Adult Literacy (Project U.P.W.A.R.D) – Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) is designed to help meet the needs of adults in the area classified as functionally illiterate. It serves Peoria, Woodford and Marshall counties. Peoria area has identified over 26,000 illiterate adults. Adult tutor training workshops are conducted on a rotating basis throughout the three counties. Literacy programs are also offered at the Peoria County Jail. Special emphasis is placed on English as a Second Language adults. This year U.P.W.A.R.D. trained and monitored over 300 volunteer tutors and adult students. U.P.W.A.R.D. networks with over 40 agencies and programs.
Area III Learning Technology Center – The Area III Learning Technology Center is one of fifteen centers statewide. It serves a 20 county area with 111 school districts. There are 134,908 students in 440 school buildings. The LTC provides a variety of programs to assist school districts in planning, implementation, assessment, and educating school staff in the use of technology and telecommunications in instructional and administrative functions.
Arts in Education Spring Celebration – This annual six-week program completed its 26th year in 2011. The purpose of Spring Celebration is to offer students in grades K-12 in central Illinois schools the opportunity to perform, exhibit, and demonstrate their abilities in the Fine Arts and the Applied Arts. The students from 133 schools from six counties (Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton, Marshall, and Henry) participated in the program in 2008. Private community-wide support made this harbinger of spring possible. Over the years, this program has received awards that include the Arts Education Advocacy Award, Sidney R. Yates Advocacy Award, Innovations in American Government Semi-finalist Award, Governor’s Home Town Award, and others.
Illinois Virtual School – The Illinois Virtual School is a statewide initiative that provides online learning for students in grades 5-12 that is taught by federally designated, high quality teachers. IVS is a division of the Peoria County Regional Office of Education and is financially supported through the Illinois State Board of Education. Coming soon will be online professional development for educators.
OSCS – Today’s education administrators, parents, teachers, and community leaders are searching for programs and agencies that will help keep our children healthy and safe. The strategy of the Office of School and Community Support is to provide accessible community-based support programs through the Peoria County Regional Office of Education. OSCS is designed to help schools share information, obtain input from a variety of sources, and use resources effectively. Our goal is to develop coalitions to make schools a safer and healthier place for children, educators, families, and communities.
Peoria County Jail Education – This state-mandated educational program for incarcerated persons consists of three separate components: 1) General Educational Development (GED) for those reading above an eighth grade level; 2) Literacy Program for those reading below an eighth grade level; and 3) an educational and social service orientation program for all approved students that is conducted upon incarceration and prior to release. A career spectrum test is also administered to students through Illinois Central College for individual areas of employment interest. Two hundred twenty-three confined students participated in the ABE/GED Education Program this year. Despite the short-term opportunity, forty were successful in securing their GED diploma. Students are also offered classes in Food Service Sanitation Certification, Parenting, and Anger Management. Sixty-eight received their state licenses in food sanitation.
P.E.R.F.E.C.T. – This program coordinates career and technical education in the Peoria County schools. It includes a regional cooperative program that helps students prepare for future employment in agriculture, business, health, family and consumer science, and industrial occupations through classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The Peoria County Regional Office of Education serves as the fiscal agent.
Preschool for All – Preschool For All is an historic expansion of Early Childhood Programs that makes Illinois the first state to offer voluntary preschool to all three and four year olds whose parents want them to participate. The Preschool For All Program emphasizes the relationship among early childhood education, parenting education, and involvement and future success in school. With these funds, Preschool For All will expand services to children who are at risk of school failure and for the first time extend eligibility to children of lower middle income families.
Project T.A.R.G.E.T. – Project T.A.R.G.E.T. is a truancy/dropout prevention program that works with all students in Peoria County with school attendance problems. Caseworkers work with students and their families to determine the root cause of the poor school attendance. Referrals are made to community services identified by the needs of each family, and rewards and incentives are offered to schools and students for improved attendance. The Truancy Assessment Center is used by the police and the community to assess the needs of students taken there when found on the street during school hours. Court intervention and ticketing is used when all other options are exhausted.
THE PROE CENTER – Professional development holds a significant place in the continuing quest for school improvement, but only when the resulting activities are relevant and well charted. THE PROE Center provides such professional development services for teachers and administrators in Peoria and Knox Counties. Services are provided to approximately 9,000 teachers and administrators, ultimately affecting over 49,823 students. The PROE Center’s facility is located near the Kickapoo/Edwards I-74 Exit and includes, but is not limited to, programs for specific content areas; Preschool for All, STEM, Foundational Services, Technology, Administrators’ Academy and networking through professional cadres.
Homeless Education (McKinney-Veto Act) Program: This program insures that children and youth experiencing homelessness in Peoria County will have a full and fair opportunity to succeed in school. The Act ensures that families, children, and youth receive educational services for which they are eligible. This office provides a Liaison to the schools and students to ensure that they are afforded the right they are entitled to. The Liaison for Peoria City/County is Mary Ellen Ulrich at (309) 495-4800.