When children are growing up it is important for them to gain a personal connection to their own community. Feelings of community pride are raised when a person can say “this is where I live and why it is important,” or “people from my town have done unique and important things...so can I!” This idea was the foundation of a Collaboration Grant awarded to District 64 and the Kalo Foundation by the Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council in January 2015.
On Saturday, November 7th a special workshop was attended by several District 64 teachers at the Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, 255 N Northwest Hwy, to learn more about the community in which they live and/or teach. The workshop about Park Ridge history and culture was presented by Kalo Foundation Board members Herb Zuegel and Judy Barclay, who is also from the Park Ridge Historic Preservation Commission.
City founders and leaders, artists and musicians, and the indelible marks they made in the early days of the Park Ridge were highlighted. The ever evolving city architecture and landscape up to the current day were all part of a lively and entertaining discussion! After the presentation and lunch there was a 30 minute walking tour which brought some of the information shared to life on a beautiful fall afternoon. Teachers learned new and intriguing information about the lives of these creative innovators, and added to their own personal Park Ridge connections! The Iannelli Center is an inspiring setting for gathering and learning. Certainly this workshop will provide future “teachable moments” when teachers can help students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the place where they live. The goal is to encourage children to be proud of Park Ridge and grow up to be an active part of their community.