The Parkland College Blog

Child Development Center Grant to Help Parents in Need

Childcare Grant to Provide Stipends to Student-Parents

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Thanks to a federal grant, Parkland College's Child Development Center will be able to offer childcare stipends to full- or part-time students who are also parents.

Starting today, Parkland College students can apply for and receive help through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, designed to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services.

With the grant, full-time student-parents could qualify for 100-percent tuition coverage, while part-time student-parents could receive a prorated amount of coverage based on number of credit hours per semester. The grant will also expand the Child Development Center by two additional rooms to increase capacity, broaden comprehensive support services, and raise awareness of resources to single parents and pregnant students, says Adrienne Shockley, center director.

"The goal of this project is to help Parkland students with young children take advantage of the high-quality childcare available to them on campus," Shockley said. "The more barriers we can remove for student-parents, the more likely they are to complete their college studies and obtain careers that can sustain a high-quality of life for their families."

Available, affordable, and high-quality childcare for working families has been at the forefront of Sen. Tammy Duckworth's priorities along with fellow legislators who jointly introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Small Business Child Care Investment Act earlier this year.

"Shrinking childcare options make it even harder for student parents who are trying to balance college coursework and raising children," said Duckworth. "I'm proud that this funding will help Parkland's Child Development Center significantly increase access to childcare services so that more student parents in the Champaign area can focus on getting an education that will help them provide a better future for their families."

Eligible students will:

  • have a 6-week to 5-year-old child in need of childcare and have successfully completed enrollment at PCDC
  • be currently enrolled as a Parkland student
  • maintain a grade point average of at least 2.5 out of 4.0 in subsequent semesters
  • provide documents to determine financial need, credit hours, and GPA

Childcare tuition scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority consideration for any open spots will be given to low-income student families. Tuition coverage is awarded per credit hour.

For more information, please visit or contact the Center at 217/373-3777.

Women's EmpowHERment Group to Host Virtual Networking Event

"How is Your NETworking?" by the Women's EmpowHERment Group

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The Women's EmpowHERment Group will present "How is Your NETworking?" on Tuesday, December 7 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

This virtual networking event will feature a panel of five local women entrepreneurs and community leaders, who will share their tips and strategies on network building and engaging in networking activities. Following the panel, participants will have the opportunity to practice networking with EmpowHERment Group volunteers in small guided groups.

Attendees are asked to RSVP at this link.

Panelists include: Andrea Rundell, executive director at the YWCA of the University of Illinois, and co-founder of the Women's EmpowHERment Group; Mariah Madison, CEO and founder of Buy Black Chambana; Kate Insolia, owner and artistic director of Urbana Dance Company; Mila Fuller, owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes; and Rachel Storm, arts and culture coordinator for the city of Urbana.

The Women's EmpowHERment Group was founded by Parkland College and the YWCA of the University of Illinois to create an empowering space for women to find online support, learning, and networking opportunities to advance their careers. For more information, visit or contact Andrea Rundell at at 217/344-0721.

Staerkel Planetarium to Present Kaler Lecture on Evolution

"The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish," December 3 at 6:30 p.m.

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This December's James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will be about evolution, through the lens of fish.

Friday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m., University of Illinois professor Dr. Alison Bell will present "The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish." Tickets for Kaler Lectures cost $2 or are free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Bell, who teaches in the UIUC Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, researches the various ways families are organized in nature. Her lab focuses on the threespined stickleback, a type of fish whose family structure places the father as the sole provider of parental care. However, there are populations within the species which offer no parental care. Data from Bell's lab offers clues to this variance in social behavior.

Bell earned a bachelor's degree in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine at the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in population biology at the University of California at Davis. Before joining the University of Illinois, she performed postdoctoral research at UC-Davis and at the University of Glasgow. In 2020, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The seating capacity in the planetarium is currently limited to 60 people. The Kaler Science Lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. showing of Season of Light, a program about the cultural traditions and astronomy of the winter solstice. Admission to fulldome shows are $6 for adults and $5 for children, students, and seniors. For a show schedule or booking information, please call 217/351-2446 or visit

Winter Ensembles at Parkland College Offer Free Concerts

Parkland Music Ensembles to Offer Free Winter Concerts Dec. 5 and Dec. 12

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Parkland College's concert season continues with December performances by several ensembles. Performances will be livestreamed on Parkland's YouTube channel.

Sunday, December 5 at 3 p.m.
"A Seasonal Delight" A Concert by the Chamber Singers and the Concert Band
. The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Dr. Matthew Dixon, will perform "Mayflower Overture" by Ron Nelson; "Suite from the Nutcracker" by P.I. Tchaikovsky, arranged by James Curnow; "Jingle Bells" by J.S. Pierpoint; and "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, in addition to others.

The Parkland Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Franklin Gallo, will perform "The Gift to Sing" by Marianne Forman; "The Great Clear Twilight" by Austin Schend; and "Tshotsholoza," a traditional South African song, adapted by Jeffrey Ames, among others.

Sunday, October 12 at 3 p.m.
"December Celebrations" A Joint Concert by the Parkland Orchestra, Wind, and Guitar Ensembles.
The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Dr. Rodney Mueller, will perform "La Belle Helene Overture" by Jacques Offenbach; "Dance of the Tumblers" from The Snow Maiden by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; "Symphony No. 5" fourth movement by Ludwig van Beethoven; "Frosty the Snowman" arranged by John Moss; and "German Carol Festival" arranged by James Christensen.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Jonathan Beckett, will present "Christmas Music for Winds" arranged by John Cacavas; "Fantaisie on a French Christmas Carol" arranged by Warren Barker, based on Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfin; and "A Winter's Carol" arranged by Mark Williams, based on O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, among others.

Director Dr. Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "Sheep May Safely Graze" by J.S. Bach; "O Tannenbaum" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" arranged by Alan Hirsch, and more.

Giertz Gallery to Host "Coffee & Tea: Cups & Dessert" Benefit

Giertz Gallery Presents "Cups & Dessert" Fundraiser, Dec. 9

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Enjoy music, desserts, and fine art at Giertz Gallery's "Coffee & Tea: Cups & Dessert" benefit on Thursday, December 9 from 4 to 7 p.m.

During Giertz Gallery's biennial fundraiser, ticketholders may select from among a stunning array of handcrafted ceramic cups donated by the Parkland College Ceramics program faculty and students and enjoy desserts to go from Nothing Bundt Cakes, along with hot tea or freshly-brewed coffee. Guido Sanchez-Portuguez will accompany the event with live classical guitar.
A silent auction of items perfect for holiday gifts rounds out the event’s festivities. Vases, bowls, teapots, pitchers, jewelry, and scarves, donated by Art and Design program faculty and students, are included in the auction. View items ahead of time to place your bids or buy items available outright at during the event.

Tickets to the gallery benefit are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, with advanced purchase recommended; attendees will have the option of attending from 4:00-5:30 p.m. or 5:30-7:00 p.m. A new selection of cups will be available for each time period and will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase tickets online, please visit, or call the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485. All proceeds will support the Giertz Gallery.

In compliance with state pandemic mandates, Parkland College has restricted access entryways and door checkers stationed at entrances. For Giertz Gallery, we suggest using the M1 parking lot on the north corner of campus. Enter through the M1 door and follow the gallery signage. The gallery is located in the north side of the X-wing and overlooks the outdoor fountain area.

Giertz Gallery acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/351-2505.

For more information about the invitational, the fundraiser, or the gallery, please visit or call the gallery office at 217/351-2485.