The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Orchestra, Wind Ensemble to perform joint concert

"Autumn Americana" to feature works by noted American composers

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"Autumn Americana," a joint concert by the Parkland Orchestra and Parkland Wind Ensemble, will take place Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. in Parkland College’s Student Union. 

Selections from the Parkland Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Rodney Mueller, will include Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson; America the Beautiful by Samuel Ward, arranged by Alfred Reed; and Bill Holcombe’s Casey at the Bat, inspired by the poem of Ernest L. Thayer and narrated by Vincent Trauth, among others. 

Dr. Jonathan Beckett will conduct the Parkland Wind Ensemble in works by noted American composers including Aaron Copland, Leroy Anderson, Victor Herbert, Mark Camphouse and Sammy Nestico. The ensemble will also perform a medley of songs made popular by Big Bands during the Swing Era of the 1920s through 1950s. 

This concert is free and open to the public. For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit parkland.edu/music/ensembles.

"I think my niche is helping people who have been failed by our education and justice systems," Cathy Salika once wrote.

And who is Cathy Salika? She's only the inspirational Project READ literacy tutor after whom we've modeled our new Project READ Outstanding Service Award—and, naturally, the award's inaugural recipient! We will honor this Urbana resident with our award Saturday, Oct. 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union, an event culminating our celebration of National Tutoring Week, and you're welcome to join us there.

The Project READ Outstanding Service Award honors an exceptional Project READ tutor whose uncommon dedication makes our community a better place, inspiring the following elements of community service:

1) striving to increase the reach of high-quality, reliable, volunteer tutoring services to the most marginalized and vulnerable adults in our community

2) demonstrating commitment, dedication, and passion for helping adults improve their abilities in reading, writing, math, or English so that they can increase their civic engagement, workforce potential, and quality of life.

We gratefully fashion this recognition after the outstanding service of Cathy, who started with Project READ in 2012. And here's why:

  • When Project READ funding was renewed after a two-year hiatus, Cathy was among the first to respond to our call for new tutors. But what we learned was that, despite the budget impasse and the resulting lack of infrastructural support, Cathy never stopped working with her Project READ learner. "No one told us to stop, and we didn't!" she said.
  • When we needed tutors who could volunteer to teach math to female inmates at the satellite jail, Cathy raised her hand, went through the security protocol, and began assisting a learner in the correctional center. She went on to tutor several inmates, men, and women, at the downtown jail and the satellite jail over the course of the grant year. In fact, she became so adept and passionate about serving learners in the correctional centers, she facilitated a special training session for Project READ tutors to learn how to volunteer in the jails, addressing what to expect of the institution and how to best help incarcerated learners develop and progress toward their goals.
  • When we initiated our Drop-in Tutoring program in February of this year, Cathy began tutoring at all of our daytime sites, expanding her service from Adult Basic Education (math and literacy) to include English for speakers of other languages. She signed up to help us run an ESL lab in Rantoul, and when that site finished its term, she continued to ask for more learners to work with. Cathy tutored more than 150 hours between February and July 2018! "The drop-in sites have been good for me as a tutor," Cathy said. "It's easier for me to ask advice of the staff."
  • Cathy facilities learning in all areas with ease, confidence, innovation, reliability—and flexibility! Sometimes we get flooded with unexpected learners at a drop-in site, and when we ask to seat someone with Cathy, she always says, "We'll make it work." We've seen her tutor math to a learner on her left who is preparing for the GED and tutor an ESL learner on her right who recognized her from a previous session and asked to continue to work with her.

Cathy Salika is truly exceptional. The staff at Project READ is fond of saying that if we had 20 Cathy Salikas, we could change the world. Her attitude and philosophy about tutoring explain why we feel this way:

"I love to watch people warm up to a subject as they master it," Cathy said. "The learners come to us with basic needs in English, reading or math. They come asking for help, which isn't always an easy thing to do, and I respect them for that. Many of them have been held back by poverty, family problems, or learning differences. Sometimes they gain better job opportunities, more independence, or more self-confidence from their efforts to learn with us. Their joy in meeting their goals and their pride of accomplishment are an inspiration to me."

Cathy's passion for uplifting our community through learner-centered, personalized Adult Education sets the bar high, and we are grateful for her tremendous contributions. If you'd also like to be an adult tutor for math, reading, or English, or need tutoring services yourself or someone you know, we invite you to join us at Project READ. Please contact our office by email at ProjectREAD@parkland.edu or by calling 217/353-2662.

Free CarFit Checks for Older Area Drivers this Thursday

Assessment is free to area drivers 65 and older

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Parkland College encourages older area residents to come out to Parkland on Mattis Thursday morning for a free CarFit® check, and find out how well they work together with their vehicles.

The check will take place Oct. 4. from 9 a.m. to noon at the Parkland on Mattis facility at 1309 N. Mattis Avenue in Champaign.

Designed to keep the district's seniors driving safely for as long as possible, a CarFit check takes only minutes and is available to all licensed drivers age 65 and older who own a registered vehicle. A trained professional will ask simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. Recent surveys showed that 88 percent of CarFit participants reported changing at least one driving behavior or vehicle adaptation as a result of their assessment.

Please call the Parkland Business Training and Community Education at 217/351-2235 for this free appointment.

Dental Hygiene Clinic Seeks New Patients for Exams, Cleanings

Clinic services free for children under 12, age 65+, aid recipients; $10 for others

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The Parkland College Dental Hygiene Clinic is currently seeking to serve area residents who have not had dental cleanings in five years or more.

Patients may come in for various dental services, such as oral examination, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride treatment, sealants, and oral hygiene instruction. Appointments last approximately 3.5 hours, as the Dental Hygiene program students are learning and are working with their instructors. The cleaning may take one to four appointments, depending on the patient's individual needs. 

Established in 1968 and fully credited by the American Dental Association since 1970, Parkland College's Dental Hygiene program is recognized as one of the top programs in Illinois. Graduates from this program must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state or regional clinical examination before applying for licensure as a registered dental hygienist (RDH). 

Clinic services are free for adults over 65 years, Medicaid/Public Aid recipients, and children under 12. For all other patients, the cost of dental service is $10 per semester, no matter how many appointments are required.
 
For more information about the clinic's services or to schedule an appointment, call the Parkland College Dental Hygiene Clinic at 217/351-2221.

Parkland College Among Top 20 in Nation for Precision Ag

PrecisionAg.com places Parkland at No. 2 among nation's community colleges

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Parkland College's Precision Agriculture program has been named No. 2 among the nation's community colleges by PrecisionAg.com.

Earlier in the year, PrecisionAg.com released its Top 25 Colleges in the U.S. for Precision Agriculture, which comprised four-year institutions; it released its Top 20 Two-Year Colleges list in early September, with Parkland's program ranking second on the list.

Parkland College offers the most comprehensive Precision Agriculture associate’s degree in the state of Illinois. Students learn precision ag technologies, such as precision hardware and software systems, through industry-backed curriculum. With a 20-year history of precision agriculture education, Parkland College has built a strong regional reputation with employer partners eager to hire Parkland graduates. 

About PrecisionAg:
PrecisionAg is a diversified, independent media enterprise serving the global community of precision agriculture through the media outlets of PrecisionAg.com, PrecisionAg Professional UpdatePrecisionAg Institute, and PrecisionAg Professional Magazine.

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