Archive for Middle School

Guest Post – Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out – By Frank Lawson

Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out

By Frank Lawson,


Summer is the time for fun and relaxation for your teens, but it can also be the time for engaging in risky behavior. Thanks to the ample free time and minimal supervision that teens enjoy over the summer months, many adolescents find themselves in troubling situations they don’t encounter during the school year.

Every day during summer vacation, 11,000 teens drink alcohol for the first time, 5,000 have their first taste of nicotine, and 4,500 try marijuana. This is a huge jump from school year rates, so make sure you talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol before the last school bell rings. You might feel like your words of caution will have little impact, but statistics show that teens who believe their parents disapprove of substance use are less likely to experiment.

Summer break is also the most dangerous time for teen drivers — teens get into 16 percent more accidents and eight teens die every day during the 100 days following Memorial Day. Since nearly 60 percent of those accidents involve a distracted teen behind the wheel, institute strict rules for your teen drivers. Restrict them to one passenger at a time and take a zero tolerance approach to texting and driving.

One thing you shouldn’t take a zero tolerance policy on is underage drinking: While you don’t want your kids drinking before it’s legal, it’s more important to ensure they don’t drink and drive. Explain to your children that, despite your disapproval, you’ll pick them up if they ever need a safe ride home. That way, you can keep your teen from joining the 23 percent of teens who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

The good news? Teens are less likely to be a victim of assault during the summer months. However, physical violence against teens peaks when the school year begins, so summer break is a good time to talk to your child about conflict resolution, de-escalation, and when to turn to an authority figure.

Conception rates among teens also plummet during summer vacation. This makes summer the ideal time to broach the talk with your teen, since they’re less likely to be on the defensive. Be sure to cover consent, contraception, and healthy relationships so your child is prepared for what the next school year throws at them.

With these numbers, you’re probably wondering how you can keep your kids safe this summer without resorting to locking them indoors. The best strategy? Keep them busy. Teens who are occupied with fun extracurriculars and family activities are less likely to find themselves in trouble. However, getting teens busy over the summer can be a challenge. Teens can be restless, and toys and trips to the pool don’t quite entertain them like they used to.

Get your teens involved in summer camp for a structured activity and positive role models in the form of college-aged counselors. Camp will help regulate your teen’s schedule so they’re not staying up all night and sleeping all day, and it also keeps them learning so they face less of a struggle when classes resume. Whether you choose drop-in camp sessions, day camp, or sleepaway camp will depend on your family’s summer schedule and budget, but any option is a great way to keep your teen happy and out of trouble.

Volunteering may not be the most appealing option for your teen at first, but volunteering at the right organization can help your teens make friends, learn about potential careers, and build a resume that will impress college admissions officers. Look for opportunities with other engaged young people, like a nature trail clean-up day or peer tutoring program.

Plan family vacations. Time away and free from distractions can help you reconnect with your teen. Building a strong parent-child relationship is central to keeping your teen on the right path. It may also alert you to concerning behavior changes that you hadn’t noticed in your busy everyday life.

No matter what approach you take to keeping your children safe this summer, make sure you find time to talk to your teens about risky behavior, peer pressure, and how they can protect themselves.

Image via Unplash

Fleetwood-Jourdain Center – Valentine’s Day Party for Middle School – February 24

The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights – Register by February 15

Evanston Snowflake (Grades 6-8) – February 28 – Register Now!

Snowflake 2017 will take place Friday, February 24, 2017 at Chute Middle School.

Evanston middle school students have been living it up at Snowflake since 2001, when it was first held in our community.  Snowflake is an annual event that typically takes place in February.  The Evanston Snowflake event is part of a larger, statewide initiative, Operation Snowball, which is sponsored by the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health.

Snowflake 2017 will feature fun activities in small groups as well as performances by Imagination Theater that will focus on respect, peer pressure, self-esteem and communication.  Not only will the students watch the Imagination Theater performers, but they even have a chance to take part in the performance!  We will also feature The Leadershop Group, which is a high school group that uses skits, music, and dance, to address topics of relevance to their peers such as bullying, substance abuse, peer pressure, gossip, decision making, diversity and growing up.  During small group, each group is led by one Evanston Township High School student facilitator and one adult facilitator.  Small group activities are interactive and encourage students to discuss issues they face as middle school students.

For more information, please visit the website

Download registration form: Snowflake 2017 Brochure or register you middle school student online








All fifth-grade girls are invited to join the ETHS female student-athletes

and coaches at ETHS for a fun morning focused on the benefits of


In addition to playing sports and having fun, girls get a chance to meet

new friends from other grade schools who they’ll be joining as 6th

graders next year at their respective middle schools.

The GPS Festival is FREE for all 5th grade girls.

Read more

The Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards

The 39th Annual poetry contest will open for submissions in early January 2017. The submission deadline is March 13, 2017.  Submission rules and judging information.

Read more

Evanston Field Hockey Club – Winter Academy – REGISTER NOW











The Winter Academy 12-Weeks Session begins after the winter recess. Please see attached document for pertinent information.


Girls Play Sports – 4th – 8th Grade Winter Basketball Tournament – REGISTER NOW

January 4, 2017 – 9:00am at ETHS

clubgps_3cThis tournament will begin with a skills segment to ensure the proper fundamentals are
taught. Girls will register as individuals and then teams will be assembled to provide competitive
balance. Rules are implemented throughout the tournament to reinforce the importance of
proper fundamentals. This tournament consists of pool play, followed by a bracketed
tournament. The GPS Basketball Tournament will expand and deepen our girls’ connection and
interest in sports while giving them the hands-on experience to strengthen their confidence to

1. Visit the Girls Play Sports website at
2. Select “GPS Leagues and Tournaments” from the drop down menu.
3. Select “Basketball Tournament”, enter the required fields and click Submit.
4. You will receive a confirmation email with additional information before the first session.

If you are unable to register online, use this form: gps-basketball-tournament-registration-form2-2016-2017

Mother/Daughter Bellydance Workshop – December 4 – Register Now


Click here for more information and to register

Make Your Own Website Workshop for Girls – Sun. Nov. 13


Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences Workshop – Sun. Oct. 16

pt-conferencesEstablishing a rapport with your child’s teacher is a crucial partnership. When having limited time at a parent-teacher conference of 10 or 15 minutes you must prepare to get to the heart of the matter.

Join Felisha Parsons, Ed.D., for a few hours of unlocking the keys to a more meaningful parent- teacher conference. Learn to effectively navigate through the conference:

* Key questions that lead to answers
* Claim your presence and power
* Be an engaged participant
* Communicate your expectations
* Seal the collaborative partnership

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Where: Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster Street Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free & Open to Public
Light Refreshments Served

Badminton for Grades 4-8

Fall 2016

Badminton Classes
October 6-31, 2016
Beginner/Intermediate, Grades: 4 – 8, 6-7:30 pm
Intermediate, Grades: 8 – 12, 7:30-9pm
Fees: Mon. or Thur. (4 classes): $78 /
Mon. and Thur. (8 classes): $120

Badminton training for beginners and intermediate players. Learn how to grip, serve, net drop, drop shot, block, drive, clear, smash, footwork, and strategies for single and double. This program provides open court play, basic game practice, individual assessment/evaluation and opportunity to improve your badminton skills and game performance!
Sign up and come have some fun learning and practicing all the badminton shots from the serve to the smash!

Badminton Clinics
Thursday, Nov. 3rd, 2016
Grades: 4-8
Session 1: 6-7:30pm
Session 2: 7:30-9pm
Fee: $10/session
Badminton instructional Clinics for students who are interested in learning how to play Badminton.

Come have some fun learning the game of badminton.
Space is limited, sign up for one or both sessions today!

Badminton Information and Registration

September Programs for Families at EPL

A Bug's Life

Family Film and Craft @ Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch. A Bug’s Life. Saturday, September 3, 3pm, Chicago Avenue & Main Street Branch

Family Film and Craft @ Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch. The Angry Birds Movie.Saturday, September 17, 3 pm, Chicago Avenue & Main Street Branch

Register for September Storytimes

titleRegister for September Storytimes online, in person or by calling 847-448-8610

Main Children’s Room staff provide programs geared to children from 1 year olds through 5th grade starting September 12; here’s what’s still open for September:

Time for Two’s Fridays at 10:30 (Tuesdays at 10:15 am at North Branch) for 2 year olds and their parent/caregiver

All By Myself, Mondays at 11 am OR Thursdays at 1:30 pm, for 3 – 5 year olds, without parents

Family Storytime and Craft, Monday nights at 6:30 pm both at Main and North. Craft geared to 3 – 7 year olds. Working Parent Friendly!

Parent Child Workshop, Saturdays at 10 am, for 1 -3 year olds and a parent or caregiver Working Parent Friendly!

Tail Waggin Tutors, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and 7pm for K- 5 is also taking phone registrations only starting 8/29: 847-448-8610. (Also available at North Branch on Tuesday afternoons; register at 847-866-0330 starting 8/29)

Drop In (no registration) storytimes The Young and the Restless (0-2) on Thursdays at 9:30 am and Preschool Storytime (3-6) on Wednesdays at 10:30 am continue as usual in September. Branches also have drop ins (check our calendar for dates and times)

Fall Words: Mailbox Play. Bring your 1, 2, or 3 year old to play Mailbox this September! Play is an essential tool in literacy education; come experience the fun with your child. Address envelopes to animals in the library, put them in the mailbox, and then deliver them using “US Mail” bags! September 1-30, Main Children’s Room, North Branch & Chicago Ave/Main Street (CAMS) locations

book club

Caldecott Club for Kids in K-4. Mr. Brian will share all the important and inspiring pieces that come together to make an award-winning picture book.  Kids will learn the inside scoop on how the Caldecott Medal is awarded, then read some current illustrated books and discuss the best. Thursdays,September 22, October 13, November 10, December 8, 7 pm, Children’s Public Conference Room, Main Library. Registration opens September 1. 

Programs for Teens


Chromebooks in the Loft. NEW. The Teen Loft  offers in-house use of Chromebooks for 6th to 12th graders who are EPL cardholders or those who have their library cards registered at EPL.


Loft Lab: Design. Tinker with and make all kinds of amazing projects.  Each week we’ll have a different group project from 3D design and sewing to coding.Saturdays, 1-3 pm, The Loft, Main Library

Teens laughing

Loft Laughs. Join Loft staff to explore the art of joke writing. Learn how to tell jokes that are actually funny, use satire and everyday life experiences to create jokes that guarantee laughs, appreciate great comedians, and create the best comebacks EVER! Grades 6-12.

Sign up for a reminder or drop in. Saturdays, September 17- October 22, 3-4:30 pm, The Loft, Main Library

3D Design and Laser Cutting for 6-8 Graders


Free Math Tutoring for Grades 4-8


Girls Play Sports Summer Camp & Water Polo League

Registration is now open for the Girls Play Sports (GPS) Summer Camp and GPS Water Polo League!
The GPS Summer Camp will run from June 13th – June 17th from 8:30am-12:00pm at ETHS.  This camp introduces incoming 5th-8th graders to badminton, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, dance/poms, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and water polo throughout the week.
The GPS Water Polo League is for incoming 5th-8th graders and will run from June 10th – July 15th on Fridays evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm at ETHS.  This league will be run by Maggie Hatcher, an ETHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, and members of the ETHS Girls Water Polo team.
FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE: We provide opportunities for ALL girls to join Team GPS, because we believe cost should never be an obstacle to participation.  Register at and email with any questions.
Megan Livatino

Girls Play Sports

ETHS Debate Showcase & Debate Camp

ETHS Speech and Debate Showcase for Middle Schoolers
ETHS will be putting on a Speech and Debate Showcase on Tuesday, May 24th, at 7 PM in the Little Theater at ETHS. The invitation is primarily to middle school families and incoming freshmen; the intent is to show middle school students what the activity is like in high school, and give potential students a chance to interact with some of our current team members.  Unlike Middle School debate, which offers Policy style debating only, there are many different types of debate and speech activities in high school. In addition to Policy, the Showcase will feature Congressional Debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Poetry Interpretation. RSVP is not required, but appreciated, at this link:
Summer Debate Camp at ETHS
We are now accepting registrations for our summer camp, August 8th-12th. We run from 9 AM to 4 PM, Mondayto Friday, with lunch included. The camp is for new and returning students, and we offer specialized instruction by event. The goal is to get students ready for the coming year; last year we had 7 middle school students, 8 incoming freshmen, and 17 returning team members attend. Tuition is $400, but scholarships are available. More information and a link to register can be found here:

Fortnightly Dance Class Registration Begins May 9

The North End Mothers’ Club once again brings to you Fortnightly Dance Classes for incoming 6th and 7th graders.
To register and learn more about the program please visit the Web site at
All registration materials and information are only available online.
If you have any questions about the program please email Nicole Jacob Marks at
Please see the Fortnightly Flyer for more details on the Fortnightly dance classes and on how to register!

Cesar Chavez Movie @ EPL – Thurs. March 31

The Evanston Public Library will screen the movie
“Cesar Chavez” at 2 p.m. on Thursday March 31 in the
Barbara Friedberg Storytelling Room, Main Library. Chavez
was a human rights activist and grassroots organizer of
migrant workers. Grades K- 5 and their families.
Drop-in; no registration required.

Easter Cookie Decorating – Thurs. March 24

Do you have a 5th-8th grader (ages 10-14) who would love to learn how to decorate cookies? Sign him or her up for Spoonfoolery’s Easter Cookie Decorating class at The Collage Cafe Thursday, March 24 from 4-6 pm. Cost is $45 and includes 6 *large* sugar cookies and all decorations and packaging. Recipe to make the cookies and frosting at home also provided. Please call Lindy Stockton at 773.837.4433 to reserve your spot.