Oak Park Community Update: September 2019

Below is the latest news, information and updates from our community partners, including the Collaboration for Early Childhood, the Oak Park Education Foundation, OPRF High School, the Oak Park Public Library, the Oak Park Township, the Park District of Oak Park and the Village of Oak Park.

District 200

Community Information Meetings on Freshman Curriculum Restructuring*

All community members are welcome, whether or not you have students at the following schools:

1. OPRF High School: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

2. Brooks Middle School: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

3. Roosevelt Middle School: Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

4. Julian Middle School: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

*To increase access to honors level coursework for all students, in 2021-2022 the high school will switch to a single curriculum for freshman English, science, history, and world languages. All students in these classes will have the opportunity to earn honors credit. Click here for an FAQ and links to research studies.

Collaboration for Early Childhood

Welcome to Fatherhood

This is a free men’s group for father’s and caregivers with children five and younger. Through facilitated discussion, Welcome to Fatherhood, Inc. helps men gain the skills necessary to better impact themselves and their families. The group meets twice a month from 6-8:30 pm at 847 Madison St. Interested participants can read more on this Facebook event or sign up by emailing [email protected] or sign up using this Google form.

Early Childhood Resource Fair

Another free opportunity for local families with children birth to age 5 to be held Saturday, October 26, from 10 am to1 pm at the Oak Park Public LIbrary, 834 lake St., Oak Park. Learn about a variety of early childhood community resources. Enjoy activities, raffles and more! Presented by The Collaboration for Early Childhood's Parenting Resource Program Partners.

Oak Park Public Library

New! Podcast Series at The Wild Onion: Let's Talk About Podcasts

Enjoy listening to podcasts and eager to discuss your favorite? Then Let's Talk About Podcasts is for you! We will meet every other month at Wild Onion Tied House (1111 South Blvd., Oak Park) and discuss a specific podcast each time.

  • “The Dropout,” September 25, 7-8:30 pm. The ABC Radio podcast "The Dropout" follows the story about Elizabeth Holmes as she tries to conquer Silicon Valley by any means necessary through her company Theranos. It is a fascinating tale of when ambition and greed goes wrong. Here's what ABC Radio has to say about it: "Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as 'the next Steve Jobs' find herself facing criminal charges—to which she pleaded not guilty—and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? A three-year investigation. Hosted by ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis." Listen to "The Dropout" now: http://abcradio.com/podcasts/the-dropout
  • “The Dream,” November 20, 7-8 pm. The podcast "The Dream" dives into the world of pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing business plans and how it affects communities. Here's what Podtail, a site that lets you find and listen to new and interesting podcasts from all over the world directly in your browser or phone, has to say about it: "What if we told you that with zero experience and only a few hundred dollars down, this podcast could change your life? Well, we’d be lying. This season on 'The Dream,' Jane Marie dives into the world of pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, and all the other businesses that require their members to recruit their nearest and dearest in hopes of a commission. Join us as we trace the path of get-rich schemes from Jane’s roots in rural Michigan all the way to the White House." Listen to "The Dream" now: https://podtail.com/podcast/the-dream

New! Discussion Series: Hemingway in the 21st Century

This six-part discussion series is based on Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories. It will feature guest speakers discussing specific short stories and interrelated topics of today. In partnership with the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. Learn more at hemingwaybirthplace.com.

  • 6:30-7 pm: Wine and beverage service
  • 7-8 pm: Story discussion with guest speakers
  • 8-8:30 pm: Craft talk
  • Locations vary by date; see below.
  • October 17, Maze Branch: “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”: Loneliness, War & Mental Health. Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas, Writer, Professor of Language Arts, Morton College and Laura Young, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department and Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park Writer in Residence
  • November 14, Maze Branch: “A Moveable Feast”: The Ex-Pat Life in the 1920s. Paris Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas, Writer, Professor of Language Arts, Morton College and David W. Berner, Author, Journalist, Associate Professor Columbia College
  • February 20, 2020, Main Library: “Fathers & Sons”: Family Relations, Inheritance & Hyper/Toxic Masculinity in Hemingway’s America. James Bell, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department and Theatre Director and Cameron Gearen, Author and Former Writer in Residence
  • March 19, 2020, Maze Branch: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”: Gender Roles, Art & Patronage, Truth, Lies & Hemingway’s Fiction. Michelle E. Moore, Ph.D. Professor, English, The College of Dupage and Mary Claire Childers, Adjunct Professor, English, College of DuPage
  • April 23, 2020, Main Library: “The Killers”: Violence, Racism & Boyhood Innocence. Michelle E. Moore, PhD, Professor, English, The College of DuPage and Steve Gevinson, Oak Park and River Forest High School, Former English Division Head
  • May 14, 2020, Main Library: “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Ernie and Scott’s Fraught Relationship. Vincent Francone, Professor of English, Roosevelt University and Paul Noble, Oak Park and River Forest High School English Department

Oak Park Township

Oak Park Township Accepting Applications for Three Committees: Youth Services, Senior Services, Community Mental Health Board

Residents interested in serving on the Youth Services, Senior Services, or Community Mental Health Board committees are invited to submit an application to Oak Park Township, 105 S. Oak Park Avenue either in person, by email to [email protected], or via fax at 708-383-8062. More information and the applications are at https://oakparktownship.org/2019/09/volunteers-sought-for-oak-park-township-committees/

Marijuana Town Hall Meeting October 2

The League of Women Voters and Positive Youth Development are hosting a community discussion about the new recreational marijuana legislation which goes into effect January 1, 2020.  The event will be at Percy Julian Middle School, 416, S. Ridgeland Avenue, on Wednesday, October 2, from 7pm – 8:30 pm.

Job Fair October 3

25 companies will be at the River Forest Community Center, 8020 Madison Street, room 206, on Thursday, October 3 from 10 am to 1 pm. Job-seekers are invited to bring a resume to this event.  Sponsored by Oak Park Township’s General Assistance Department and Goodwill.

Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 to December 7

Senior citizens and individuals with disabilities seeking assistance with enrollment in their Medicare Part D prescription plan can schedule an appointment through the Oak Park Township Senior Services’ Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). The enrollment period begins on October 15 and is open until December 7. This time period is an opportunity to make changes to a current Part D or Medicare Advantage prescription plan. Beneficiaries in the Medicare program can call (708) 383-8060 to make an appointment with a SHIP Counselor to review their existing coverage and select a drug plan that meets their individual needs. If you would like a SHIP counselor to be able to run current or future comparisons for you, please provide a username and password. Your SHIP counselor can help you create a new account (password) through https://www.mymedicare.gov. Please bring a copy of the Medicare card as well as a list of prescriptions including the monthly quantity and dosage. Please call (708) 383-8060 and make an appointment prior to open enrollment.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) begins October 1

Qualifying individuals in a household with an older adult aged 60+ or individuals receiving Social Security Disability Benefits are eligible to apply for LIHEAP starting Tuesday, October 1. Qualifying individuals with one or more disconnected utilities or with children age 5 and under may apply beginning November 1, and all eligible low-income households may apply beginning December 3. Please call (708) 383-8060 to make an appointment with an Intake Specialist. Documents and requirements may be found at http://www.cedaorg.net.

National Prescription Take Back Day October 26

Oak Park Township will be collecting unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication on Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 1 pm at 105 S. Oak Park Ave. Please dispose of prescriptions in their original package and liquids and hypodermic needles will not be accepted. 

Oak Park and River Forest Township Senior Services Events in October

  • Bingo Wednesdays at 10:20 a.m.
  • Movie Mondays at 11:45 a.m.
  • Memory Café - 10/15 – 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Blood Pressure presentation - 10/2 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Rules of the Road Class – 10/9; 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Tips to Keep Your Lungs Healthy – 10/17 – 11:30 a.m.

Park District of Oak Park

Fall Fest

Fall Fest is coming up on September 29 from 11 am to 2 pm. This free event held at Rehm Park and the Oak Park Conservatory features tractor-driven hayrides, games and activities, a pumpkin patch, food vendors and much more. For more details visit pdop.org.

Fall Harvest Market & Bulb Sale

Rare-to-find naturalizing and perennial favorite bulbs will be featured at the annual Fall Harvest Market including Tulips, Hyacinths, Alliums Fritillaria and more. Here’s your chance to shop local to find all of your favorite bulbs as well as unique fall decorating items. Sale starts September 20 at the Oak Park Conservatory and continues throughout the month while supplies last. Please visit oakparkconservatory.org for more information.

Frank Lloyd Wright Races

There is still time to register for Oak Park’s premier race event. The Frank Lloyd Wright Races will be held on October 20 featuring the 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk and the Youth Mile. Get more details and learn about street closings on race morning due to the racecourse at FLWRaces.com.

Fright at Night

Buy your tickets now for the Oak Park Conservatory’s Fright at Night event. The “Bootanical” Conservatory promises to serve up tricks, treats and Halloween fun. Mark your calendar for October 18 and visit pdop.org to reserve your spot.

Village of Oak Park

Nominations Sought for Community Awards

These annual awards recognize efforts by organizations, individuals and businesses to improve Oak Park through property preservation, sustainability and accessibility. Included this year is a new Aging in Place Awards category recognizing businesses and organizations that provide extraordinary accessibility for older residents and their families. Find more information and links to the nomination at www.oak-park.us/2019awards.

The Oak Park Fire Department's Open House is on Saturday, Oct. 5. Oak Parkers young, old and in between will be able to get up close to the equipment, tour the fire house and talk to the firefighter/paramedics who help keep the community safe during the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Main Station at 100 N. Euclid Ave. For more information, visit www.oak-park.us/fireopenhouse2019.

The Village is partnering with the Oak Park Township, Oak Park Public Library and Park District of Oak Park on a new initiative to have Oak Park designated as a Dementia Friendly Community by the non-profit organization Dementia Friendly America. To get the process underway in Oak Park, the Village’s Aging in Place Commission will host a kickoff meeting from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 17 at the Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave. The focus of the meeting will be to bring the public and community leaders together to learn about and discuss dementia and develop an action plan for the future. More information is at www.oak-park.us/dementiafriendly.

The Oak Park Department of Public Health has joined agencies across the state in adopting and promoting programs to help prevent opioid abuse. Local services available include medication lockboxes, safe drug disposal options and information on treatment options. More information is at www.oak-park.us/opioidprevention.