General, Media

Parent University at Clemente High School Opens its Doors

Posted on 27 March 2015

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March 26, 2015 marked the grand opening of the Parent University at Clemente High School, something the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Community as a Campus initiative (CAAC) have been working on bringing to fruition for quite some time now. A new concept in education, the Parent University at Clemente in Humboldt Park is the very first of its kind, serving as a model for other programs with similar objectives. As the Master of Ceremonies of today’s grand kickoff, Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Dr. Shaun Jackson introduced a video showing Parent University participants hard at work, followed by speeches by Professor José E. Lopez and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Ms. Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

Also addressing the media and the crowd in attendance were Jose Rico of United Way, Sybil Madison Boyd of the Digital Youth Network at De Paul University, and Matthew Summy of Comcast, all important partners working in collaboration with CPS, the PRCC, and the Parent University at Clemente. Also presiding over the event was Clemente principal Marcey Sorenson, without whom the Parent University at Clemente would not be able to function.

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In attendance were such noted guests as Amy Rule, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, former Alderman Billy Ocasio, as well as over a hundred community partners, participants, and guests. As the speeches concluded guests were given intimate tours of each Parent University classroom, with each classroom spotlighting a particular Parent University course. Among the courses presented were Erie House’s manufacturing bridge program, Grace media’s digital video mini-course, a culinary arts mini-course, and an African drumming mini-course.

In addition, as the inauguration of the very first Parent University in the city was getting set to begin, guests were served delicious hors d’oeuvres made by Clemente students participating in Clemente’s amazing culinary arts program. While guests tasted the delicacies made by Clemente students, they were also treated to a feast of the eyes. In addition to the beautifully presented photos of Safe Passage parent participants, Puerto Rican art from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies from the Hunter College art collection was on display.

As the very first program of it’s kind, Humboldt Park’s Clemente Community Academy’s Parent University is a remarkable model. Married to the Safe Passage Program at Clemente and Wells High schools, and founded on the concept of community as a campus and in tandem with the Parent Popular Initiative, it is sure to be a model followed by other educational institutions and community organizations across Chicago and beyond.

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By Michael Kurshan Emmer, Safe Passage staff, PRCC

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General, La Voz Briefs

Puerto Rican Cultural Center Recognized with “AT&T INVESTING IN ILLINOIS AWARD”

Posted on 27 March 2015

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Chicago, IL March 16, 2015 – AT&T Illinois today announced the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is the winner of an “AT&T Investing in Illinois Award.” The Puerto Rican Cultural Center receives public recognition and a contribution of $2,500.00 from AT&T to be used for the  Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center which supports 50 children.

“In a digital world and an Internet economy, AT&T is helping consumers and businesses move forward by delivering wired and wireless broadband solutions.  We’re also helping the communities we serve move forward through corporate contributions to Illinois non-profit groups and programs that are making a difference locally,” said Sylvia Aldrete, AT&T External Affairs Manager.Illinois State Representative Cynthia Soto nominated the organization for the recognition from AT&T Illinois.

The AT&T Investing in Illinois Awards provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that are improving lives in their communities and the state by advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.

By Sylvia Aldrete, AT&T External Affairs Manager

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General, Media

Introducing the CPS Interdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies Curriculum

Posted on 25 March 2015

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Please join CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Chicago Public Schools for a reception to introduce the CPS Interdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies Curriculum.

• National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
3015 W. Division St. Chicago Il. 60622
• Friday, April 30th,  2015   – 6pm
Please send your RSVP to Karen Coleman
Email: Kbcoleman1@cps.edu
Phone: 773-553-2043

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Bomba as We Know It. – BUYA Live!

Posted on 24 March 2015

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Bomba has been at the heart of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago for many decades dedicating cultural spaces for its presentation, education and community engagement. The exciting history of bomba particularly written and celebrated in our streets, community centers, and events by bomberas/os from all walks of life has served to frame a process of healing and to communicate the histories of perseverance of our community.

Buya is a Chicago-based ensemble that aims to preserve and advance Bomba, Puerto Ri- co’s oldest surviving African-rooted tradition. Buya means ‘good spirit’ in Taino, the language spoken among Puerto Rico’s indigenous population, and the group strives to embody this idea while sharing the tradition through concerts, workshops, and community engagement. This includes artistic dialogue with historians and performers from Puerto Rico, and collaborative work with various Chicago-based groups such as Jarochicanos (Mexico), Laruni Hati (Belize), and Tamboula Ethnic Dance Company (Hai?ti). The ensemble celebrated its fifth anniversary this past November, but members of Bomba con Buya have been committed to studying and sharing the Bomba tradition for more than twenty years.

After five years of performing and touring, Buya a Chicago-based bomba ensemble has recorded its first album, “Buya Live.” The album captures Buya’s innovative yet traditional approach to bomba along with the ensemble’s infectious live performance. Buya is pleased to announce its new album “Buya Live” with a release concert at the legendary House of Blues in Chicago at the end of March 2015. This historical event for the entire Puerto Rican community celebrates the imaginative, hardworking and inspiring group and their extraor- dinary journey years in the making, one that has been highlighted in Windy City Live, B96 radio and recently with exciting performances at Cumbiazazo, Trinity United Church, Mr. Browns among others. For more information, please visit: http://bombaconbuya.com.

Brenda Torres Figueroa, Art Teacher, PACHS

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New Tax Season Special Enrollment Period!

Posted on 24 March 2015

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While the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period has come to an end, there are still options! The federal government announced a new Special Enrollment Period for tax season, from March 15 to April 30, 2015. This was done so that people who were un- aware or didn’t understand the implications of the individual Shared Responsibility Payment can enroll in 2015 health coverage through Healthcare.gov.

Individuals are eligible for Special Enrollment Period through Healthcare.gov if they: Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace for 2015; Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014; and Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Re- sponsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

There are also life-changing events (e.g. marriage, divorce, moving out of state, changing jobs) that may qualify you for a special enrollment period. Additionally, Medicaid enroll- ment period is open all year around! If you’re uninsured or confused about your healthcare options, visit our offices and we’ll gladly help you. Our services are offered free of charge in English and Spanish! Call us today to make an appointment at 773-227-7794 or 773-661-907.

By Geniz Hernandez-Rosado, PRCC Affordable Care Act staff

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CICLO URBANO is Expanding This Spring

Posted on 24 March 2015

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Ciclo Urbano is a full service Bike Shop that has expanded their show room at the Paseo Boricua Business Center (2459 W Division St.). This expansion will allow Ciclo room to display over 80 used/refurbished bikes, as well as, new model bikes for sale each with the same warranty and 60 days of free adjustments and tune-ups valued at $75.00. Several new apprentices who have gone through West Town Bikes Youth Programs will now be starting as Bicycle Mechanics this Spring. They are Deorey, Hector and Max, in addition to the return of Anthony Cruz as a full time Senior Mechanic. All have great customer service skills and are talented mechanics that speak Spanish and English. Ciclo Urbano was opened in 2009 and since then has been one of the most successful new businesses on Paseo Boricua.

New Spring hours are: M-Th 11:00am to 7:00pm
F-Sat 11:00am to 6:00pm – Sun 11:00am to 5:00pm

For more information visit: http://westtownbikes.org/retail or call 773-772-4870.

By Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director, DSBDA

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