The Naperville chapter of Operation Snowball, a program of 360 Youth Services, operates under the notion that a simple message can spread and gain force organically through a community. Its programs focus on drug use, problem solving, and peer support for high-school students, both informing and empowering participants to create a change in their schools. Operation Snowball hosts three weekend retreats a year, with 225 teens and 40 adult volunteers in attendance at each. The retreats aim to prevent substance abuse and develop responsible decision-making skills. In small groups, teens participate in workshops and fun activities that range from reliving kindergarten and exploring mazes to dealing with grief. Friday night features a "no-talent" show to break the ice, and sessions of free time help youth learn about each other on their own terms.
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Over the course of a two-hour energy assessment, Effortless Efficiency will perform an exhaustive top-to-bottom visual inspection and home assessment. Trained technicians will inspect airflow in each room and examine the permeability of doors, windows, and fireplace flue vents, seeking out dastardly drafts and leaks. Effortless Efficiency energy specialists will also inspect insulation inside attics and crawl spaces, assess the efficiency of all appliances, and provide water-use ratings for toilet, sinks, and showers before monitoring heating and cooling airflow and sitting down with homes' furnaces and AC units to conduct lengthy interviews on their age and efficiency.
Children are best equipped to develop analytical skills for current and future learning between the formative ages of 3.5 and 14. That's why Best Brains sets students off on the right foot by offering focused courses in subjects such as math, English, abacus, and general knowledge. Certified teachers help students develop skills in writing, grammar, critical thinking word problems, and basic computational math, using an abacus counting tool to help develop spatial memory.
Historic Downtown Wheaton embraces many of the boutique gift stores, chic spas, and diverse culinary offerings that populate the historical storefronts of the western suburb’s walkable central shopping district. Before embarking on a day of checking off gift lists or simply sightseeing, slip under the colorful awnings at Front and Hale Streets to sneak a breakfast bite at the Egg Harbor Café, where The Handler sandwich tucks egg, bacon, and cheese onto a gourmet pretzel roll ($8.95). Eco-friendly gift shop It’s Our Earth's “buy recycled” philosophy unfolds space for ample creativity in the form of Snack Journals ($7 each)—fun notebooks reimagined from SpongeBob and Spiderman snack boxes that make the dog eating one's homework a slightly likelier excuse.
Metro Dash pits athletes against their own limitations as they sprint through a 600-meter course dotted with 20 obstacles that test endurance and strength. High hurdles, balance beams, rope swings, and cargo nets impede the path as contestants—guts wrenching and muscles pounding—sprint to awaken their inner warriors. The Metro Dash staff stands by to control the flow of runners and penalize those who refuse to do an obstacle for fear of soiling their powdered wig.
Metro Dash staff members divide the race into waves, sending runners through the course to climb and crawl in their race T-shirts as spectators cheer on in support. They require runners in the Elite division to run the course a second time, totaling the scores for competition. After the race, awards for the top three cumulative male and female finish times will be announced. A portion of proceeds goes to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation
As part of its efforts to change negative perceptions and boost physical fitness and self-esteem, Special Olympics Illinois offers year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Continued opportunities to participate in Olympic-type sports, such as gymnastics and soccer, help these athletes experience personal growth and friendship as they share their skills with families, other Special Olympics athletes, and their community.
Throughout Illinois today, more than 21,000 adults and more than 11,000 young adults with intellectual disabilities train and compete through Special Olympics.