Summer school is hard. Mostly it doesn’t work. Doesn’t draw in the students who really need a boost. Doesn’t inspire higher achieving students for enrichment. Every school district seems to be perpetually rethinking it.

So let’s hear it for our District 91 elementary schools which just reported out the positive results for last summer’s Power Scholars Academy. This was a wonderfully collaborative venture alongside the River Forest elementary schools and driven by an initiative out of the West Cook YMCA.

Nearly 100 students took part in a five-week program hosted at our Field-Stevenson School. Focusing on reading, math and social emotional skills, Power Scholars received strong marks from students and fabulous feedback from families and the teachers involved.

Thanks to the YMCA for pushing this national Y project out locally, and nice work by these two school districts for collaborating.

Play Ball

It is always hard, maybe especially in Forest Park, to let go of any local institution with Forest Park at the start of its name. 

This spring it is Forest Park Little League, which is going away, adopted and folded into River Forest’s youth baseball program. Participation in our Little League has been declining for years. Best efforts to recruit were not enough and recently the league was shedding the equivalent of a team per year. Last year, on a trial basis, River Forest and Forest Park collaborated. This year they merged.

It stings some. There is the history, the pride of place. It’s real. But it is not always possible for Forest Park to have the stand-alone version of everything. There is also a lot to be said for finding vital partners and building connections.

The good news is that our kids still get to play baseball close to home and that the park district has jumped in to offer local T-ball for the little ones.

Election countdown

Suddenly, we are now under a month away from important local elections for mayor and the village council and for the school boards at both our elementary and high schools.

Starting tonight the Review will kick off a series of three forums covering those races.

District 91 and District 209: March 6 at 6:30 p.m., Forest Park Middle School, 925 Beloit Ave. The Review and the Chamber host back-to-back sessions for all candidates for the District 91 elementary school board and the Proviso Township High Schools board.

Forest Park mayor: Sunday, March 10, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd. The Review and the library host a conversation with Chris Harris and Rory Hopkins, the two candidates for mayor. This event is at or near capacity, but it will be streamed live on Facebook.

Forest Park commissioners and mayor: March 21 at 6:30 p.m., Forest Park Middle School. The Review and Chamber host back-to-back sessions for candidates for village council and then the mayoral candidates.