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As we head into the fifth month without a state budget, the havoc and consequences that each day brings for human service agencies statewide continues to mount. And the Boys & Girls Club of Rockford and the youths we serve are feeling the effects of the chaos.

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Last week was National Tutoring Week (October 5-9). In case you missed the celebrations, Mei Cobb, Director of Volunteer & Employee Engagement at United Way of Worldwide, listed five reasons why someone would want to be a volunteer tutor:

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RAMP is a non-residential Center for Independent Living (CIL) serving individuals with disabilities in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson and DeKalb counties, providing essential services to ensure some of the state's most vulnerable citizens are able to live independently and participate fully in society.

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Many Illinoisans think that the services provided by social service agencies are for the benefit of the poor only. We constantly hear that social service agencies take care of the "least among us". The truth is much more complex than the perception.

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In order to improve a community, volunteers of all ages are needed to advance the common good. Even children can make meaningful contributions to their neighborhoods. Research has found community service for kids produces real benefits when they volunteer alongside their families. According to The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, volunteering:

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Nearly 30 interns from Greenlee / A Textron Company worked alongside Ellis Heights residents and organizations today to help clear debris and beautify the neighborhood. The clean-up efforts are part of Project 1013, a partnership between West Gateway Coalition and Rock Church, which advances the beautification of the Ellis Heights neighborhood.

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Look for a local summer program that promotes physical activity and healthy eating. It's important for children to keep active and eating healthy while school is out. We've compiled a list of local summer programs that help keep young children active and healthy throughout the summer.

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Summer slide can be a huge challenge for kids, teachers and parents. Did you know children lose, on average, one month's worth of skills during summer vacation without practice? In her article Top 10 Toys That Beat The Summer Slide, Forbes.com contributor Jenn Choi offers a sort list of toys for children to help make the summer very productive in a more fun way and to help beat the summer slide.

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