“Zoom was fun but I like to see you all for real,” said one of the preschoolers at the start of the Spring Session of the Stickney Township Pre-K program. Another had missed her teachers and playing with Play-Doh, saying “Mommy doesn’t like Play-Doh.”
Stickney Township 3 to 5 year olds returned for the in-person Stickney Township Pre-K Program in mid-January, a continuation of the Fall program. The programs have been offered free of charge to Township residents during the Pandemic.
“In a continuing effort to help residents effected by the pandemic, knowing that many have limited options for their children, the Board of Trustees and I have continued to offer these programs at no cost,” according to Township Supervisor Louis S. Viverito. Fees for the program were dropped at the start of the program in the Fall.
According to Dawn J. Yanez, Lead Program Manager, adhering to COVID health and safety guidelines includes limiting class size to 10 students each. Additionally, following a strict set of protocols while providing educational experiences limits COVID-19 exposure. Four classes are currently being offered on a schedule that allows for room cleaning and sanitizing between class meetings.
“During this pandemic we all know that things are not the same as before, but we are doing our best to keep all of our children safe and at the same time allow them to be themselves,” explains Yanez. “We have implemented new policies and protocols at both locations on a daily basis. It makes my heart happy to see all the children having such a wonderful time all while being safe."
The current protocols include taking Children’s temperature daily before entering the program, wearing masks when not eating or drinking, regular hand washing, and social distancing. In addition, children no longer share toys or supplies. Each child has their own supply bag and a container of toys they are allowed to play with which are immediately cleaned and sanitized after play.
"It's been challenging getting used to all the changes, but not impossible,” adds Program Manager Lizeth Rangel. “We have the opportunity to have in-person learning which is a wonderful thing. We are very thankful for the trust of our community and we will continue to provide a little bit of "normal" to our children. There is no other place I would rather be."
The program promotes kindergarten readiness and is designed to help children learn through play. Play helps children develop communication, social, physical, problem-solving and creative skills. Themes are centered around letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Games, puzzles, and many other creative toys and art materials are used to explore different ways for children to play and learn.
This guidance is in alignment with the State of Illinois, and in accordance with public health science. It will take effect Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 at 6 a.m., and will last at least 30 days.
“Now more than ever, we must come together to stay apart,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, CCDPH Senior Medical Officer and Co-Lead. “We know limiting gatherings with friends and family can be hard, but we also know that virtual celebrations will save lives.”
“In the face of increasing infections, we need to promote more testing, not less, to identify new cases and interrupt further transmission,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Given that asymptomatic individuals have been linked to virus spread, we will maintain our more stringent guidance to support testing of any Illinois resident who thinks they may have been exposed, as well as asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases 5-7 days post exposure.”
The recent change in federal guidelines on COVID-19 testing does not recommend asymptomatic individuals who come into close contact with a confirmed case be tested for the deadly virus. Many individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have not reported having symptoms. However, scientific studies have proven that those individuals are still able to spread the disease to family, friends, and members of their community who may become sick and require medical attention and even hospitalization, especially for those with underlying health conditions. Illinois will continue advising anyone who comes into close contact with a confirmed case be tested.
There are almost 300 testing sites in Illinois, including 11 state operated community-based testing sites and 12 mobile testing teams that collect specimens at facilities experiencing outbreaks (such as nursing homes and correctional centers) and areas around the state reporting increased cases. Additionally, IDPH is deploying its Wellness on Wheels mobile unit to hotspots around the state to work with local health providers to collect specimens. Testing at state operated sites is at no cost to the individual, as are several other sites. More information about locations, times, and requirements can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing.
Please visit www.stickneypublichealthdistrict.org for the latest information on COVID-19. It is imperative that we all follow social distancing rules, wash your hands frequently and if you are sick stay home.
According to the EPA, Stickney Township is using about 1,904,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, providing residents in the aggregation program 100 percent green energy. The EPA requires partners to meet at least 25 percent of the Stickney Township’s electricity use. This green power comes from wind, solar and other renewable sources. By using renewable energy and setting this goal, Stickney Township is helping advance the voluntary market for green power and development of those sources.
“This is a huge honor and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Township Supervisor Louis Viverito. “Using green power helps our community lower its emissions footprint, while also sending a message to others across the country that green power is an affordable, accessible choice.”
By moving the needle in the voluntary green power market, Stickney Township and other Green Power Partners are helping to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain, and regional haze. Together, Green Power Partners are collectively using more green power annually than the electricity consumed by Montana and Utah combined.
Under the leadership of Supervisor Viverito, Stickney Township has used its energy consultant, Illinois Energy Aggregation LLC (IEA) to solicit quotes for the township’s residential aggregation program and the electricity supply for the township’s own buildings. IEA Managing Member Robert Streit praised Supervisor Viverito’s vision and the entire board’s commitment to green energy.
“Supervisor Viverito had a vision for 100 percent green energy and the entire board of Trustees was committed to not only using green energy at the township’s facilities but also providing this product to the residents to allow homeowners and small businesses to be part of protecting the environment for future generations,” said Streit.
Streit also thanked Eligo Energy, which is the alternative retail supplier of the green energy for the township’s aggregation program and the building supply. “Eligo has been a great provider for the township,” stated Streit. Officials from both IEA and Eligo presented a Certificate of Partnership to Supervisor Viverito and the Stickney Township Board on Monday, January 27th at a Township Board Meeting.
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has almost 1,500 Partners voluntarily using more than 60 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.
Township Supervisor Louis S. Viverito recognized Veterans of our Armed Services during the 2019 Stickney Township Salute to Veterans Event held last December at the LSV Senior Center and at the Township's North Clinic building.
Veterans were encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia from their time in the service.
Children from the Township Pre-K program distributed thank you cards they made for the Veterans.
Township Supervisor Louis S. Viverito looks on as children from the Pre-K program at North perform patriotic songs for the Veterans.
Township Supervisor Louis S. Viverito was joined by Township Trustee Louise Zelinski and Township Trustee Frank Pajak for the Stickney Salute to Veterans Event at the North Clinic Building.
Stickney Township elected officials joined staff in distributing informational material, along with tee shirts and ice cream, to promote township services during the 2019 Township Day.
Stickney Township Supervisor Louis S. Viverito greeted area families at the annual event.
A Truck Rodeo featured Township service vehicles and an opportunity for kids to see them from a different point of view.
Blood pressure and blood tests were available from the Stickney Township Public Health Department. Township Clerk Hector Cesario is pictured getting his check up.
Complete the needs assessment survey HERE.
The Stickney Township Public Health District has been notified that NCHS personnel will be conducting the survey in Southern Cook County starting April 28, 2019 through July 4, 2019. A sample of about 627 people from the area will be asked to participate. Data is collected through household interviews and standardized medical examinations in a survey mobile examination center.
The sample for the survey is selected to represent the U.S. population of all ages. To produce reliable statistics, NHANES oversamples people 60 and over, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics.
Since the United States has experienced dramatic growth in the number of older people during this century, the aging population has major implications for health care needs, public policy, and research priorities. NCHS is working with public health agencies to increase the knowledge of the health status of older Americans. NHANES has a primary role in this endeavor.
All participants visit the physician. Dietary interviews and body measurements are included for everyone. All but the very young have a blood sample taken and will see the dentist. Depending upon the age of the participant, the rest of the examination includes tests and procedures to assess the various aspects of health listed above. In general, the older the individual, the more extensive the examination.
NHANES is designed to facilitate and encourage participation. Transportation is provided to and from the mobile centers if necessary. Participants each receive compensation and a report of their medical findings. All information collected in the survey is kept confidential. Privacy is protected by public laws. More information can be found on the cdc website here.