trying to turn near tragedy into life saving at other schools.

Kai Bates-Diop dropped to the floor of the gym during practice recently with sudden cardiac arrest.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The Children's Home and Aid Regional Office in Bloomington received rare good news late last year when it received a $577,000 grant from the Illinois Board of Education. The money was targeted to expand the agency's "Preschool For All" and "Prevention Initiative" programs that combined serve children from birth to age 5. 

CASA of Peoria County

CASA of Peoria County is aiming to help a growing number of neglected children in 2017 with the "I Am For The Child" national campaign.

Court Appointed Special Advocates has been an active organization in the county since 2005. CASA is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization advocating for the best interests of abused children within the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Court system. 

Young Ladies Tea Seeks To Empower Girls

Nov 9, 2016
LaKeesha James-Smith / Empower To Create

Teaching young girls self-esteem in this social media era when self concept can easily clash with shallow notions is challenging. 

One Bloomington group is helping girls build self-worth while off technology, so they know how to interact when they are on it. GLT Correspondent Maria Henneberry talked it over with LaKeesha James-Smith with the group 'Empower To Create' about an upcoming event designed to help.

It's the third year for the 'Young Ladies Tea' which happens Saturday November 12, from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. at the First Christian Church in Bloomington.

Judi Jacobs / Children's Home and Aid

Children's Home and Aid, a Bloomington-based social service education agency for young, at-risk children, is getting more $577,000 from the Illinois Board of Education to add and expand services.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services / Facebook

Illinois has created a network of emergency foster care homes.

Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says these homes are places youth in the state's care can be sent in lieu of emergency shelters.

Sheldon told a legislative panel Tuesday that there's currently capacity for 36 kids.  His goal is to have room for 50.

"Frankly, this state had a series of emergency foster homes a decade or so ago. I don't know why that was abandoned. I think it's a much more appropriate facility," he said.

So far, a Bloomington-Normal couple doesn't think there is much they would do differently on their year-long RV trip. However, there have been a couple of bumps in the road. Jeff and Marci Pritts, kids and pets headed out in their RV named "Someday" on June 13. 

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It's rare to find a child prodigy. It's almost unheard of to find a child who excels in two fields. But, Harmony Zhu played a piano recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of seven.

At age eight she was a world age group chess champion. She is the youngest ever winner of the Chopin International Piano competition at age nine. She plays with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal has picked Shelleigh Birlingmair as the Executive Director of the Children's Discovery Museum.

City Manager Mark Peterson said Birlingmair has a history of community involvement and extensive experience as a leader, volunteer, and advocate for not for profit organizations.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Unit Five Schools continue to have driver shortages for school buses this week.

And that has meant some students are still getting to school around an hour late.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Meet Joch. He's the latest addition to the Children's Advocacy Center and the McLean County State's Attorney's office.

Joch will be there to make it easier for children to be in a courtroom or to give testimony or interviews to officials in what can sometimes be a scary setting.

Federal prosecutors say a Peoria man enticed at least seven minors to have sex with him based on false claims he was a pornography performer.

Children's Discovery Museum

The Children's Discovery Museum in Uptown Normal has a new exhibit that combines the desire for faraway places with a staycation.  "Hello From Japan" opens Friday evening and gives visitors a chance to experience Japanese culture in an interactive exhibit that reveals the two sides of Japanese culture.

WGLT

School Districts are reviewing their disciplinary codes this summer to prepare for the effect of a new law going into effect with the new school year in the fall.

Marci Pritts

Jeff and Marci Pritts will spend the next year with their family in an RV they've named "Someday."

"There's one overwhelming response I think that we get and we have  kind of brought that into our trip a little bit," said Marci. "People often say 'I'd love to do that someday.' For that reason we named the RV 'Someday.' It's kind of a statement that that today can be someday. Just do it."

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

After a decade of lawsuits, Unit Five has settled the final case involving a victim of convicted child molester Jon Andrew White. White was a Unit Five teacher, who later got a job in Urbana schools and continued molesting students.

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