Friday, June 1, 2012

Community Christian Alternative Academy!

Community Christian Alternative Academy, 1231 South Pulaski Road, has become a green laboratory linking components of the food chain in an ecological project promoting new commercial opportunities, developing local food sources, and encouraging environmental sustainability. The school’s Executive Director, Dr. Myra Sampson, explains that the ideas developed when a law firm in the Loop donated a 525-gallon aquarium to the school. Instead of stocking it with tropical fish, she decided to raise yellow perch, a species of fish native to Lake Michigan, but almost extinct in the wild today. She gets the fish from a farm in Wisconsin, but was warned that they do not breed well in captivity. The school also has a 150-gallon tank and two 40-gallon tanks used for raising Tilapia, a popular food fish that mates prolifically in captivity, and pacu, a fish in the piranha family.
    Connected to the large aquarium is a feeder tank where aquatic plants are raised as food for the fish. Students and teachers care for the fish and the component fish food tanks and connected crop beds. Because this aspect of green science is so new, there are few experts or instructional manuals to reference for guidance. In fact, Rosemarie Markopoulos, the school’s Environmental Coordinator, says, “This is all still a new art rather than a pure science.”
    Part of the experimentation is maintaining the optimum climate for the fish. Tilapia like the water warm, but perch like it cold. The pH of the water needs to be balanced as well between acid and alkali. The students test the water and keep it regulated between 6.5 and 8.5 in the neutral range.
    But, the staff and student hydroponic and aquaponic farmers are working green. Instead of regulating pH with chemicals and fertilizing crops with chemical treatments, everything is being adjusted naturally at the approximate level of two plants per pound of fish.
    As the fish and plant waste are filtered out of the aquariums, they are used to feed and fertilize the crop beds of lettuce and basil, instead of using commercial fertilizer. The plant beds are watered and fed from the aquariums and grow under special lighting. Waste from the vegetable beds are fed to the fish and used for compost and mulch to grow the next generations of vegetables.
    Community Christian Academy operates the CSW Career Academy with a culinary arts program next door, so the food chain continues with the fish being cooked and served by students, along with the vegetables, herbs, and spices being raised in the school. Outdoor grow beds have been built behind the school to raise additional crops. Alderman Michael Chandler arranged for the city to give the school ten vacant lots in North Lawndale to be developed for aquaponic and hydroponic urban gardens. The city of Chicago is conducting soil tests to ensure the safety of raising food crops for people to eat. The city is also interested in partnering with Community Christian Academy in developing solutions to urban food deserts. Extra produce raised on the urban farm plots will be given to the community, according to Dr. Sampson. She says the school’s next project is launching vermiculture – worm farms to enrich and aerate the soil for the crops.
    CCA students recently participated in the city’s Green Festival at Navy Pier, letting people everywhere know that North Lawndale is leading the way in going green!


Our Heavenly Father expects us to be honest and have integrity in all we do - at all time.  The enemy wants us to lie, cheat, steal, etc.  Father God nor the accuser of our brethren (Satan) does not miss anything. God watches over us and how we handle situations, so he can bless us more.  The enemy (Satan) on the other hands watches us so he can steal from us (steal our blessings).  An example of dishonesty - has a cashier accidentally ever given us back more money than we were due? Did we inform them of the mistake?  If we did not, that is being dishonest.  Another example - have we ever found a purse or wallet with money in it and not returned everything (especially the money) to its rightful owner?  If we did not return it - this is also being dishonest, just to mention a few.  Did we somehow think in these situations that God was somehow blessing us when we got more money back than was due us?  If this is what we thought, we are indeed mistaken.  This was not a blessing, but a test.  Sometimes things are put in our path to see if we will remain honest and full of integrity. (Reference Proverb 20:7).
     We have to be honest at all time.  Our heavenly Father expects no less from us.  There are many other ways that we could be dishonest.  For example, do we purposefully tell someone we are going to do something – knowing quite well we have no intentions of keeping that promise.  For instance, saying we would stop bye and visit when we know that we would not or that we would give them some money – knowing that we could not.  These are indeed lies and not white lies.  There are no white lies in God’s book.  Lying is lying per God’s Holy book (the Bible).
     We expect God to be true to His word and He expects no less from us.  We have to say what we mean and mean what we say.  It does not have to be said in a bad  way.  For example, if we cannot make an appointment – just apologize and say, I would love to but sorry I can not attend.  Rather than saying, of course I will be there – knowing that you have no intentions of being there.  Other areas of dishonesty are when someone tells you a secret and you promise not to tell anyone.  And then before that person gets around the corner – you are telling someone what they just told you.  This is very wrong.  If someone tells you something and tells you not to tell anyone, please don’t tell anyone.  To tell someone will lack integrity and God expects His children to be full of integrity.
     Also, other examples of dishonesty are being unfaithful to a spouse.  God expects us to honor our marriage vows completely at all times – no cheating at all (no excuses).  The enemy sets us up for failure – putting temptations in our path.  But God expects us to resist temptations and stay true to Him and our spouse.  He is always true to us. All sins that we commit are against God. When we treat our brethren ungodly – we are also sinning against Almighty God. 
     We can lose or compromise our blessings when we are unloyal and dishonest. And these blessings that we can lose come in so many ways - for example good health, long life, financial blessings, good jobs, promotions, etc.  Please don’t compromise what God is trying to give us - by being dishonest.  Sometimes, people wonder why they have been praying for something for some long, but have not received it.  Ask God in prayer is there something that you could be doing or not doing that is blocking or prolonging your blessings?   Be true to Him and ourselves – always walk a life of integrity and honesty and good things will follow us.  God blesses those that honor His word and refuse to compromise the truth.  Be Honest and full of integrity at all time. 
Thanks and God bless. 

For Prayer support, please call (630) 615-1693.  Jesus loves you and so do I.  In the vineyard for Christ, Apostle/Prophet E. Dada


ChildServ is offering a Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) to parents of children aged 0-2 in the Austin, Lawndale, Humboldt Park, Englewood, and Washington Park communities. A home-based early intervention and prevention service, PEP helps children become better prepared for preschool and teaches parents how to be better advocates for their children in the areas of education, health, and social services.
    Through individual home visits and group activities, educators teach families how to develop their children’s physical, mental, social, emotional, language development and problem solving skills.
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, children living in major urban areas like Chicago face dramatically higher risk factors than other children and require more attention and support from their parents in order to succeed. The PEP program connects parents and children to community resources and helps create a support system through monthly events, group meetings, and field trips.
    To learn more about the HIPPY program or additional program offerings, call ChildServ at 773/693-0300.
Preschool Readiness Program for At-Risk Chicago Families
    ChildServ is pleased to offer Chicagoland parents of at-risk children an early school readiness program geared to help children succeed in school. Serving children ages 3-5, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youth (HIPPY) provides parents with the tools, skills, and confidence needed to serve as their child’s primary educator. Assisting the families of Austin, Humboldt Park, and Englewood, HIPPY provides families with the in-home services of professional educators trained in teaching parents how to help their children succeed in school and beyond.
    With 90% of parents enrolled in last year’s program reporting they learned new ways to become a better parent, the HIPPY program is looking to assist more families in at-risk Chicago communities for the 2012 year. Parents will receive free books and educational materials to complete lessons. To learn more about the HIPPY program or additional program offerings, call ChildServ at 773/867-7305.

Frederick Douglass High School Teacher Of the Year Award

Mrs. Zeinab Abubakee is presented the Frederick Douglass High School Teacher of the year Award by Catherine Jones, President of the Douglass PTSA, and Joan Leach, PTSA Membership Chairperson. (Photo by Brad)

Officers & Members of the Frederick Douglass High School Parent Teacher Student Association holds its annual Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon. Shown are: Catherine Jones, Pres.; Roberta Wilson; Tierra Clark; Hillery Young; Joan Leach; and Larrella Scaggs. (Photo by Brad)

Chance Ministries Celebrates 7th Anniversary Of Chance Ministries

First Lady Belinda Martin leads the congregation & guests in celebrating the 7th Anniversary of Chance Ministries. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

Rev. William L. Martin, Sr., Pastor of Chance Ministries, 305 N. Cicero Ave., introduces Pastor T.L. Barrett of Life Center COGIC, guest speaker for the 7th Anniversary celebration climax May 6. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

Rev. William Martin, Sr. & First Lady Belinda Martin with Loretta Ellis & ministers with Pastor T.L. Barrett & First Lady Cleo Barrett at Chance Ministries’ 7th Anniversary celebration. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

Gearing Up For Graduation!

By Executive Director Bonnie Johnson
    If there is one universal truth in the recovery community it is that no one ever really graduates from recovery.  They might complete treatment, training programs, or schooling, but the path of substance abuse recovery is a lifetime journey that requires constant diligence.  That being said, the arduous and structured program that SisterHouse residents complete is one that deserves recognition and accolades.  The three phase “Recovery is Possible” program that we offer here is part of the educational ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  Any educational accomplishment is appropriately celebrated with a graduation ceremony.  Similar to more traditional educational models, what is learned at SisterHouse is best when implemented into the practical experience of life. 

Thinking back to those math classes I resented back in school and the resounding “when are we ever going to use this?!” question that I kept arguing, only today with Quickbooks profit and loss reports I must admit all those lessons have been crucial.  Even more so are the lessons learned at SisterHouse.  I dare anyone to share a home with 20 women and not learn about conflict resolution, compromise, compassion, and community.  Upon completing our program, residents have acquired at least one year of sobriety, which means they have learned to deal with life on life’s terms, to suit up and show up even on the days they didn’t want to, and to take actions contrary to the way they feel.  So we congratulate the next group of SisterHouse alumnae who shall emerge as leaders in their families and communities and come back to remind the next group of residents that hope remains through all the challenges and strife.

For more information on SisterHouse’s services for women or donation and service opportunities, or to purchase tickets to our upcoming events, please visit

Family Over Each Other Annual Easter Basket Giveaway

The entire community came out to support Catina White (known as Mz Diva) and the staff of Family Over Each Other in giving out over 800 Easter Baskets. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)(Left)

Everyone joins the Easter Bunny and Mz Diva’s Family Over Each Other for the 2nd Annual Easter Basket giveaway. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)(Bottom)

Morton School

Members of the Morton School of Excellence winning Scholastic Spectacular team show off their trophy. (top)

Excited Ryerson students are ready to compete in the 2nd Annual YMCA Scholastic Spectacular at the Chicago History Museum.(Right )

Eight students from Morton School of Excellence, 431 North Troy, beat back challenges from six schools in a 2-round sudden-death trivia contest. Teams consisted of eight students each from 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The schools competing were: May Community Academy, Ryerson Elementary, Libby Elementary & Middle School, Oglesby Elementary, and Whistler Elementary.
    This is the 2nd annual Scholastic Spectacular hosted by the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. It was a night of trivia and entertainment from participants of its Community Schools Initiative. The event was held in the auditorium of the Chicago History Museum. The Morton Step Team also performed after each semi-final round.

Report From The Alderman!

Celebrating the Artistic Talents of a Local 37th Ward HOWE School Student – Javonte Guyton

    Each and every single day in Chicago, we hear negative news stories about young people and students of the Chicago Public Schools. Well this is not one of those days. Today we are celebrating the artistic talents of one of the 37th Ward’s very own 7th grade students - - Mr. Javonte Guyton.
Why are we highlighting this young man today? Because through the strategic use of his love of drawing and art-related pursuits, he is being honored by the HOWE SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE, located at 720 North Lorel, at a special award ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the school auditorium. Through the encouragement of his art teacher, who recognized the depth of his artistic ability – he won the first place prize in an art contest sponsored by United Stationers and the Boise Paper Company. He has won a $5,000 donation to his school, HOWE elementary, from the sponsors and equally important - - his winning designs will appear on the packaging of their paper products in Chicago, the Midwest and across the United States!!!
Pretty impressive for a local 7th grader, isn’t it? He deserves the highest accolades and best wishes for even greater future success! Well done Javonte! He has two siblings who also attend HOWE, a twin brother and a sister, an 8th grader who will be graduating this June. His parents should be justifiably very, very proud. I will be there to cheer this young man and to emphasize to ALL the HOWE students and students throughout the 37th Ward of one simple fact - - it is Cool to Perform Well in School!!
Mark Your Calendars Get Ready to Set Sail on the Saturday, June 8, 2012 for the The ANNUAL 37th Ward ‘All White at Midnight Birthday Party Cruise’. This exciting and fun-filled evening will board at Navy Pier on the Mystic Blue. Tell your friends and family and join me, Emma Mitts. You don’t want to miss will be there for the kick-off festivities! Interested and want to know more? Call us at 773.889.1854. We will look to see you there!!!

Need a service or have a question? Contact my ward office at 773-745-2894, or send an email: