‘This is an area of need across Oak Park’

When visiting local daycares and preschools, Children’s Outreach and Programming Specialist Jenny Jackson (pictured) always includes social and emotional concepts in her storytimes. “What do you think ‘anxious’ is? Have you ever had butterflies in your tummy?” she asks as reads aloud to preschoolers in the PreKindergarten Partnership (PKP) classes at Longfellow Elementary, one of … Read more

‘The world needs more respect, love, curiosity, and acceptance’

Kids holding art

Krista Soli Foster always imagined “going on a pilgrimage” to different centers of worship with her daughter, learning about their core values. She wants to model respect, love, curiosity, and acceptance for Lydia, age 6, who is being allowed to make up her own mind about faith and religion.  “Then I started to think, ‘Why … Read more

#BuildingCommunity through the use of free public space: Arabic Calligraphy Club brings families together

Mother and son writing in Arabic

Every Saturday, a group of families gathers at the public library for Arabic Calligraphy Club. Using free meeting room space at the Main Library, they bring supplies: plain white paper, pens and markers, canvases, bottles of ink. And, of course, snacks—a tin of butter cookies, a few tomatoes, falafel, chocolate. “It’s good family time,” says … Read more

Community is a common enterprise

man shaking hands woman in sweater

As he travels across the country and the world as president of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Rich Harwood said he finds a deep yearning for more connection. From Alabama to Israel, in Ohio and Michigan, people are wondering, “Do our lives matter? Will I be seen and heard? Does hope still matter?” “Without … Read more

The pursuit of hope

The following piece by Executive Director David J. Seleb was originally published as a letter to the editor in the March 13 edition of the Wednesday Journal, and has been lightly edited for our website. How do we bring people together when it feels like our society is breaking apart? That is one of the … Read more

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