Club E.L.L.I.S. graduation set for May 25

Ellis students (kindergarten through third grade) are going to graduate at 5 p.m., Friday, May 25, at Ellis Arts Academy. These young students have gone through “The Way to Peace” program.

Club E.L.L.I.S. stands for Educating Little Leaders in Solutions. The students have completed 35 weeks of classroom instruction and civic engagement through community projects. They have accomplished two hours of character education, four hours a week of tutoring, two hours a week of art classes, three hours a week of self-expression through the arts, and seven hours a week of civic engagement to reinforce classroom projects and studies.

“The Way to Peace Project” is a character education program that helps students understand their own habit of thoughts and deeds and provides them the skills to make positive decisions concerning themselves and others. They learn their choices can lead to positive results or negative consequences. By making self-control a part of the students’ character, they develop values that will help them develop into stable citizens that benefit society. Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school and community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.

“The Way to Peace Project,” sponsored by Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., provides agencies, educational institutions, nonprofits and correctional facilities with complete programs that encompass a universal code of moral conduct, tailored for use in any conflict resolutions, anger management, leadership, job readiness and team building.

The Winnebago County Health Department, supported by a grant from the Barber-Colman Management Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, provided $10,000 to CCS, Inc., to cover costs of the Club E.L.L.I.S. project and the activities outlined for the school year 2006 through 2007.

After the graduation ceremony, Ellis School will hold its annual fun fair from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

As of April 27 the overall referrals of Ellis Arts Academy were reduced by 42 percent compared to the two previous years with a decrease in the targeted areas as follows:

a. Disrespect: 72 percent decrease

b. Aggravated Fight: 60 percent decrease

c. Inappropriate Language: 77 percent decrease

d. Disruption: 92 percent decrease

e. Skipping/Truancy: 97 percent decrease

These targeted areas made up 83 percent of Ellis’ referrals for the past two school years prior to The Way to Peace Project being implemented. The targeted areas outlined above directly affect student academics and were thus the reason for primary focus.

“The Way to Peace Project” is seeking funds to carry this program on to the 2007-2008 school year. For more information about how to support this project, contact Kerry Knodle at (815) 963-6236.

from the May 23-29, 2007, issue

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