Archive for August, 2015

The latest newsletter from Friends of the 46th Ward Schools.

Back to School!

A lot has happened since our last official newsletter! Our call for new board members and additional volunteers to keep our group going was answered by a chorus of interested community members willing to help. We held a transitional meeting on August 6 and we were so encouraged and energized by the turnout! The fact that so many people attended the meeting or expressed an interest in helping us meant that what we are doing is worthwhile. WE knew it, but to know that so many of you believe it too is a great feeling. It means we all have the same goal in mind and it means supporting the public schools in the 46th Ward is a priority for all of us.

Our supporters come from all walks of life. They have no kids, or young kids, or grown kids. They work, they are retired, they are stay-at-home parents. They go to school. They live in the 46th Ward and they live outside the 46th Ward. It is inspiring to see all of these people from different backgrounds uniting for a common cause. WE are Friends of the 46th Ward Schools and WE continue on to support the six public schools in our ward. We are honored to be allowed to continue our work.

Thank you to all of the supporters who have attended our meetings, expressed an interest in helping us, donated funds and school supplies, spread the word about our mission and activities, and generally worked to help our 46th Ward students thrive. You are the heart of our organization and it lives because of you.

Here’s What’s Growing

Outgoing Board Members

Two of our board members have stepped back to fulfill other commitments and pursue other interests. While they are no longer serving as board members, they will still be involved with Friends of the 46th Ward Schools and will continue to contribute their time and perspectives when they are able. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jenni Masterson, our Outgoing President, and Susan Ridihalgh, our Outgoing Treasurer for their many contributions to our group. If it weren’t for them, the group would not exist, plain and simple. They have been generous donors of their time and resources as we started things up and they have been exemplary collaborators as we’ve kept things moving. Their community is all the better for it and we thank them for all they’ve done.

New Board Members

We have two new board members and one continuing board member who has shifted roles. Shelly Tozzi, formerly the board’s Secretary, has moved into the role of President. Chris Jessup is serving as Secretary and Sarah Casey is our new Treasurer. Our new board members are dedicated residents of the 46th Ward and have been very active in the community. They are energetic and passionate; generous and hard-working. We’re all looking forward to working together to continue the projects initiated since the group’s inception and we’re excited to come up with creative new ideas for supporting our schools.

Fall School Supply Drive

Our 46th Ward students return to school on Tuesday, September 8 and our Fall School Supply drive is already underway. We’re working with Alderman Cappleman’s office again this year and his office (4544 N. Broadway, Mon. 9-7, Tues.-Fri. 9-5) serves as the primary drop-off site for donations. Donated school supplies can also be dropped off at the Uptown Library Branch (929 W. Buena, Mon. & Wed. 10-6, Tues. & Thurs. 12-8, Fri. & Sat. 9-5). You can find printable lists of needed school supplies on our website.

You can also purchase supplies from our Amazon Wish List. Items purchased through the Wish List will be sent directly to Alderman Cappleman’s office. We’ve already started to receive quite a few donations this way so it seems to be pretty popular. Most of the items we selected are Prime eligible so you won’t pay additional shipping costs if you are an Amazon Prime member. Also, if you’ve selected Friends of the 46th Ward Schools as your Amazon Smile charity, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases (from our Wish List or otherwise) to our group so it’s like helping us twice! To find out more about Amazon Smile, click here.

If you are time-crunched or don’t like shopping, you can donate to Friends of the 46th Ward Schools through Paypal. Follow this link to the Paypal donation button on our website. As always, all donations are tax deductible.

Fall Fundraiser

We’re planning a mid-September fundraiser in conjunction with our Fall School Supply Drive. We’ll announce details soon. Once again, we will be looking for donations of raffle prizes for our fundraiser. If you have something you’d like to donate or have suggestions of 46th Ward businesses we should approach, please let us know! We’re always looking to make new connections. Our raffle prizes are usually a big draw at our fundraisers and we like to provide fresh options to encourage more donors. It’s also a great way to promote 46th Ward businesses.

Pending Donors Choose Projects

Help a 46th Ward teacher by contributing any dollar amount to one of these projects. For a limited time, use matching code JUMPSTART and your donation will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just follow the links below.


Great Materials + Eager Students x Daily Stations = Success

Purchase activity stations for middle-school special needs students to practice math, reasoning, and vocabulary skills.

Right Into Writing

Fund reference books, guided learning materials, and editing tools for middle-school writing classes.

Basic Classroom Supplies to Get Our Year Started Right!

Help purchase notebooks, folders, and paper for junior high math students.


No pending projects.


No pending projects.


Getting A Move On Reading!

Purchase interactive DVDs that make learning to read fun for kindergarten students.

Everyone Has Feelings

Help fund 32 books and 2 manipulatives to help preschoolers learn about emotions and manners.

Eager 2nd Grade Artists Needs Supplies!

Help purchase basic art supplies for combined class of bilingual and monolingual students.

Perfect Solution to Second Grade Pencil Problem

Purchase pencils, pencil cases, and incentive prizes to help second graders be more responsible for their pencils.


Help Us Care for Our Class Pet!

Purchase food and bedding to help middle school students care for Oreo, the classroom guinea pig.


No pending projects.


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The free End-of-Summer Concert in the Park was a perfect night for relaxing with family and friends and enjoying the music, tasting from food trucks or your own.

“To me the great thing about the Concerts is it feels like Buena Park is small town America, “said Buena Park Neighbors Association President Lisa von Drehle. “It is almost like a 4th of July parade. Make your own night; hang out with neighbors and meet new people.”

For photos of the event click here.

The Buena Park Neighbors Concert in the Park was brought to you by our good friends at The Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Park District and Uptown SSA #34 and Thorek Hospital.


Buena Park Neighbors is a 46th Ward neighborhood association of more than 200 residents, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations in the nationally registered Buena Park Historic District. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Buena Park.

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Smart Love Corner: Parenting Q&A

All the questions and answers come directly from Smart Love Solutions in Early Childhood-A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper.

Q: My daughter hates school, and she is only in the first grade.

My six-year-old daughter started first grade this fall, and she has been coming home and says that she hates school. At first she refused to talk about it, but I gently persisted, and she finally said that she is the worst at math, that all the other kids know their addition and subtraction and she does not. They have something called a math minute; they have a minute to see how many addition and subtraction problems they can do. She says that other kids get scores of more than twenty out of twenty-five, but she almost never gets more than six or seven. I have tried to reassure her by telling her that first grade is the place to learn math, but she says everyone else already knows it. I feel really badly for her, but I do not know what to do to help. I never knew that children had to know math by first grade. What do you suggest?

A: We have heard this kind of understandable frustration from many parents who discover too late that there are schools that expect children to enter first grade with both reading and math skills. Many kindergartens do not believe in teaching math and reading to five-year-olds which is fine. Rather than realizing that with instruction they can catch up, many children measure themselves against their peers and conclude that the problem is that they are not smart enough. These children often respond by disliking reading, math and school. In this way children like your daughter are needlessly being discouraged and made to feel inadequate.

Talk to your daughter’s school and see if they offer after-school help or other enrichment programs to enable your daughter to catch up in math. If you have a computer, there are many math programs for first graders that children find enjoyable. Most important: continue to tell your daughter that the problem is that she was not taught math in kindergarten, not that she can’t learn it, and that you are totally confident that she has the talent to become an excellent math student.

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