The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To local educational institutions providing real-world experiences for their students. Aspiring pastry chefs at McHenry County College have opened a student-run bakery, where they will sell goodies they create in the kitchen, and 27 students at Crystal Lake South High School are set to operate a Virtual Enterprises International firm this academic year as they work in a simulated marketplace with more than 5,000 other classroom “firms” across the globe. The lessons and skills these students will learn through these endeavors will help them once they leave the classroom and head into the working world.
Thumbs down: To news from U.S. Census Data showing that the Illinois poverty rate is holding steady at 14.7 percent. About 1.88 million people compared with 1.85 million last year are still living in poverty. The trend is similar across the country, where the poverty rate has remained the same – around 15 percent – for the sixth straight year. The stagnant poverty rate and stagnant median income rate show that any gains in economic recovery are not trickling down to the poor and the middle class.
Thumbs up: To the District 200 elementary students who are partnering with the charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research. The fundraisers began Sept. 16 and will run through the end of September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Donations are accepted at the schools and online at www.alexslemonade.org/search/fundraisers.
Thumbs down: To children riding incorrectly in car seats. The Illinois Department of Transportation says about 90 percent of child passengers on Illinois roads are riding in car seats, but only three out of five of those car seats are being used correctly. This is disturbing news, especially since automobile crashes are a leading cause of death for children under the age of 13.