Tag: Maywood Public Library

Loyola Nurses to Give Free Flu Shots at Maywood Library on Oct. 16

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Nurses from Loyola Medicine will be at the Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 21st Ave. on Oct. 16, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., to provide free flu shots. The shots are limited and will be provided on a first come, first-served basis.

Continue reading “Loyola Nurses to Give Free Flu Shots at Maywood Library on Oct. 16”

Maywood Library to Host Chess Tourney Saturday, Oct. 7

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Gordon Hanson instructing members of the Maywood Chess Club last year. | Submitted

This Saturday, Oct. 7, the Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 5th Ave., will host a chess tournament organized by Gordon Hanson, the founder of the Maywood Chess Club, and chess coach Esteban Guitierrez.

Continue reading “Maywood Library to Host Chess Tourney Saturday, Oct. 7”

Maywood Library Director to Be Inducted Into the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.47.52 PM.pngWednesday, March 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Stan Huntington, the longtime executive director of the Maywood Public Library, will be formally inducted into the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on April 7 at the Charles A. Hayes Center in Chicago.

Huntington will be honored along with other luminaries, including former Chicago Bulls player Bob Love, late boxing icon Muhammad Ali and Chicago TV news anchor Suzanne Le Mignot.

In the official induction letter, Huntington is commended for his role in a successful 1994 referendum that paved the way for the construction of the library’s $8 million addition in 1998.

“Mr. Huntington’s most important part is seeing the library debt for the new building paid off,” the letter reads. “Virtually all of this has taken place under Stan’s watch.”

In an email statement, Huntington explained the library’s most recent state, four years after financial conditions forced it to close for several days in October 2013. After securing a loan from the now-defunct Seaway Bank, the library reopened.

“The library paid off the Seaway Bank loans in 2016, receiving all five canceled notes in November along with the release to the title of the corner property,” Huntington wrote. “That having been said, the library is operating with $800,000 less income than it had as recently as 2010.

“Due to the continued decline in the EAV (Equal Assessed Valuation) of all property in Maywood, the library’s 2016 levy collectible in 2017 is reduced a further $100,000. The library continues to operate under the twin handicap of a declining EAV and the many parcels of real estate in Maywood that are either unoccupied and/or boarded up.”

Currently, Huntington serves on the board of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization and is acting chairman of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce.  He’s also past president of the Maywood-Proviso Rotary Club.

Huntington has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Fort Wayne and a master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He has been a member of the American Library Association and the Illinois Library Association. VFP

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A Sisterhood of Grieving Mothers Shares Survival Stories

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Phyllis Duncan, founder of Mothers of Murdered Sons, speaks during the first meeting of the organization’s Grief and Wellness Support Group on Saturday at the Maywood Public Library. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Devin Stokes, 18, was bound for Northeastern Illinois University on a full academic scholarship in August 2008. By the summer’s end, he would’ve been in a dorm had he and three of his friends, including Kent Flowers and Oscar Pritchett, both 18, not been ambushed by gunmen on the 1900 block of Harrison Street in Maywood.

The four friends were in a car outside of Flowers’ house when a van pulled up beside them and two gunmen got out and started firing. Stokes was shot nine times said his mother, Theresa Stokes. Flowers, Pritchett and Stokes would later die from their wounds.

A fourth friend, who was in the driver’s seat, would survive. He wasn’t identified in newspaper reports about the shooting because police considered him a witness to the crime.

“My son was shot nine times, but he still gave a police report and was able to make it to the hospital,” Theresa said. “They put the IVs in and everything, but he said, ‘I don’t need those now. I just need you all to keep me comfortable.’ The nurse said she had never seen anybody who was shot that many times be that calm. I said it was because Devin knew Jesus.”

Theresa shared her story at the Maywood Public Library on Saturday during the inaugural meeting of the Mothers of Murdered Sons Grief and Wellness Support Group. The group is the result of a collaboration between Mothers of Murdered Sons (MOMS), a nonprofit support group, the Women’s Community Leadership Council and another Chicago-based support group called the Sisterhood.

The MOMS Wellness Support Group will meet on the second Saturday of each month starting in November.

The group, said many of the mothers of murdered sons who gathered for the Oct. 8 inaugural meeting, is one of the few means of survival they’ve discovered after losing their children so tragically. The most cited survival mechanism, as Stokes referenced, is their faith.

“I just came to encourage you and let you know you can make it,” said Equilla Morgan, whose son, Kirk Anthony Morgan, was shot in December 1989 and died a month later. 

“It’s not going to go away,” she said. “You can’t bury it, you’ve got to deal with it. I’m praying to the Lord you keep your mind one more day and be able to stand one more day and that you won’t give up and give in.

Morgan said her son’s murder was solved and his killer spent some time in jail, which gives her “some closure in a way … not enough but some.”

“It’s eight years later and they still don’t know who murdered my child,” said Stokes. “I still have no closure. I can’t find closure that way, so I just find it in Jesus. My son had worn a wife beater that night. I held it up and it was bloody and [bullet-ridden]. I held it up and let God have it. That’s the only reason I’m speaking to you today and not in a nut house.”

Stokes said that the gunmen may have been targeting Flowers, whom his parents described at the time of the shooting as a “visual artist who also rapped [and] loved schoolwork” despite some difficulties completing high school, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Stokes and one of his friends formed what they called the Young Money Club, which was a means of making money legitimately, without the influence of gangs or violence, his mother said.

Today, Theresa noted, she tries transferring her son’s unusual calm to mothers who have experienced her pain. Women like Jocelyn Meeks, whose son, Dionte Demarco Womack, 21, was shot in Chicago in 2013.

“I take it one day at a time, because that’s all I can do,” Meeks said. “The boy who murdered him is in jail. It was somebody he knew. The trial will start in February of 2017 and I will be there every day.”

Meeks said joining the Sisterhood support group “helped me a lot” with her struggle to live beyond her son’s death. She’s enrolled in school and works and “is doing I’m what I’m supposed to do, but it’s still hard.”

Phyllis Duncan, the founder of MOMS whose only son, Dodavah, was fatally shot in 2005, one day after Mother’s Day, indicated that Saturday’s meeting was as much for those who haven’t experience a mother’s grief as it was for the grieving mothers.

She and other mothers lamented how tough it typically is for the family members of those who are killed, particularly right after the shootings happen.

“We’ve been to Loyola University Medical Center to support mothers waiting to hear about their children,” Duncan told the crowd of at least 20 people. “Being a parent of a murdered child, a lot of stuff goes along with this. Some don’t even get a chance to see their sons and daughters, some don’t get a chance to see them until they go and identify their bodies at the morgues.”

Erica Williams, whose son Xavier Oneal McCord, 20, was killed in November 2012 by a Maywood police officer, said “it was a fight” to see her son after his death. She said authorities wouldn’t even let her see him in the hospital.

There are other things that the mothers said need to change, particularly concerning how people, who are often well-meaning, try to console them.

“When people tell me I still got two sons, they don’t understand,” Morgan said. “I had three! Telling me I still got two is not going to change anything.”

Tangela Jones, whose son, Tyree Grant, 23, was fatally shot in March, is relatively new to the Sisterhood.

“Everyday has been a struggle for me,” Jones said. “[It’s been a struggle] to get up, to love everybody, to not resent everything, to not be upset, to speak. I’ve battled with issues since my son died [but] I’m learning to find purpose in what happened.” VFP

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Maywood Chess Club Teaches Youths That ‘Life Is About Making the Right Move’

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Gordon Hanson, founder of the Maywood Chess Club, teaches students moves on the ches board. Carter Dawson, far left, is among the club’s most accomplished players. | Courtesy Maywood Public Library 

Thursday, July 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free

Once a week, each Wednesday afternoon, around 15 kids descend on the Maywood Public Library for at least two hours and play a game that longtime Maywood resident Gordon Hanson, their coach, says teaches them about life.

“We learn that life is about making the right move,” Hanson said in a recent interview. “If you make a good move, you have a good consequence. The thing is, you have to know how to strategize and think several moves ahead in order to get the outcome you want.”

Hanson, a former library trustee, started the weekly Maywood Chess Club this year at the urging of library executive director Stan Huntington. It’s a move that Hanson now celebrates, noting that around 15 participants a week attend the club.

Carter Dawson, 11, is one of the club’s most accomplished players, having placed 18th in a statewide tournament that included 175 kids, according to Dawson’s count.

“Gordon always tells me chess can help you in the game of life,” said the young Maywood resident. “It’s a great exercise for school purposes, too.”

Hanson said the participants come from Maywood and the surrounding suburbs, such as Melrose Park. One kid, he said, is from North Dakota. He’s here visiting relatives for the summer, Hanson noted.

“We are fully cross-pollinated with other kids from other places,” Hanson said, adding that, in addition to attracting youth from other areas, he’s hoping to make alliances with chess clubs in the city like one started recently by the DuSable Museum of African American History.

“The museum’s community director and I have been talking and we’ll do a collaborative event in the future,” Hanson said. “In the meantime, we’ve invited them to come and play with us.” VFP

The chess club meets each Wednesday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through Aug. 31. For more info, contact Gordon Hanson at (773) 600-2187 or hgordonhanson@cs.com. You can also click here.

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Maywood Public Library Shares $9K Big Read Grant | Take A Summer Reading Challenge

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The novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. 

Friday, June 3, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

The Maywood Public Library will share a $9,000 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant with five other area libraries to explore immigration-related issues through the novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.

The library is one of 77 nonprofit entities across the country to receive the grant, which will also be allocated to the River Forest Public Library, the Oak Park Public Library, the Forest Park Public Library, the Berwyn Public Library and Dominican University’s Rebecca Crown Library.

The novel, which is selected by the NEA, is designed to “unite communities through literature,” according to a statement released by the Oak Park Public Library last month.

“Our hope is that neighbors in this group of racially and economically diverse communities will Into the Beautiful North and take new opportunities to learn and connect through informative conversations with each other and local experts,” said David J. Seleb, the Oak Park Public Library’s executive director, in a press release last month.

Urrea’s novel centers on 19-year-old protagonist Nayeli, a taco shop worker who lives in Mexico and “dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work,” according to a synopsis of the novel on Urrea’s website.

“Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village — they’ve all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men — her own ‘Siete Magnificos’ — to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.”

“Maywood’s participation in the NEA Big Read will increase awareness of some of the lesser known struggles that people who are immigrating into the United States of America must face,” said Victor Dixon, head of information services at the Maywood Public Library District.

“In our area, there are local organizations that help people to triumph over these difficulties, such as the Quinn Community Center, with Gabriel Lara as its director, and P.A.S.O. (West Suburban Action Project), whose executive director is Mony Ruiz-Velasco.”

Maywood bookstore challenges residents to summer reading fun

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Afriware Books, 1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503, is challenging residents to read a minimum of 15 minutes a day in June and July. Those who accomplish the feat won’t just gain insight, but they could also win a gift card valued at up to $10. The challenge is limited to participants who are at least 17 years old.

The form to enter the challenge can be downloaded below or by clicking here.

“Studies show that adding culturally specific titles to a child’s education can increase GPA up to two letter grades,” note Afriware’s owners. “Stop in to select your own titles or we can make recommendations. Afriware Books has plenty of books for children and teens to choose from!” VFP

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Raise the Barre

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Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., First Congregational Church of Maywood, 400 N . 5th Ave., will host its annual rummage sale.

Come get bargains on bargains on bargains! Lots of kid clothes, books and toys. All kinds of miscellaneous merchandise to tickle your fancy. Even fresh baked goods. Come find that perfect thing and have come fun with us.

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Wellness Wizards

The Wellness Wizards will meet at the Maywood Public Library District from June 2 through July 1 on Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. This is a program for kids from 3rd through 5th grade which will involve outdoor games, educational activities, and healthy snacks. People who are interested in this event must complete a registration form available in the Youth Services Department of the Library. Parental consent is required. This program is free.

Summer Program for Kids

Get in the Game and READ! The Maywood Public Library District’s Summer Program will take place from June 6 through July 13. Kids will be able to develop their skills, drop in for shared reading, treasure hunts, board games, raffles and prizes. For more information, please visit the Youth Services Department on the second floor of the Library.

The Conflict in Syria

On Monday, June 27, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Maywood Public Library District will show “Five Years of Conflict in Syria: The Road Ahead,” a film produced by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This film shows a panel discussion of the situation in Syria that has now lasted for 5 years.

Eating Healthy During the Summer

Whitney A. Henderson, Nurse Practitioner and Community Outreach Nurse of the Loyola University of Chicago and of the School-Based Health Center at Proviso East High School, will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Monday, June 13, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm, to instruct people on healthy eating habits.

Henderson states that practicing healthy eating habits can help people feel good about themselves, while giving them the energy they need for their daily activities.  It can also help people maintain a healthy weight, while preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Old habits may have to be changed, but eating well may be a lot easier than one realizes.

In Maywood, A Day Of Remembrance For Victims Of Violence And Its Vicious Cycle

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The spoken word poet Paige Gillian during a Feb. 27 recital of her work at the Maywood Public Library during a A Day of Remembrance for Victims of Violence. | The Village Free Press

Day of Remembrance IIWednesday, March 2, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

A crowd of around 30 people gathered inside of a second-floor meeting room at the Maywood Public Library last Saturday, Feb. 27 listened closely to the testimony of area poet Paige Gillian, who recounted being chased by a group of men in Berwyn one night.

She said if it weren’t for her newly purchased Android cell phone, which fell loose from a coat pocket, she may not have been alive, or well enough, to be speaking that day. When the phone fell, her pursuer, distracted, slowed down, allowing her to gain some distance and run to safety.

“It could’ve all been over just like that,” she said. “Just like that. Life is serious. It is to be taken seriously.”

Gillian was among a panel of speakers and poets who shared their thoughts with community members during a Day of Remembrance for Victims of Violence, an event co-hosted by the Women’s Community Leadership Council and the group Mothers of Murdered Sons (MOMS).

A program that was circulated during the event featured a list of names, “Our Children Gone Too Soon,” of victims of violence in the Chicago area. They included young people, like Michael Brown, who have become symbols of injustice; in addition to cases, such as those of Bryeon Hunter and Dashamone McCarty, that took place closer to home.

Pac Butler, a youth advocate and filmmaker, reminded the audience that violence also tends to be perpetrated by people who have been victimized and hurt themselves.

“It wasn’t anything for us to shoot somebody,” Butler said, during a talk he gave right after Gillian delivered a poem about a friend of hers who was murdered (“He was only partying, good time with company, until his brain was blown out like leaves from a tree”).

Butler, an ex-gang member, said he was born on the South Side of Chicago and was homeless by the time he was 15 years old. He would ride the buses from one end of the city to the other just to keep warm and would wash up in restaurant bathrooms. He wore the same clothes every day.

“I did a lot of things,” he said. “I survived a couple of gunshot wounds I shouldn’t have survived.”

It took the murder of a close friend for Butler to realize, “That could’ve been me.” And it took a Chicago police officer, who took him off of the streets, for Butler to have a chance at redemption.

“When I finally had kids, [I told myself] if I was going to be boy enough to be part of the problem, I had to be man enough to be part of the solution,” he said. “So, I started volunteering with groups like” CeaseFire and Mothers of Murdered Sons.

He also produced a documentary film called “Young Bulls” about Chicago gang violence. He said he interviewed mothers like MOMS founder Phyllis Duncan and listened to their stories.

What he learned, he said, was that the epidemic of violence in Chicago and its suburbs isn’t isolated to areas where guns and crime predominate.

“This epidemic of violence doesn’t skip over the good [people and places],” he said. “It touches everybody, whether you’re bad, broke, Republican or Democrat.” VFP

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