Hope Girl Scouts Learn Social Skills

A group of student Girl Scouts has found a fun way to express the spirit of Christmas.

The 10 members are taking part in a Secret Santa anonymous gift exchange in hopes they will learn a deeper understanding of unity, humility and kindness, said lead teacher aide Yolanda Woods, who works with the troop.

“We’re teaching them Christmas isn’t about receiving; it’s about giving,” she said.

The Hope Institute Girl Scouts Troop 6658 meets twice a month and members have earned badges associated with recreation, animals and art. In January, the students are expected to undergo first aid training. Currently, students are . . . → Read More: Hope Girl Scouts Learn Social Skills

Bernie’s Book Bank Promotes Reading


Reading is an invaluable skill that helps students to be successful learners. It also helps young people explore their imagination and creativity.

To ensure students are given the best shot at success, The Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago has partnered for the past three years with a nonprofit that provides each child it serves with 12 free books a year.

Bernie’s Book Bank works to increase book ownership among at-risk children in the Chicago area. The new and gently-used books that students receive can be read at home and shared with family members in an effort to increase . . . → Read More: Bernie’s Book Bank Promotes Reading

Hope Students Plan Thanksgiving Celebration

Students at The Hope Institute are encouraged to live as independently as possible. That means students are urged to complete tasks on their own and take initiative to gain self-esteem in their journey to become productive members of society.

In keeping with that focus, a group of teenagers and young adults planned a Thanksgiving party that was held Friday, Nov. 21 at Capital Area Career Center in Springfield. Staff members had organized a Halloween party a month prior, but this time it was the students who approached teachers with plans to hold a celebration in honor of Turkey Day.

Students chose . . . → Read More: Hope Students Plan Thanksgiving Celebration

Ambassadors of Hope Induct 2015 Class


On December 2, The Hope Institute’s men’s giving group, The Ambassadors of Hope, inducted its 2015 class of new Ambassadors during a reception at the Illinois Executive Mansion. We want to thank our Ambassadors, who dress to impress and work throughout the year to support the children of Hope. . . . → Read More: Ambassadors of Hope Induct 2015 Class

HILA After-school Program Expands Student Horizons

For many students at The Hope Institute Learning Academy in Chicago, learning continues after the final school bell. That’s because students attending this year’s after-school program are studying martial arts, music, culture and even creative writing to develop interest in the arts.

“This highly interactive programming aids in student development and helps our young learners appreciate the diverse world we live in,” said HILA Principal Mike Jakubowski.

Students participating in a performance literature workshop are studying the works of legendary
American poet Shel Silverstein, whose popular poems include “Whatif” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” The fourth and fifth graders in . . . → Read More: HILA After-school Program Expands Student Horizons

Youth Council Builds Leadership Skills

Citizens are often required to speak on behalf of young people with special needs to ensure their needs are met.

At Hope, we believe it’s important to also provide the opportunities and platforms for our students to advocate for themselves. One way students accomplish this is through Hope’s Youth Council, which was established in 2007 as a way to allow students’ voices to be heard.

“We’re giving students the chance to tell us what they want,” said Greg Brown, co-chair of Hope’s Human Rights Committee, which works to protect student rights. “Students become empowered and gain vital skills to increase their independence . . . → Read More: Youth Council Builds Leadership Skills

Hopeful Futures Halloween

It’s the one day of the year that you can find a fluffy giraffe, Egyptian pharaoh and a football referee all in the same room.

Those were just a few of the costumes Hope students wore to celebrate Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31, during a party held in the gym of the Administration Building in Springfield. The gym was decorated with flying bats made of paper, haunted trees and even spooky skeletons. The annual event featured games, face painting, balloon sculptures, refreshments, and of course, music.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students to socialize with one another and to . . . → Read More: Hopeful Futures Halloween

Parent Nights Sponsored by The Hope Institute


The Hope Institute for Children and Families is hosting a series of Parent Nights beginning in November 2014 and running through May 2015. Each event will be held at the Noll Medical Pavilion in Suite 2500 from 6:30—8:30 and parents are welcome to bring their children! . . . → Read More: Parent Nights Sponsored by The Hope Institute

Students Cashing in on Programs that Reward Good Behavior


Students at the Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago are cashing in on a program that rewards their good behavior.

The young learners receive “Hawk Bucks” when staff members spot them engaging in good conduct, which includes listening, maintaining good manners and following directions. The bucks can later be redeemed at the school store for school supplies, games or toys. Students who save up $500 “Hawk Bucks” can receive larger rewards, such as a Nerf basketball hoop, doll stroller or a remote control monster truck.

“The program serves as a fun, engaging way to teach our students appropriate school behaviors . . . → Read More: Students Cashing in on Programs that Reward Good Behavior

Fall Fest Thrills Hope Students and Families

Sometimes the most powerful superheroes are children.

That’s why dozens of Hope students dressed up in capes, masks and crime-fighting costumes at the annual Fall Festival Open House event Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Learning Center in Springfield. This year’s “Superhero” theme showcased just how much Hope students inspire the residents in our local community.

Festivities kicked off with a parent forum, which allowed students’ relatives to meet with Hope staff members to learn more about Hope’s policies and procedures. Later, guests toured the school and visited classrooms, including music therapy and art. Families were treated to lunch in the . . . → Read More: Fall Fest Thrills Hope Students and Families