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On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the nation’s 21st state. As we come to our state’s 200th birthday, we asked senators to talk about people or places in their districts that represent the best of Illinois’ rich past and how that is shown in local history, tourism, culture or community impact.

Marillac House on the west side of Chicago has provided social services for all ages for more than 100 years. They celebrated their centennial in 2014. Senator Patricia Van Pelt of the 5th District appreciates Marillac’s development of programs over the years to meet the needs of the community, and visited the facility to look at their history as well as their future.

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ili sims 112018On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the nation’s 21st state. As we come to our state’s 200th birthday, we asked senators to talk about people or places in their districts that represent the best of Illinois’ rich past and how that is shown in local history, tourism, culture or community impact.

The Pullman community in Chicago is the home of the Historic Pullman District National Monument, where thousands of sleeper rail cars were produced in the mid-to-late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century.

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Sen. Julie Morrison

On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the nation’s 21st state. As we come to our state’s 200th birthday, we asked senators to talk about people or places in their districts that represent the best of Illinois’ rich past and how that is shown in local history, tourism, culture or community impact.

The Ravinia Festival at Highland Park, Illinois, is the oldest music festival in North America. Senator Julie Morrison visited the site in the 29th District where thousands of families have enjoyed all genres of music since 1904. Along with entertainment in a beautiful setting, Ravinia plays a vital part in the local economy and provides hundreds of jobs.

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ILI ACT Scores

Illinois students are scoring higher on the ACT this year in spite of a national trend of lower scores on the test designed to gauge college preparedness.

Students in the state achieved an average composite score of 23.9 out of 36, an increase from 21.4 in 2017.

The results come at a time when composite scores across the country have declined to an average of 20.8 after reaching an average of 21.0 last year.

The nationwide decrease in scores has been particularly substantial in math, where scores reached their lowest levels since 2004. Only 40 percent of test takers were rated as prepared to take a first-year college algebra course compared to 41 percent in 2017 and 46 percent in 2012. Illinois beat the national average in math 61 to 40 percent.

Illinois students demonstrated a higher level of college readiness than students nationally, outperforming the national average in every category. More than 80 percent of test takers in Illinois were rated as ready for college-level English courses, compared to 60 percent nationally. Illinois students also beat the national average 64 to 36 percent in reading and 55 to 46 percent in science.

For complete data on ACT scores in Illinois and nationally, click here.

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Amanda Evanston is the November Artist of the Month. She is from Evanston, and her favorite medium to use is acryclic paint.

How long have you been an artist or when did you start? Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, would you tell us about it?

Painting has always been with me. Always. My first memory is finger painting in the bath tub. My first friend was a lunchbox filled with art supplies. I was never the smartest or the prettiest or the funniest kid, but I could draw stuff for hours and my parents were kind enough to encourage the habit.

When I paint I can feel my cells shift. There’s nothing like it. I’m fortunate enough to live in a time and place where I get to do it every single day.

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