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New Hammitt Junior-Senior High School Brings Great Opportunities

On August 14, The Baby Fold celebrated the grand opening of the new location of Hammitt Junior-Senior High School with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony and public tour. Chamber President Charlie Moore, said, "The support The Baby Fold provides to the community in the area of special education is truly, truly needed and necessary  - and we are grateful." Transforming our historic building into center for learning has been a year-long process and a joyous endeavor. Classrooms are outfitted with high tech smart boards, vocational education spaces, inspirational decor, culinary learning, and sensory rooms. With the individualized instruction of our expert staff, we are building the transferable life and work skills that our unique student population need to thrive in life. As Miranda Braye, HJSHS Principal proclaims "We're looking to change the world, one student at a time." 

Ready for Life with Healthy Start!

“I want to be sure that my child is ready for school, and for life,” said Angel emphatically. Kelly Winter, a Healthy Start worker at The Baby Fold who visits with Angel and her 3-year-old daughter Maria, cannot say enough positive things about this young family. “This sweet mother is so motivated to make a safe and loving home for her precious Maria.” Kelly goes on to say, “Angel is a shy person, but also fearless and strong. She works full time, six days a week and always lets me know her day off so I can schedule a visit. She's never missed an appointment!” Recently, Kelly helped Angel create a “vision board" to help her set goals and a vision for her future. With Maria at the center, this colorful vision board helps her stay focused on the big picture--a safe and happy home for her family. Even young Maria joined in, creating her own vision board! Dream big, Maria. Your mom is going to make sure you are ready for school, and life!

Great Expectations - The Path to Work Success

"Practice makes perfect" is an old saying meant to inspire people to meet goals through repetition. At Hammitt Junior High and High School, students will soon have unique opportunities to practice the skills and attitudes that will lead them to successful employment. Through simulated work environments within a culinary kitchen, laundry facility, dining area, and an apartment-like space in the works, Hammitt students will gain hands-on experience under the guidance of Vocational Director, Chris Baker. Chris, along with Hammitt staff will help each student build needed work ethic and confidence to reach their highest potential. Over 20 community partners invite our students to work in their business, while our job coaches provide individualized support. Because job readiness curriculum begins in middle school, we are able to assess each student’s strengths to help them discover the types of activities they enjoy. Undoubtedly, our entire community benefits from an energetic, prepared, and enthusiastic young work force. 

Community Schools Program helped prevent the "Summer Slide"

Keeping kids ready for learning means avoiding the "summer slide." This is the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains that they made during the previous school year. Therefore, over the summer, Cedar Ridge Elementary and The Baby Fold Community Schools program embarked summer partnership with a goal of keeping students engaged and participating in activities that stretch their mind and body! Over four weeks, students entering 4th and 5th grade gathered for small group reading, math practice, robot-building, theater, fitness games, and much more. Community partners including Advocate Fitness Center, Brandy McNalis of COUNTRY Financial, Children’s Discovery Museum, America Reads, America Counts at Illinois State Univeristy, and The Miller Park Zoo helped pack powerful learning activities into the student's summer days. The children returned ready for a great school year!